Statement by UN Watch
Agenda Item 10, UNHRC 35th Session
21st June 2017
Delivered by David Mendoza-Wolfson

Thank you, Mr President.

“There are many sick people walking around with guns these days. No UN or OSCE can protect us. If they want to kill us, they will just come. Who can protect us from this?”

So said a resident of a village near the contact line, in Russian-occupied South-Eastern Ukraine, as reported in the High Commissioner’s report.

“Who can protect us from this?” This—being the indiscriminate shelling, torture and extrajudicial killings, that have led to 193 confirmed civilian casualties in the last three months. This—the 34,000 casualties since the beginning of this conflict.

While the High Commissioner’s report cites violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law, and while killings and torture are on the rise, United Nations Watch is concerned that this Council continues to treat such gross abuses under Agenda Item 10, as a mere matter of technical assistance.

We ask: Technical assistance to whom? To the Russian-appointed leader of the so-called Republic of Crimea, who is crushing the rights of Crimean Tartars, and who has stated that homosexuals in Crimea “have no chance”?

Does the High Commissioner agree that Russian-occupied Crimea and South-Eastern Ukraine ought really to be addressed under Agenda Item 4, together with serious matters such as the situation in Assad’s Syria, a regime being maintained by Russia’s support?

While the people of Ukraine ask “Who can protect us” from the gross violations being perpetrated by Russia, we ask the United Nations: Are you doing your utmost to protect innocent lives in South-Eastern Ukraine and Crimea?

Thank you, Mr President.

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