I thank you for convening this important thematic debate.
Ukraine aligns itself with the statement made by the delegation of the European Union. At the same time I would like to make a statement in my national capacity.
Numerous conflicts in the whole world create the environment in which the UN alone cannot respond effectively to emerging threats to international peace and security.
In this regard I would like to underscore that Chapter VIII is as relevant today as ever. Regional organizations with their experience in the peaceful settlement of disputes, including through conflict prevention, confidence building and mediation are strengthening the UN’s capacity.
Deep cooperation between the UN and regional organizations is a vital element in contemporary world where the international community is facing such complexity of challenges. We firmly support the efforts made by the United Nations to strengthen its relations with the regional organizations with the ultimate goal of achieving a concrete positive impact on the political and socioeconomic development of the regions.
In 2015 we are marking the 70th anniversary since the end of World War II and of signing the Charter of the United Nations. Throughout these 70 years the United Nations has faced numerous and complex challenges including terrorism and extremism, conflicts, poverty, unemployment, inequality, climate change etc. Unfortunately, today we can add to this list a brutal violation of the UN Charter by one of the UN SC permanent members.
Soon it will be one year and a half that Ukraine has become a subject to the Russian aggression. You are well aware of the outcomes – Crimea and Sevastopol has been forcibly annexed, Donbas has been plunged into violence with thousands of killed, over a million of displaced and regional infrastructure destroyed.
The OSCE contribution has been an important part of the international community’s response to the threats stemming from the Russian aggression against Ukraine. We highly appreciate the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s work in line with the agreed mandate that covers the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. The Mission enjoys full support of Ukraine in implementation of its tasks, in particular those related to monitoring and verification under the Minsk agreements.
We regret that despite significant international efforts the situation on the ground remains tense and volatile with casualties among the Ukrainian servicemen and the civilians on the rise due to the surge of the activity of the Russia-backed militants.
Although we have made an active use of the UN and OSCE crisis mechanisms, it did not prevent the illegal occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol, as well as direct Russian military involvement in Donbas. Moreover, Russia continues to consolidate its aggression despite its own commitments on de-escalation under the Minsk agreements.
In current circumstances, we believe that the capacity of the OSCE SMM should be strengthened including by means of increasing the level of cooperation with the United Nations. In this respect we look forward to hear from the Secretary General on how the UN can assist the OSCE in contributing to the Minsk agreements implementation, namely on his idea to establish relevant UN Office in Ukraine.
The development of a strong partnership between the United Nations and the European Union is increasingly critical as global crises intensify in complexity and multiply in scope.
In case of the EU, it might go through making effective use of the existing Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) tools, including by linking these better to the EU’s foreign affairs, humanitarian assistance and solidarity.
In terms of the Russian aggression in Ukraine we still think that the EU CSDP crises management operation could be one of the proper solutions allowing not only maintaining peace and security, but also facilitating political processes; protecting civilians and human rights; assisting in restoring the rule of law. We believe that should this suggestion of my country be implemented it could enhance the arsenal of the measures already in place to make Russia live by rules and in peace with neighbors.
I would like to underscore that Ukraine fully recognizes the important role the OSCE plays in observing the implementation of the Minsk agreements. At the same time, achieving comprehensive settlement and lasting peace in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions requires additional efforts, including the involvement of available international means and tools.
In recent years, cooperation between the United Nations and GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova), which Ukraine chairs this year, has developed with the Resolution on UN-GUAM cooperation, adopted at the last GA session. As an example, the ongoing projects with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime could be mentioned, such as the Afghan Opiate Trade Project of the UNODC and the joint GUAM/UNODC project entitled “Strengthening capacities of the GUAM member States to cooperate at the national and regional levels in combating money laundering as well as in seizing and confiscating crime proceeds”. GUAM also has the intention to develop cooperation with the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
Political cooperation of GUAM Member States is based on their common vision and well-rooted traditions. Statutory Documents and Summit Declarations of GUAM are in tune with UN basic approaches to regional cooperation, creating political stability and economic prosperity, allowing universal values to take hold and establishing a peaceful and promising civil society that enables personal fulfillment.
All of our member states suffer from unresolved conflicts, some of which have decades of record. These conflicts undermine peace, security and cooperation with their impact both at the regional level as well as in transatlantic dimension. Triggered from outside and accompanied by foreign military interference, these conflicts could find peaceful resolution exclusively on the basis of the generally accepted norms and principles of international law, particularly those related to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states concerned within their internationally recognized borders.
The activities of GUAM during the ongoing Ukrainian chairmanship have encompassed a number of projects and programs, aimed at creation of the zone of stability and cooperation in the Region.
As already mentioned, after occupation of Crimea, Ukraine has been facing an expanded Russian aggression of hybrid character on its eastern borders, which is accompanied by unprecedented media campaign. Therefore, we are looking forward to meet further support of the GUAM efforts more than ever, which would be aimed, first of all, at capacity building of its member-states. It is also a matter of crucial importance to keep pace with and increase the dynamic of projects on facilitation of economic sector as well as security measures.
I thank you.