Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC briefing on Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional and Subregional Organizations in Maintaining International Peace and Security (European Union)
(6 June 2016)
I am very pleased to welcome in the Council Ms. Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union and to thank her for the briefing. Ukraine commends significant contribution that the European Union makes in support of the maintenance of international peace and security. Today we must admit — living in turbulent times demand quick decisions and even closer cooperation. As the Secretary General pointed out recently: “The challenges are too complex for one organization or one nation to meet alone; hence there’s the need for partnerships and innovation”.
If history has any guide, we should once and for all learn the lesson that weak, slow and hesitant reaction of international community to the challenging and tragic events, in particular in Ukraine and Syria stipulated the scale and pace of consequences. Thus, the lesson here is to treat the disease, not the symptoms.
In case of Ukraine, a strategic answer should be given on the EU side to security challenges in the Eastern Partnership, originating from Russia.
We hope that the new EU Global Security Strategy will properly reflect this.
The European Union has been the UN’s most reliable partner in promoting purposes and principles of the Charter as well as strengthening respect for the rule of law. The level of cooperation between the UN and the EU has been strengthened recently and we witness tangible results in fulfillment of provisions of the UN Security Council presidential statement on institutional and strategic partnership between the United Nations and the EU adopted 2 years ago.
If we combine our joint efforts we will be able to act upon the coming reality however hard the challenge it holds and even to prevent it instead of reacting on its consequences.
The High Representative addressed in detail a lot of crises that affect our world today and where UN-EU cooperation is much needed.
I would like to comment on some of them.
We fully acknowledge that fight against terrorism requires close cooperation between the UN and its international partners, including the EU. We commend a broad engagement of the EU and its Member States in combating terrorism, including their active participation in the International Coalition against ISIL and in the work of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum. The recent EU Joint Framework on hybrid threats was an important step to this end and envisaged intensified cooperation with partners aimed at combating organized crime, terrorism, trafficking. We are ready for this kind of cooperation and await concrete proposals in particular in the field of fight against terrorism which is of particular importance for us.
Against this backdrop the comprehensive cooperation of the UN counter-terrorism bodies with the relevant EU bodies should remain a priority. The UN and the EU can mutually benefit from their extensive experience in the field of stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters and their recruitment, preventing terrorism incitement, suppression of its financing, including through the smuggling of natural resources, as well as providing counter-terrorism capacity building support to the third countries.
Ukraine fully supports the work of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and its efforts aimed at finding the long-lasting political solution to the crisis. We believe the implementation of the Vienna statement conclusions issued by ISSG on 17 May can improve the humanitarian situation in Syria and enhance efforts to achieve a political solution.
We welcome the UN’s and the EU’s readiness to provide the comprehensive humanitarian aid to the Syrian people which would contribute to the improvement of their living conditions.
Ukraine supports the key points on Syria stipulated in the conclusions of the Council of the European Union on the regional strategy for Syria, Iraq as well as the Da’esh threat (published on May 23, 2016). We believe that without strengthening the implementation and monitoring of the cessation of hostilities, secure country wide humanitarian access and making progress on the issue of detainees we would have no grounds for a credible resumption of the intra-Syrian talks.
Ukraine supports the efforts of the Government of National Accord and the Presidency Council in Libya aimed at organizing the national dialogue and strengthening the security situation. We hope that arrival of the GNA to Tripoli and start of the handover of power will result in the gradual stabilization of the country.
However, we should be aware of the challenges facing Libya now. The spread of ISIL, arms trafficking, foreign fighters training and migratory flows — all these are the issues that require immediate actions and support from the international community. In this regard, we welcome the EU’s readiness to respond to the GNA’s request for the training of the Libyan Navy and Coast Guard, and the security service, as well as its commitment to support the GNA with a €100 million package of immediate assistance in other areas.
With regard to the conflicts on African continent we welcome the reaffirmed commitment between the EU and the African Union to peace and security in conformity with the aims and principles of the United Nations Charter. The cooperation between the EU and the African Union based on the respective Roadmap for 2014–17 can really contribute to achieving results in improvement of peace and security situation, strengthening democracy, good governance and human rights, countering global and emerging issues. As a current Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013) concerning the Central African Republic, Ukraine highly values the strong engagement of the European Union in the CAR, notably the humanitarian assistance, financial contribution and the establishment of a military training mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM RCA).
Ukraine reiterates its support to the historic nuclear deal between Iran and E3/EU+3 — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — which became a milestone in strengthening the non-proliferation regime as a whole. Ukraine welcomes the choice of Iran in terms of its commitment to ensure a peaceful nuclear policy. We call upon all the sides of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to ensure its diligent implementation as well as the UN Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), including nuclear-related restrictions.
Another practical area for UN-EU cooperation is migration. To resolve this problem of global dimension we should take a global approach and work more closely to tackle reasons of illegal migration, improve our efforts in fighting trafficking of human beings, and provide people in real need of international protection, with all necessary help and assistance.
We believe, that to mitigate the migrant influx we need to stop bloodshed in Syria, just as like we need to stop Russian aggression against Ukraine, and to realign swiftly to be able to withstand blackmail and manipulation in all spheres.
We commend the EU’s efforts and dedication in contributing to peaceful resolution of conflicts and protecting universal principles of international law, including those enshrined in the UN Charter.
For my country this aspect is particularly pertinent given the attempted illegal annexation of Crimea and the ongoing military Russian aggression in the east of Ukraine.
What has happened in Ukraine over the past two years is the most serious crisis in Europe since the Second World War. It is a hybrid warfare which is already being led against all of us. And we can only counter it with bold and coherent strategy based on our joint efforts, clear understanding of the source of the threat and vision how to tackle it.
We appreciate the EU’s uncompromising position on the matter and its consistent policy of applying the whole range of political-diplomatic tools along with appropriate economic and trade measures to restore justice and correct the wrong committed by the Russian Federation.
I urge the Russian Federation to comply with the UN Charter, provisions of the UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262 “Territorial Integrity of Ukraine” as well as international treaties and to de-occupy Crimea. I also urge this state to fulfill its obligations under Minsk Agreements, including withdrawal from Ukraine of Russian weapons, its military forces and mercenaries.
I am glad that Russian delegation has finally started paying attention to the reports of the HR Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. It even mentioned some elements of the latest report. Yet, time and again it didn’t notice an “elephant” in the last and all 13 previous reports — Russia itself is the root cause of the situation in and around Ukraine. Let me quote: “The conflict broke out in spring 2014 with the influx of foreign fighters, including citizens of the Russian Federation, ammunition and heavy weaponry into east Ukraine from across the border with the Russian Federation”.
To conclude I would like to emphasize that it is only through enhanced and coordinated cooperation between the UN and the EU we could effectively counter growing number of common global challenges. Ukraine is ready to contribute to this end and at the same time looks forward to strengthened international support in countering the external aggression against its own sovereignty and independence.
I thank you.