The UN General Assembly at its 65th plenary session adopted the resolution, titled "Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)" by a majority vote on December 19. Seventy UN member states voted in favor, and 77 abstained. Traditionally, Russia, Belarus, Serbia, China, Armenia and several African delegations voted against it.
“The human rights situation in Crimea can be described as the suppression of dissenters. Only Russia has not agreed with the paragraphs of the resolution in Geneva. Here, in the General Assembly, we should recall the words of the great Martin Luther King, "we will remember not the voice of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." I urge all delegates to pay attention to the catastrophic human rights situation in Crimea,” a delegate from Ukraine said in his speech.
At the same time, the representative of the Russian delegation said that Ukraine, through the resolution on human rights in Crimea, is trying to distract world public opinion from the "internal conflict" and to "avoid compliance with the Minsk agreements."
“We have already provided all our arguments with regard to the resolution on human rights in Crimea. The resolution was only necessary in order to exploit the image of Russia as an enemy and aggressor against the background of internal conflict. We hope that the resolution on Crimea will not be accepted in this assembly hall, and attention will be paid to the south-eastern regions of Ukraine, where the rights of local residents are systematically violated,” said a delegate from Russia.
As QHA reported earlier, on November 15, the UN Third Committee adopted the draft resolution on the human rights situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine), confirming the support of Ukraine in the return of the peninsula. A total of 73 countries voted for the draft resolution, 23 against it, and 76 abstained.
The new resolution differs significantly from that adopted by the UN General Assembly in March 2014. This document with such concepts as "annexation" and "occupation" of Crime is much tougher than the previous one. Moreover, the following important messages to the occupant were included in the project:
- It is necessary to stop any violence towards the residents of Crimea, including the illegal detention of activists and inhuman treatment inflicted on them, as well as to withdraw all discriminatory laws;
- to release all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens;
- to provide the necessary conditions for the work of journalists and representatives of human rights organizations in Crimea;
- authors of the resolution refer to the newly elected Secretary General of the United Nations with a request to find ways and means that will enable easy access to Crimea for international organizations (such as the Council of Europe and the OSCE), providing the access of international human rights defenders to the peninsula.
To obtain the status of the resolution the document should be finally approved at the plenary session of the UN General Assembly.