As delivered by Minister Counsellor Herborg F. Alvsaaker.
Check against delivery
We welcome Ukraine’s reform efforts and their cooperation with the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The High Commissioner’s report documents continued arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment in the conflict. Allegations of human rights abuses must be investigated. Any violations must be prosecuted.
The situation in the self-proclaimed republics is particularly serious. The de facto authorities must take responsibility for the safety and rights of civilians in the areas under their control. Independent observers should be granted access to all detainees.
Protecting civilians must be a priority for all parties. Mining and placing of weapons in densely populated areas must be stopped immediately, including targeting civilian buildings and infrastructure.
The Government of Ukraine must ensure freedom of expression and investigate all attacks against journalists. Freedom of peaceful assembly must be protected. Looking to next year’s elections, the role of the vibrant civil society of Ukraine must be safeguarded, ensuring inclusive and transparent elections.
Furthermore, we call on the government and all leading politicians of Ukraine to publicly defend human rights, in particular the rights of all minorities.
More than four years after the Russian Federation’s illegal annexation of Crimea, the human rights situation in the peninsula is deteriorating. Again, we call on the Russian Federation to allow unimpeded access for UN and other international organisations and observers, and to respect Ukrainian laws in accordance with international humanitarian law.