Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Minorities
Delivered by Aleksandra Needham
Human Rights Council 25th Session
Geneva, March 18, 2014
Thank you, Mr. President.
The United States would like to express deep concern regarding the situation in Ukraine, especially the Crimean Peninsula, and notes that the current circumstances relate directly to the mandate of the Independent Expert. We support the visits of Council of Europe and senior OSCE officials, including High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors, to Ukraine that should launch this week. We strongly support the efforts of the Council of Europe and OSCE in arranging monitoring visits to Ukraine for the purpose of providing impartial reporting that will clarify the situation regarding ethnic and linguistic minorities in Ukraine and answer those who claim that there is a campaign against Russian-speakers in Eastern Ukraine. The United States is concerned that other types of multinational monitoring teams have been denied access to the Crimean Peninsula, where there are credible reports of suppressive action taken against pro-Kyiv Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars. This is both unacceptable and unfortunate, and hinders the ability for an impartial assessment on the current situation of minorities in Crimea.
We would like to end with the following question:
- What are your recommendations on the situation of minorities in Crimea and how do you plan on addressing it?