According to the decision, the Director-General of UNESCO will present a progress report on this issue at the next session of the Executive Board in April 2017. A monitoring mission is expected to be sent to Crimea to develop recommendations to address pressing challenges in the temporarily occupied territory within the competence of UNESCO.
Decision was preceded by consideration of the relevant report by the Director-General of UNESCO (unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002457/245703e.pdf, p.41) at the meeting of the Commission on the programs and external relations, which took place at the session on October 11. The report covers the activities of the UNESCO Secretariat, and information about events in Crimea and Sevastopol, provided by the Ukraine, as well as international UNESCO partner organizations.
The document stresses that the situation on the peninsula within the competence of UNESCO continues to deteriorate after the illegal Russia’s occupation.
Presenting the report, the representative of the UNESCO Director-General announced his intention to cooperate with Ukraine and explore the possibility of introducing a direct monitoring of the situation on the peninsula in the fields of UNESCO competence.
No country supported the proposal of the Russian delegation to submit the draft decision entitled "Monitoring the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)" to the vote. Thus, for the first time the decision on issue of the monitoring the situation in temporarily occupied Crimea considered by the Executive Board was adopted by consensus.
Speaking after adoption of the decision, a member of the Ukrainian delegation - the Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov - gave evidence of gross human rights violations by the occupying Russian authorities in the sphere of UNESCO competence, in particular, with regard to Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians. He stressed that the Russian ban on the activities of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis is the worst example of the occupants’ policy.
Refat Chubarov welcomed the intention of the Director-General to explore the possibility of organizing direct monitoring of the situation in Crimea and Sevastopol by UNESCO.
“Ukraine expects that such monitoring activities will be ongoing and comprehensive. We are ready to continue and intensify our dialogue with the Secretariat, members of the Executive Board and UNESCO Member States to ensure the conversion of said intentions into action,” said a member of the Ukrainian delegation.
The delegations of the United States and the EU welcomed the intention to introduce direct monitoring by the UNESCO on the peninsula and reaffirmed their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.