On October 10, 2016, Representative of Ukraine to the UNESCO Executive Board, Deputy Foreign Minister, Head of the National Commission for UNESCO Sergiy Kyslytsya delivered a speech at the 200th session of the Executive Board, a member of which is Ukraine.
Sergiy Kyslytsya underlined the importance of joint international efforts for deoccupation by Russia of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.
“Establishing the effective monitoring by UNESCO in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is an indicator of the capacity of this Organization to respond adequately to the most complex challenges of our time,” stated Sergiy Kyslytsya.
The head of the delegation of Ukraine itemized the facts of human rights violations on the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine – Crimea, illicit export from Ukraine of the archaeological finds as well as pieces of art such as paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky from the collection of the Aivazovsky National Art Gallery in Feodosia.
The Representative of Ukraine to the UNESCO Executive Council stressed the conservation of cultural heritage and minority rights and freedoms to belong directly to the competence of UNESCO and urged the member states to respond adequately to violations by the Russian Federation.
Furthermore, in the light of the case of the journalist Roman Suschenko, illegally detained in Russia, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine appealed to his Russian counterpart, Permanent Representative of Russia to UNESCO O.Kuznetsov, with the request to deliver to the Russian law enforcement agencies the demand to release R.Suschenko immediately and to stop the shameful practice of harassment and intimidation of journalists.
The 200th session of the UNESCO Executive Board is held from 4 to 18 October, 2016 in Paris. Following the session, Ukraine expects the concrete steps to be taken by the UNESCO Secretariat in the implementation of previous decisions of the Executive Board concerning providing the permanent monitoring mechanism of UNESCO to follow up the situation in the occupied Crimea.