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Ukraine





1. Latest developments at the Security Council Retour à la table des matières

- The Security Council held a public meeting on 24 June 2014 on the political and human rights situation in Ukraine. The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs said there were encouraging signs of de-escalation since the election of Mr Petro Poroshenko, such as the announcement of a cease-fire until 27 June. Realities on the ground remained preoccupying: the eight OSCE observers were still held hostage since the end of May.

Mr Ivan Simonovic, Deputy Secretary-General for Human Rights, presented the third monthly report of the United Nations Observation Mission in Ukraine. He underlined that progress remained slow. Violations of human rights were the most serious in Eastern Ukraine: the number of hostages, wounded, displaced and killed was growing. He reminded the importance of helping the Ukrainian government in reestablishing peace and security on the ground.

The Permanent Representative of France expressed concern at the worsening of the security and human rights situation in the Lougansk and Donetsk region. He commended the election of Mr Poroshenko as well as his decision to implement a peace plan and a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine.

The Permanent Representative of Ukraine called on all his international partners to support the peace process based on the 17 April Geneva Communiqué.

- On 16 June 2014, the Security Council held private consultations on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. Ms Valerie Amos, Director of OCHA, briefed the Council via video conference from her Geneva office.

The Permanent Representative of France expressed concern at the growing humanitarian needs because of the separatist violence in the East and because of the situation in Crimea. Nonetheless, he underlined that Ms Amos stated that the current situation was not a humanitarian “crisis” at this stage. He commended the work of NGOs on the ground, especially the ICRC (International Committee of the Red-Cross) and DWB (Doctors Without Borders). He called for a quick political settlement, through disarmament of the militias.

- Following the Ukrainian presidential elections on 25 May, the Security Council held a public meeting on 28 May 2014 on the political situation in Ukraine.

Mr Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, stated that the elections went well according to the international observers present on the ground. The Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, had spoken with the elected President, Mr Porochenko, earlier that day. Mr Porochenko wanted to act quickly in order to guide Ukraine towards democratic independence. Despite this new chapter, Mr Feltman expressed concern about tensions and violence that were still happening in eastern Ukraine.

The Permanent Representative of France commended the election of Mr Porochenko whose legitimacy had been confirmed by international observers. However, he expressed concern at the recent surge of violence in Donetsk and Lougansk. He called for a de-escalation of the situation and for reconciliation between all parties.

- The Security Council held private consultations on 21 May 2014 in order to hear the reports of Mr Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, and of Mr Oscar Fernandez Taranco, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, on the situation in Ukraine. Mr Simonovic reported a deterioration of the human rights situation in Ukraine since his first report in March. Mr Taranco mentioned a tense political situation in eastern Ukraine.

The Permanent Representative of France encouraged a political solution to the crisis. He called for de-escalation. He supported the recommendations from the OSCE mission in Ukraine and reminded of the importance of the presidential elections to come on 25 May.

- On 2 Mai 2014, the members of the Security Council met in a public meeting to hear Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, on the latest developments of the crisis in Ukraine.

Mr. Feltman noted the deep concern of the Secretary General at the deterioration in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. A growing number of buildings were under the control of armed groups, in particular in Slavyansk, occupied by insurgents since 12 April and where 7 OSCE observers were still held hostage, despite calls for their immediate and unconditional release. The crisis has also worsened in Donetsk where, on 1st May, separatists seized the Attorney General’s office. Mr. Feltman called all parties for the utmost restraint. A diplomatic solution was the only way out of the crisis.

The Permanent Representative of Russia indicated that consequences for Ukraine would be catastrophic if Kiev continued to use its forces in Eastern Ukraine. The other members of the Security Council, including France, called for de-escalation, free elections under international supervision and negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.

- In the context of the worsening of the situation in Eastern Ukraine, the Security Council held a public meeting on 29 April 2014.

Mr Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, reported on the occupation of public buildings and the confrontation between pro-Russians and pro-Ukrainians. The UN strongly condemned the hostage taking of OSCE representatives by pro-Russians armed groups. Mr Feltman regretted that the joint Geneva statement of 17 April had not been implemented.

The Permanent Representative of France strongly condemned the kidnapping of the OSCE observers. He called on the implementation of the joint Geneva statement by Russia in the hope of a de-escalation of the situation before the presidential elections of 25 May.

The Permanent Representative of Ukraine requested that Russia stop its interference in Ukrainian internal affairs. The Permanent Representative of Russia rejected all accusations made against his country.

- On 16 April 2014, following the release on 15 April of the report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Ukraine, Mr. Šimonović, deputy Secretary-General for Human Rights, made the presentation to the members of the Security Council. The Representative of Ukraine was also present.

