Statement of Mr. Sergiy Kyslystya
Head of the Delegation of Ukraine at the
195thsession of the Executive Board
(21 October 2014)
Thank you, Mr. President,
Madam Director General,
Dear Colleagues, Members of the Executive Council,
Current world trends prompt substantial changes for the new development agenda. The post-2015 agenda is faced with the need to address such challenges as urbanization, environmental degradation, climate change, conflict, post-conflict and post-disaster situations, increasing inequalities, persisting poverty and illiteracy.
The number of threats rises constantly. The Ebola virus epidemic is one of such recent manifestations.
We insist that the methods of work of this Organization should be in coherence with these challenges and new possibilities that the 21st century offers us, especially the ICTs.
The methods of work of the last century despite possible sentimental attachment to them should be reviewed and some of them abandoned. They are not only unaffordable but also obsolete.
To be able to respond to these challenges and ensure proper functioning of the Organization, addressing budget issues is of crucial importance.
However, we have to be very careful when increasing financing and expenditures. Only when all optimization and better management measures are exhausted it may be feasible. In this regard we see a lot of sense in what UK and Dutch delegations suggested on the issue of budget.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Gender equality and empowerment of women is one of the two global priorities of UNESCO. It is time to address it by practical actions and, by no means, not to economize on this particular priority as many of us recognize that it’s not only our duty in terms of human rights, but also a key precondition for sustainable development.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Education is a top priority and one of the Millennium Development Goals to be dealt with in the first instance. It is important not only to eradicate illiteracy and ensure universal access to primary education, but to provide quality education.
We are convinced that UNESCO could lead the process of elaboration of a comprehensive vision of a 21st century educational paradigm. With many unaddressed problems in this important area, Ukraine suggests examining its proposal entitled “Development of lifelong learning systems for all, based on qualitatively new models of education and alternative electronic systems for lifelong learning”.
A lot has been done by UNESCO, together with many governments and donors, to support cultural and educational institutions in Iraq. These efforts should be further upheld and continued as well as those aimed at preserving Iraqi cultural heritage. Many delegations, including ours have already welcomed and supported the proposal of France and Iraq.
Mr. President, Dear Colleagues,
On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Organization we still face a lot of conflicts. As you well know, my country is suffering from one of them.
Over seven months ago the Russian Federation occupied and annexed Crimea. The UN General Assembly didn’t recognize any change in the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which remains an integral part of Ukraine. It was clearly stated in the UNGA resolution “Territorial Integrity of Ukraine” of March 2014. It is also an invariable position of the EU and it has been upheld by the Council of Europe among other on several occasions.
I am glad that Executive Board of UNESCO also took a relevant decision at its previous session.
In light of the situation in Crimea after the annexation, the Board invited the Director General to follow up on it in UNESCO’s fields of competence and report back to this session.
In this regard I shall name only a few of the many glaring pieces of evidence of massive violations of human rights on the peninsula, particularly in the humanitarian sphere.
Minorities in Crimea, notably Crimean Tatars, are subject of intimidation and persecution and do not have opportunities to study in their mother tongue.
There is, to date, not a single school with Ukrainian language as the medium of instruction. Parents and students were intimidated in order to make them switch from their native Ukrainian language to Russian.
The Faculty of Ukrainian Philology of the Vernadsky Tauride University in Simferopol was shut down.
All media in Crimea is controlled by the Russian authorities, free journalists are threatened and any voices in support of Ukraine are suppressed.
Oleh Sentsov, abducted Ukrainian film director is now being held in Moscow for his active pro-Ukrainian views.
We express our protest against the orders given recently by the President of Russia to its Government to include the Ukrainian site "Tauric Chersonese" in the state Register of valuable cultural heritage sites belonging to the peoples of the Russian Federation.
Monsieur le Président,
Permettez-moi de saisir cette occasion pour exprimer également notre gratitude aux représentants des pays-membres de l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie pour le soutien de cette Organisation manifesté lors de l’adoption par le Conseil Permanent de la Francophonie à sa quatre-vingt douzième session fin juin dernier d’une résolution sur la situation en Ukraine.
L’Ukraine a soumis à l’examen de l’actuelle session du Conseil Exécutif un projet de résolution.
Nous vous serions très réconnaissant de l’appuyer.
Je remercie vivement toutes les délégations qui l’ont déjà fait en cosignant le texte.
Merci de votre attention.