December 20, 2017
AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS UKRAINE AT UNITED NATIONS ON
CONDEMNING RUSSIA’S VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN CRIMEA
On December 19, 2017 the United Nations (UN) General Assembly endorsed the updated resolution “The Situation of Human Rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol (Ukraine).
The resolution was moved by Ukraine with the support of 70 countries including of Australia.
The resolution confirms that there is an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
In part the document –
- condemns the retroactive application by the Russian Federation of its laws in the occupied territory, as well as the compulsory naturalization of Ukrainian citizens.
- demands that Russia fulfils the interim decision of the International Court of Justice on the restoration of rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens on the peninsula.
- that the Russian occupation authorities ensure the educational process in Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages in the area.
- calls for simplifying procedures for unhindered access to Crimea for journalists and human rights activists,
- calls for an immediate end to all rights violations, including “arbitrary detentions, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” and demands that Russia fulfill the interim decision of the International Court of Justice on the restoration of rights and freedoms for Ukrainian citizens on the peninsula.
- urges Russia to revoke its decision declaring the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatar people’s assembly, an extremist organization and banning its activities. It also called on Moscow to reverse other limitations imposed on Crimean Tatars.
- condemns Russia for failing to provide access to Crimea for the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission while it commends Ukraine for providing unhindered access to Crimea for journalists and human rights activists, and for supporting media and non-governmental organizations that were forced out of Crimea after Russia’s takeover.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in its media release stated:
“The UN General Assembly once again condemns the temporary occupation of the Crimean Peninsula by the Russian Federation and does not recognize the attempts of its annexation by the invading state. We welcome the fact that this year the General Assembly also expressed its support for the efforts to liberate Crimea from the occupation.”
“It appears that world has forgotten that there is a war in Eastern Ukraine, that Russian aggression and the annexation of Crimea by Russia continue. The situation in Ukraine has fallen off the radar, yet daily, soldiers and civilians are killed in conflicts.” Stefan Romaniw Chairman of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) said today
“Human rights must be upheld. The international community endeavors to expose violations daily. This resolution and the human rights violations by Russia in Crimea are no less important,” Mr. Romaniw said.
“The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) extends its thanks to the Australian Government and especially the Head of Mission at the United Nations H.E Gillian Bird for supporting Ukraine on this major issue and many others,” Mr. Romaniw said.
Notwithstanding the external pressure by Russia to convince countries not to support this resolution only 26 countries voted against. 77 countries abstained.
“Through our international structures we now have the challenge of convincing those who ‘did not want to get involved’ by abstaining, to realize that Russian aggression in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea are acts of violation of international conventions and must be condemned,” Mr. Romaniw said.
“Today we are fighting a war of values and those responsible for upholding internationally accepted conventions, principles and values, who are charged with trying to negotiate world peace cannot stand idle, but must take a stand,” Mr. Romaniw said.
“The AFUO calls on representatives of those countries who abstained to reconsider their position and support Ukraine and the 70 other countries in defending the human rights that are being violated in Crimea,” Mr. Romaniw said.
The AFUO has written to The Hon Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations H.E. Ms Gillian Bird thanking them for Australia’s support.
Further information Stefan Romaniw 0419 531 255