Mr. Šimonović reported violations of human rights ahead of the illegal referendum on the incorporation of Crimea to Russia. He referred to violence, abductions, acts of intimidation, as well as violations of the freedom of expression.

All delegations of the Council expressed concerns about the violent escalation of tensions in Eastern Ukraine. The majority of the Council members called Russia to withdraw its forces from the borders of Ukraine and to stop destabilizing the rules of Eastern Ukraine. The Permanent Representative of France recalled the importance of holding the Ukrainian presidential election on 25 May. Russia should not try to undermine the organization of the elections.

- On 31 March 2014, the members of the Security Council met in an informal meeting organized by Lithuania around Mr. Dzhemilev, activist for human rights of the Crimean Tatars, and Mrs. Samar, Crimean journalist, to discuss the situation of human rights – in particular of Crimean Tatars-, as well as freedom of the press in Crimea since the annexation of Ukrainian territory by Russia.

Mr. Dzhemilev recalled the discrimination actions against the Tatars in the past, and Mrs. Samar deplored the numerous human rights violations against journalists. The members of the Security Council who took the floor have, particularly on the basis of General Assembly resolution 68/262, condemned the annexation of Crimea by Russia, as well as the referendum of 16 March. The international community did not recognize Russia’s illegal and invalid attempts to modify the status of the territory but, having de facto annexed it, the world would hold Russia accountable for what would happen in Crimea in terms of violation of human rights.

- On 28 March 2014, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the Security Council on his meetings with Russian and Ukrainian authorities in Moscow and Kiev during closed consultations. He had called all his interlocutors to defuse tensions considering the scheduled presidential elections in Ukraine on 25 May and had called for a direct dialogue between Russia and Ukraine.

The Permanent Representative of France encouraged a direct dialogue between Moscow and Kiev and called for the respect of the rule of law. He encouraged the deployment of international observers in Ukraine, especially in Crimea.

- On 27 March 2014, the Member States of the United Nations voted on a draft resolution reiterating Ukraine’s territorial integrity in a meeting of the General Assembly. 100 States, including France, voted in favor of the resolution. Only 11 States (Russia, Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, Syria, Sudan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Armenia, Byelorussia and Bolivia) voted against the text.

With the Foreign Affairs Minister of Ukraine and the Permanent Representative of the European Union, the Members States that had voted in favor of the draft resolution recalled that the resolution was about reaffirming the importance of the principles of the United Nations Charter, as well as upholding Ukraine’s unity, political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia had to withdraw its forces, in line with its multilateral and bilateral commitments, and had the obligation to settle disputes by peaceful and non-military means.

- On 19 March 2014, the Security Council held a public meeting on the situation in Ukraine, including the status of human rights in Ukraine and Crimea. Mr Jan Eliasson, Vice-Secretary-General, reported serious political challenges that threatened Ukraine following the illegal referendum organized by Crimea and its annexation to Russia.

Mr Ivan Simonovitch, Under-Secretary-General for Human Rights, announced the deployment of a UN human rights monitoring mission throughout the country by Friday 21 March, in partnership with the OSCE.

All delegations, in presence of the Permanent Representative of Ukraine and with the exception of Russia, reminded the importance of respecting international law. The Permanent Representative of France insisted on the illegality of the referendum on the independence of Crimea. He called on Russia to stop the escalation of the conflict and to start direct negotiations with Kiev.

- On 15 March 2014, the Security Council was called to vote on a draft resolution presented by the United States and calling for the respect of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia vetoed the text, which was subsequently rejected. China abstained.

In his explanation of vote, the Representative of France stated that, opposing veto to the draft resolution, Russia vetoed the UN Charter.
Following the vote, the Representative of France made some remarks to the press.

- On 13 March 2014, the members of the Security Council held their sixth meeting on Ukraine, in the presence this time of Prime Minister Yatsenyuk.

Except for Russia, all members of the Security Council underlined the importance of the respect of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The majority of the Council members stated that the organization of a referendum was contrary to the Ukrainian Constitution and to international law and was only exacerbating an already tense situation. A draft resolution prepared by the United States and denouncing the unlawfulness of this consultation would be put to the vote in the coming days.

For the Permanent Representative of France, if the referendum was to take place, France would have to draw all the political and economic consequences. Russia had to resist to a nationalistic vertigo and to listen to the international community.

- On 10 March 2014, the Security Council held a private meeting, at the request of the Permanent Representative of Ukraine, in presence of Mr Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-general for Political Affairs, and of Mr Yuriy Sergeyev, Permanent Representative of Ukraine.

Mr Feltman reported on the latest developments in Ukraine, including in Crimea. M. Sergeyev presented the point of view of the Ukrainian government on the matter.

