Thank you for holding today’s open debate on this highly important issue of displaced women and girls.
We would also like to thank Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as well as other presenters for their substantive briefings.
Ukraine welcomes the adoption of the presidential statement earlier today.
Aligning itself with the statement made by the Delegation of the European Union, my delegation wishes to share some of its observations in its national capacity.
The year of 2014 marks fourteen years since the adoption of the Security Council landmark resolution 1325 (2000) establishing the basis for the women, peace and security agenda and calling for the special protection and the full and equal participation of women in all conflict prevention, resolution and post-conflict peacebuilding efforts.
Ukraine remains fully committed to the implementation of the above resolution, as well as to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the outcome documents of the Beijing Conference and the twenty-third special session of the UN General Assembly.
A national action plan in accordance with Security Council resolution 1325 to promote women’s equal and full participation as active agents in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace-building and peacekeeping, as well as incorporate gender perspective in all areas of peace building, is being developed by the Government of Ukraine, in close consultations with the UN agencies and civil society.
The action plan will provide for a number of practical steps aimed at promoting women’s greater participation in political, economic, and social life, as well as addressing the current challenges faced by women and girls, first and foremost those caused by the ongoing foreign aggression against our country.
Despite certain set-backs affecting women in Ukraine, including the budget cuts caused by more than six months of the foreign aggression, Ukraine, in close cooperation with its international partners, is making efforts to address imbalances based on gender and review its gender policies with the view to promoting the effective participation of women in public and political life and to empower them.
Ukrainian society is consolidated. Our country is strongly committed to build on this momentum inspired by our European choice to ensure access to crucial services for those women and girls who are currently internally displaced and, ultimately, establish women in Ukraine as equal and active members of the society able to lead and coordinate in promoting their rights
In its recent report the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine finds that, in the Donetsk region, women comprise 15 per cent of those killed and 15 per cent of those wounded as a result of the conflict. Women who remained in the area are forced to clean, cook and wash clothes for the members of illegal armed groups supported by Russia. Groups of volunteers helping to evacuate people received first-hand reports of rape or detention of women at check-points. There have also been incidents of abductions of women, by illegal armed groups, whose whereabouts remain unknown.
We are particularly alarmed by the facts of abduction of people in the territory of Ukraine and their subsequent illegal transfer to the Russian Federation for interrogation. Ukrainian servicewoman Nadiya Savchenko captured in the Luhansk region in July this year, without any legal grounds, remains in a detention facility in the Russian Federation subjected to inhuman practices which constitute a flagrant violation of international law and obligations under bilateral treaties. We demand the immediate release of Nadiya Savchenko and will make everything possible to ensure that those involved in her abduction and illegal detention are brought to justice.
This morning Russian delegation stated that “currently there are 830.000 Ukrainian refugees on the Russian territory”. This number cannot be trusted since it is not independently verified and comes from the only source – Russian Federation itself.
Yet what Russian delegation forgot to mention in the first place is that the situation with the IDPs in Ukraine is of Russia’s own making. It is a direct consequence of its aggression against Ukraine which started with invasion and occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, an integral part of Ukraine, and went on with creating and now fuelling conflict in the East of Ukraine.
It also did not mention that, according to the UN Secretary-General, his Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and other authoritative sources, at this stage humanitarian situation is being managed properly by the Government of Ukraine, in coordination with our international partners. It is exactly in this context that we provided every assistance to one of today’s briefers, Mr. Chaloka Beyani, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs, during his visit to Ukraine.
According to the latest official statistics, the number of IDPs in Ukraine is 275,489 people. Two-thirds of adult IDPs are women. The Government fully realizes their specific needs, as most IDP families include elderly and unaccompanied women with children. National law on IDPs was adopted on 20 October this year. The law is aimed at ensuring the rights and freedoms of IDPs, including women, and addressing key issues in this area, including through facilitating humanitarian assistance. Measures in order to strengthen the capacity of our communities to absorb IDPs are being undertaken by the Government. Issue of IDP women will be of our particular concern in the course of elaborating, adopting and implementing the national action plan in accordance with Security Council resolution 1325.
The Russian delegation also forgot to mention its so-called humanitarian convoys sent to Ukraine in clear violation of the international and national law, in a unilateral and shadowy manner without ICRC oversight, let alone Ukrainian Government consent. Should Moscow proceed with the fourth such convoy as it has announced today it will be yet another violation of the UN Charter.
Time and again we stress that the only way that Russia can contribute to the alleviation of the humanitarian situation it has created in the east of Ukraine is to stop waging a hybrid war against my country, to halt sponsoring and arming terrorists, to fully withdraw its troops and mercenaries and to establish effective and verifiable border control.
I thank you, Madame President.