Виступ Постійного представника України при ООН Сергія Кислиці щодо проекту резолюції A/C.3/75/L.32 «Ситуація з правами людини в Автономній Республіці Крим та місті Севастополь, Україна»

Виступ Постійного представника України при ООН Сергія Кислиці щодо проекту резолюції A/C.3/75/L.32 «Ситуація з правами людини в Автономній Республіці Крим та місті Севастополь, Україна»

Mr. President,

At the outset, I would like to express our gratitude to Ambassador Katalin Annamaria Bogyay who successfully guided the work of one of the most deliberative and human-centric main Committees amid COVID-19 circumstances.

We sincerely regret that you are leaving. Our Organization really needs people with your wide expertise and energy.

Especially now, in the year of 75th anniversary of the United Nations, when gross human rights violations still persist in different parts of the world.

The role of human rights on a global scale was dramatically reconsidered in the aftermath of the Second World War. Tens of millions killed during the bloodiest war waged by totalitarian regimes and the horrors of the Holocaust forced world leaders to advance the approaches to human rights.

While in the middle of the 20th century, in the early decades of the modern concept of human rights, one could explain human rights violations by negligence or a breach of duty, today we are dealing with conscious informed actions of abuse, including by leaders who, in this very hall, spoke at length about their profound commitment to human rights.

Seventy-two years ago, Member States committed themselves to the protection of human rights with the adoption of the Universal Declaration. Since then gross violations of human rights have become a distinct feature of neo-totalitarian regimes, including those who have pursued aggression and occupied foreign territories. But it did not start yesterday.

Only two days ago, the 14th December marked the day in 1939 when the former Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for perpetrating crimes of aggression against its neighbor and peace-loving state – Finland. Not by chance, on the day Moscow attacked Helsinki, but 35 years later, the UNGA adopted Resolution “Definition of aggression”. There is more symbolism, if not irony, that the next year, back in 1975, in Helsinki, Moscow committed itself not to violate international borders and not to use force against other states by signing the Helsinki Final Act.

The Helsinki Final Act was fundamental in promoting democracy and human rights in socialist countries of Europe and inevitably led to the disappearance of the Soviet Union a dozen years later. There was a hope that democracy could triumph in Russia, because as it was said, and the quote starts.

“Perhaps for the first time ever there is now a real chance to put an end to despotism and to dismantle the totalitarian order, whatever shape it may take. I trust that after all the unthinkable tragedies and tremendous losses it has suffered, mankind will reject this legacy” (end of quote). Believe it or not, those are the words of the first President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin, delivered here in New York at the first ever UN Security Council Summit.

However, the hope was to be short lived. Because it was soon killed with the beginning of the Chechen wars. And the rulers of the Kremlin plunged into reincarnation of the cult of Stalin, who launched a war against Finland, occupied neighboring countries in 1939, broke “an immoral deal” with the Nazis, as Putin himself characterized it on 1 September 2009 in Poland. And who cared that a year before, in 2008, he had attacked Georgia?

One would wonder why today, at the meeting devoted to the adoption of the Third Committee Report, I am compelled to recall these history lessons.

The answer is sad, though сlear.

Impunity, to a large extent, explains why today the Third Committee is faced with a long menu of problems and complex issues.

Impunity is poisonous. It literally kills: on foreign soil - in London, Salisbury, in the air - on bord Russian passenger liners, it poisons on an enormous scale in Syria.

The Hague is a somber place, because it has seen many perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity brought to justice.

The OPCW in the Hague was surely keen to learn this Monday the names of the Russian special agents who allegedly poisoned Mr.Navalny.

About the same time the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court published her latest report, in which the Prosecutor’s “Office has concluded that there is a broad range of conduct constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the Court have been committed in the context of situation in Ukraine”. And, these findings “include crimes committed in Crimea”.

Russia may continue to pretend that there are no Russian troops in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine or that Russia is not an occupying power there.

Yet, reports of the UN Secretary-General, OHCHR, OSCE, their missions, which were invited by Ukraine, as well as the report of the ICC Prosecutor – all say the contrary. They speak the truth in facts.

Repression, depression and hopelessness – that’s all that the local population faces today in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Meanwhile, Russia continues its aggressive illegal policy of militarization of the Peninsula, exploitation of natural resources and transfer of its own population into occupied territories.

It is inevitable - all perpetrators of crimes against humanity will face their charges in the Hague! While voting on resolution “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine” please, give yourself an honest answer: are you ready to support the impunity of Russia?

Its predecessor was expelled from the League of Nations for committing the crime of aggression. And now, yet again, this country occupying a permanent seat of the UN Security Council commits the same crime against Ukraine!

I am grateful to all Member States from all regions who supported the draft in the Third Committee. It is encouraging that the text received an expanded co-sponsorship this year of more than 40 Member States. It gives hope to those of my people who still reside in the temporarily occupied Crimea and those who were forced to leave it.

I ask you to vote YES for the document L.32!I also call upon you to vote in favour of all resolutions presented today which aim to break the cycle of impunity and pursue justice for victims.

I thank you, Mr. President.