The Permanent Representative of France expressed the will to find a political solution to this crisis. He reminded his attachment to the principles of territorial sovereignty and integrity, at stake in this crisis. He urged the Russian Federation to listen to the calls of the international community regarding the pacific resolution of this crisis by starting a de-escalation process. He encouraged Russia to accept the presence of international observers as well as the formation of a contact group for Ukraine.

- On 6 March, the Security Council held, at the request of the United Kingdom, a private emergency meeting to hear, by VTC, the Deputy Secretary-General Mr. Eliasson, present with Mr. Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and Mr. Serry, Senior Advisor to the Secretary-General, on the latest developments in Ukraine.

The Permanent Representative of France expressed concerns about the worsening situation in Crimea: the local Parliament requested on 6 March the annexation of the peninsula to Russia. A referendum was planned on 16 March. However, the situation was not hopeless. The referendum had not yet been held and there were no new clashes. France was working to find a diplomatic solution, as shown by discussions in Paris on 5 March between the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister and its French, American and British counterparts, which met for the first time since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis. But we were far from having addressed everything. An attempt had to be made in the coming days to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. The Permanent Representative expressed his willingness to find a compromise on a dialogue (through an International Contact Group and the establishment of a bilateral Russian-Ukrainian dialogue), as well as on an OSCE Observer Mission. It was above all to the stakeholders –OSCE, US, Russia, Ukraine, and EU- to act. The European Union had announced that it would decide to take further steps if Russia continued to occupy Crimea and to violate Ukrainian’s sovereignty, which would lead to damaging consequences on relations between the European Union and Russia.

- On 3 March 2014, the Security Council held, at the request of the Russian Federation, an emergency meeting on Ukraine.

Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco recalled the Secretary-General’s deep concern regarding the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Dialogue and coordination within the international community were crucial for ensuring a return to calm of Ukraine.

The Permanent Representative of the Russian federation stated that the actions of Russia were fully appropriate and legitimate to restore peace and security in Ukraine.

Other members of the Security Council argued that Russia arguments justifying its military intervention were not acceptable. Russian action constituted an aggression and a provocation. All members expressed their support to Ukraine’s territorial integrity, national dialogue, as well as the need of an international mediation and an observation mission.

The Permanent Representative of France expressed his dismay concerning the statement of the Permanent Representative of Russia. Russia was expressing a voice of the past. The Security Council was being brought back to an era where might was right. Within the spirit of the 21 February agreement, France had proposed a six-point peace plan which had to be accepted by any party respectful of international law. It requested the return of Russian armed forces to their bases, the implementation of the constitutional reform and the organization of presidential elections on 25 May under the auspices of the OSCE. This willingness to find a negotiated solution would not accommodate continued violations of international law by Russia. If necessary, France, together with its European partners, would take measures concerning relations with Russia.

- On 28 February 2014, the Security Council held, at the request of Lithuania, presidency of the Security Council, a private emergency meeting to hear the Permanent Representative of Ukraine, as well as Assistant Secretary General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco on the situation in Ukraine.

During the consultations that followed, the Permanent Representative of France recalled that Ukraine had undergone major changes the last few days. Both politically and economically challenges were immense. The priority today was the preservation of the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country which had to decide fully independently on its course. Easing tensions in Crimea was a key factor in the normalization of the situation. About Ukraine’s future, Mr. Iatseniouk’s government needed to start undertaking fundamental political reforms, as well as economic modernization of Ukraine, while respecting the rights of national minorities. He would receive in this regard the full support of France. Finally, the 25 Mai presidential elections would be an important step. It was important to help the new Ukrainian authorities face the next challenges.

(May 2014)

1. Latest French statements Retour à la table des matières

- 28 May 2014 - Security Council - Ukraine - Statement by Mr. Alexis Lamek, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 29 April 2014 - Security Council - Ukraine - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 16 April 2014 - Security Council - Ukraine - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 13 April 2014 - Security Council - Ukraine - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 28 March 2014 - DRC / CAR / Ukraine - Remarks to the press by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 15 March 2014 - Ukraine - Remarks to the press by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 15 March 2014 - Security Council - Ukraine - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 13 March 2014 - Security Council - Ukraine - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 10 March 2014 - Ukraine - Remarks to the press by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 3 March 2014 - Ukraine - Remarks to the press by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 3 March 2014 - Security Council - Ukraine - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

- 1st March 2014 - Ukraine - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

3. Reference documents Retour à la table des matières

- 18 July 2014 - Security Council - Press statement on Malaysian Plane Crash

- 17 June 2014 - Security Council - Press statement on journalists killed in Ukraine

- 27 March 2014 - General Assembly - Résolution 68/262



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