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UN GA Strengthened the Resolution on the Occupied Crimea

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The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly 75th Session approved the draft of the fifth updated and strengthened resolution “Human Rights Situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, Ukraine.”

The approval of the project is an essential contribution to the continuation of international pressure on the Russian Federation in connection with the illegal occupation and the attempts of Crimea annexation.

The document is based on the last two reports of the UN Secretary-General, presented at the request of the General Assembly, which documented the numerous facts of mass human rights violations in the occupied territories.

The main elements of the updated draft resolution were a call on the international community to strengthen cooperation, in particular within global platforms, to put pressure on Russia to force it to fulfil its international obligations as an occupying power.

Particular attention is paid to the issue of the temporarily occupied territories’ “authorities” recognition to be “the occupying power of the Russian Federation.”

The resolution states that Russia continues to engage in illegal activities under international humanitarian law, including the Russian citizens’ relocation to the peninsula and the citizenship forced changes to modify the demographic composition of the population. That harms the Crimean’s economic and social rights and forces them to leave Crimea, which is a covert form of deportation of persons protected by the Geneva Conventions under occupation.

Among the significant provisions of this year’s draft is a call for an end of criminal prosecution for evading military service, condemnation of continuing impunity for enforced disappearances, and the statement of FSB‘s role in documented cases of tortures.

Attention is focused on systemic political repressions against the Crimean Tatar people; regular unjustified harsh sentences for political prisoners; persecution of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Crimea, of journalists, including civilians; and the pandemic’s use to further human rights violations.

The resolution calls for Russia to stop gross human rights violations immediately and to ensure unhindered access to international human rights mechanisms, including the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, to the territory of the temporarily occupied peninsula.

“Ukraine is grateful to the countries that supported the draft resolution at the Third Committee meeting and to those who co-sponsored the document, and calls on all UN member states to support the resolution during the plenary session of the UN General Assembly in December,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

Natalia Tolub

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