This statement is delivered on behalf of 43 countries.
1. We commend the continuing efforts of Ukraine to promote and protect human rights on all of its territory within its internationally recognized borders as recognized by General Assembly resolution 68/262 of 27 March 2014 and welcome the cooperation of the Government of Ukraine with the OHCHR and its Human Rights Monitoring Mission deployed in the country on the Government’s invitation in March 2014, which has included technical assistance.
2. We also welcome the cooperation of the Government of Ukraine with the special procedures of the Human Rights Council, in line with Ukraine’s standing invitation, and encourage continued cooperation in this regard, including appropriate follow-up to the visits undertaken so far.
3. We welcome the steps taken by Ukraine in the human rights sphere, including the adoption of an important anti-corruption law package and the development of National Human Rights Strategy, which anticipates a National Action Plan for Human Rights. We also welcome Ukraine’s commitments to continue impartial investigations into all alleged human rights violations and abuses perpetrated since theMaidan protests, to ensure
4. Notwithstanding existing challenges in the field of security, Ukraine has embarked on the path of comprehensive reforms based on respect for human rights. Ukraine is carrying out its policies of implementing human rights obligations and commitments, including those related to minorities’ rights as well as to sexual and gender-based violence, in close collaboration with the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and other relevant organizations.
5. We are seriously concerned that the occupation and illegal and illegitimate self-declared “annexation” of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the Russian Federation and hostile actions by Russia-backed illegal armed groups in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions causing the human rights situation in the country to worsen. We express our deep regret for the human losses and other human rights violations and abuses as a result of these actions which also prevent both the opportunity for providing technical assistance and monitoring the human rights situation on these parts of Ukraine’s territory.
6. In this regard we emphasize the crucial need for all parties to implement the Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014, Minsk Memorandum of 19 September 2014, and the “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements”, signed in Minsk on 12 February 2015 and endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2202 (2015). We consider adherence to the agreed Package as a key condition for restoring law and order and improving thehumanitarian and human rights situation in the affected territories. We express our grave concern over the continuation of the conflict, which further exacerbates the human rights situation in Ukraine and has a significant negative impact not only at the national level but also regionally. We appeal to all parties to provide release and exchange of all hostages and illegally held persons, based on the principle of "all for all" as envisaged by the Minsk agreement.
7. We call on the Russian Federation which signed the Package of Measures and joined the Declaration, to use all ofits influence to press the illegal armed groups to fully comply with the Minsk Agreements and immediately halt their ceasefire breaches asdocumented by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. We condemn in the strongest terms the violence and abuses committed by the aforementioned illegal
8. The situation in the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea is deeply worrying and requires the focused attention of the international community. The recent arrest of one of the leaders of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Mr. Ahtem Ciygoz, on unsubstantiated charges of organizing mass disturbances that followed a police raid at the offices of ATR, the only Crimean Tatar TV Channel in Simferopol once again proves the occupation authorities’ intention to oppress further the Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians as well as members of other national and religious minorities on the peninsula.
9. We express our deepest concern regarding the continuing detention in Moscow since last July of Nadiya Savchenko, member of the Parliament of Ukraine and Ukrainian delegate to the PACE. Ms.Savchenko was seized in Ukraine and forcibly transferred to the Russian Federation. She resorted to a hunger strike to protest her continuing detention, and her health condition is extremely worrying. We are also concerned over the fate of other Ukrainians detained on the territory of the Russian Federation and in some cases deprived of Ukrainian citizenship, as has been the case of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov. We strongly urge the Russian authorities to release them immediately and call on the international community to increase its pressure on Russia to this end.
10. To ensure better fulfillment of its human rights obligations, Ukraine needs appropriate technical assistance.
11. Accordingly, we commend Ukraine’s openness for collaboration with all international human rights mechanisms; we call upon all relevant international institutions and interested Member States to work together to continue providing necessary technical assistance to Ukraine.
List of countries: Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America