I wish to thank you for convening this highly important meeting.
Aligning itself with the statement by the Delegation of the European Union, Ukraine would like to intervene in its national capacity.
Today, on the eve of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Ukraine resolutely condemns anti-Semitism both at national and international levels, as well as any other acts of intolerance. We share the concern of international community over the growing number of instances of anti-Semitism, and express our solidarity with the Jewish communities worldwide.
70 years ago the Auschwitz – a major site of the Nazi so called “Final Solution to the Jewish question” – was liberated. However recent incidents have highlighted the fact that the scourge of anti-Semitism is on the rise today. We must unite our efforts to put an end to the intolerance and hatred instilling fear among Jews and members of other minorities around the world.
Ukraine does not and will never tolerate anti-Semitism, xenophobia and intolerance on the basis of race, descent, national or ethnic origin. The Government is doing its utmost to combat discrimination and intolerance in all its forms and manifestations. Ukraine’s law enforcement authorities promptly and adequately react to any manifestation of anti-Semitism. In recent years, a number of important steps have been taken to foster our efforts in this sphere:
• the Security Service of Ukraine established a special Department for combating xenophobia and anti-Semitism; a similar unit was established at the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine;
• the Law of Ukraine on the Principles of Combating and Preventing Discrimination adopted in accordance with the international obligations of Ukraine is being fully implemented by the Government of Ukraine. The Law provides for legal instruments of preventing and combating any form of discrimination with a view to guaranteeing to the citizens of Ukraine equal terms for exercising their basic human rights and freedoms;
According to the recent statistics, the number of manifestations of anti-Semitism in Ukraine continues to decline. Occasional acts of violence toward Jews are very rare, thoroughly investigated and, as a rule, have no correlation with the ethnicity of individuals involved.
We are proud that Jews were standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukrainians during the Revolution of Dignity in Kyiv in 2013-2014 defending their dignity, rights and freedoms.
Today Jews are widely represented in the Government of Ukraine and regional authorities.
Ukraine is further stepping up efforts to implement its international commitments in combating anti-Semitism. We are pleased to announce that a Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine dealing with the issue of preventing and combating anti-Semitism will be appointed shortly. This would be yet another practical step to ensure that no anti-Semitic discrimination and violence can be accepted and tolerated in our society and state.
I am proud that 2459 of my compatriots were recognized as the Righteous among the Nations for saving Jews during Holocaust. Many of them - posthumously. Among them are outstanding personalities of the Ukrainian Greek - Catholic Church: Climent and Andriy Sheptyskiy.
I thank you, Mr. President.