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Interactive Dialouge on Ukraine

Mr. President,

We thank Assistant Secretary General Mr. Simonovic for his report.

Norway welcomes the continued engagement of the OHCHR with Ukraine. The involvement of impartial international institutions like the OHCHR provides valuable guidance to the parties to the conflict and to the international community, in the efforts to end the violence and resolve the conflict.

The High Commissioner`s last report confirms that the situation for human rights in the areas affected by the conflict is deeply disturbing. We are particularly concerned by the situation in the rebel-held areas where grave violations are reportedly widespread.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has observed a persistent pattern of arbitrary detention by Ukrainian law enforcement officials and military and paramilitary units. This is often accompanied by torture and ill-treatment of detainees, and violations of their procedural rights. Similar practices persist in rebel-held territories. Regardless of their affiliation, all perpetrators must be held accountable.

We welcome Ukraine's ratification of the international convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance. We would appreciate the assessment by Mr. Simonovic regarding steps taken to ensure that such practices be brought to an end? Moreover, the Code of Criminal Procedure, which entered into force in 2012, responded to some of the concerns expressed by UN human rights mechanisms. Implementation is, however, key. We would be interested in an assessment of any positive changes in Ukrainian criminal procedure since the Code entered into force, and about the most central challenges in that area.

Finally, we recognise challenges posed by persistent propaganda, hate speech and calls for violence in the present situation in Ukraine. We are, however, concerned with the recent decision by the Ukrainian parliament to prohibit the involvement in broadcasting activities of foreign nationals from countries that Ukraine considers as aggressors. Such measures could undermine a free press. We urge the Government of Ukraine to ensure that the freedom of media is not compromised