On 29 October 2020, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Chairperson of the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO Emine Dzhaparova addressed the 11th Information Meeting on monitoring the situation in the occupied Crimea and the city of Sevastopol within UNESCO’s mandate.
Due to the restrictive epidemiological measures, the meeting was held online. Among the other participants were Assistant Director-General of UNESCO Firmin Edouard Matoko, representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, OSCE, ICOMOS, Amnesty International and member states of UNESCO.
During the meeting, Emine Dzhaparova informed the participants about the continuous worsening of the situation on the occupied peninsula in all areas of UNESCO’s mandate. She mentioned the concrete facts of ongoing violations of human rights by the occupying authorities, oppression of national minorities, repressive policy against media freedom, the safety of journalists, the suppression of education in the languages of persons belonging to national minorities, the actual blocking of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church activity and other violations of international law and the Geneva Conventions in particular.
Emine Dzhaparova stressed that the occupying authority puts innocent people behind bars under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Most of them are Crimean Tatars.
The First Deputy Minister asked UNESCO and its partners to continue the monitoring of the situation in the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea, where rights and freedoms, cultural heritage, and other UNESCO’s values are threatened by the actions of the occupying authorities. Emine Dzhaparova noted that Ukraine will continue to take necessary steps to protect the cultural heritage in the occupied Crimea.
Emine Dzhaparova also informed about the establishment of the Crimean Platform that will be used as a new format initiative for consolidating international efforts in response to the deteriorating situation on the occupied peninsula. She emphasized the importance of UNESCO’s involvement into the implementation of activities within the Platform that will aim at protecting cultural heritage, ethnic diversity, and of other activities within UNESCO’s mandate.
During the meeting, a joint statement was issued emphasizing the importance of full implementation of UNESCO Executive Board’s decisions regarding monitoring of the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea in order to analyze the state of affairs in the field of science, communication and information. The results of already completed missions to Ukraine should also be taken into consideration. The statement also stressed that UNESCO should act in accordance with the UNGA resolution 28/262 of 27 March 2014 entitled “Territorial Integrity of Ukraine”.