Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNGA Third Committee meeting on the report of Human Rights Council

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNGA Third Committee meeting on the report of Human Rights Council

Mr. President,

Distinguished delegates,

One of the main responsibilities of the Human Rights Council is to react timely and properly to human rights’ situations that require its urgent attention. We are pleased to acknowledge that during the reporting period the Council has demonstrated its ability to adequately respond to gross violations of human rights and send out resounding messages to the international community by establishing or renewing the country mandates, including fact-finding expert bodies.

The transformation of Sudan into a democratic nation can serve as exemplary case of success of attention of the Council to the country situation multiplied by technical assistance.

Mr. President,

Ukraine continues to pay special attention to the issue of technical assistance. We appreciate the contribution of the UN Human Rights Council and its Special Procedures in addressing the current human rights situation in Ukraine, including in occupied Crimea. The resolutions on cooperation and assistance to Ukraine in the field of human rights, adopted since the beginning of the Russian aggression in 2014, and interactive dialogues on Ukraine at each session of the HRC as well as in its inter-sessional period are important tools to provide the international community with objective information about real human rights situation in Ukraine.

The Government of Ukraine will continue to take further measures to ensure the proper protection of the rights and freedoms of all persons living in the whole territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

Mr. President,

Ukraine was among the countries that enthusiastically supported the establishment of the HRC. It has been HRC member during the first two consecutive terms since the Council’s inception, and now is working hard during its third term. We are also going to present our candidature for 2021-2023 and hope that UN Member-States will support us as an active HRC member.

During the reporting period my country initiated two resolutions – one on cooperation and technical assistance to Ukraine adopted with 44 cosponsors and another one – “Role of prevention in the promotion and protection of human rights” adopted by consensus with 66 cosponsors. While this Council has held many debates and adopted a number of decisions on this topic, prevention has not acquired the role it deserves in the HRC’s toolbox, and this is sad. Looking back at recent history, we can clearly see that human rights violations are often the major precursor to threats to peace, aggression, wars.

We need a Council that can prevent future human tragedies. Recent elections to the HRC demonstrated that, unfortunately, adherence to the high standards in human rights protection or taking voluntary obligations and commitments are not always considered as the key requirements. Such attitude can only weaken the Human Right Council, making it indulgent to human rights abusers.

Such indulgence leads to continued impunity for grave breaches of human rights and international law. My fellow citizens in Crimea and Donbas have experienced the entire spectrum of these breaches. The comprehensive and timely report of the UN Secretary General on Crimea, which was recently issued pursuant to UNGA resolution 73/263 “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine” is a valuable account of numerous violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed by the occupying power in the Ukrainian peninsula. It is also important that the report and its recommendations are not challenged, but respected and duly implemented by its opponents.

Ukraine needs a Council that can become a genuine, uncompromising platform for defending human rights, including of those, who suffer under Russian occupation in Crimea and Donbas, who have become political hostages deprived of their freedom by the Kremlin regime.

As a responsible member of the international community Ukraine will do its outmost to strengthen the Council. In this regard, we are looking forward to an assessment of the impact of implementation of the measures outlined in the statement of the HRC President as of 3 December 2018.

In accordance with resolution 65/281, the General Assembly has a mandate to consider the HRC status in 2021-2026. Intensive consultations should be conducted in different formats with different stakeholders.

We welcome the initiatives of HRC Presidents Voislav Suc in 2018 and Coly Sec in 2019 for organising retreats in Ljubliana and in Dakar respectively to provide an opportunity to discuss, in an informal and constructive format, some substantive issues that represent important challenges facing the international community and which are likely to underpin the work of the Council in coming years. In our view, their results could be quite instrumental in our further deliberations.

I thank you.