Sorting by


Importance of human rights for security in the region: UK statement to the OSCE

Thank you, Mr Chair. Welcome to the Permanent Council, High Commissioner. Today is a welcome opportunity to put on record, on behalf of the UK, our appreciation for your efforts and those of your predecessors.

The United Kingdom believes that inclusive, democratic institutions and accountable governments are the foundations on which open, stable and prosperous societies thrive. Societies with the full participation of women and marginalised groups and equal rights for all. Resilient, responsive, and representative societies.

And yet, we have seen authoritarian influence on the rise in states across the OSCE region as well as democratic backsliding, restrictions on civic space and the rollback of rights.

Where human rights violations and abuses go unchecked, the seeds of conflict are sown, often with devastating consequences for communities and nations.

Indeed, last year’s Moscow Mechanism report established how growing internal repression in Russia enabled external aggression and ultimately Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. As participating States our comprehensive definition of security requires that we work harder than ever to strengthen democratic resilience and human rights.

High Commissioner, as you know, Putin’s war has impacted the enjoyment of nearly every human right in Ukraine. Reporting from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and OSCE institutions helps us understand the sheer scale of the damage. It describes war crimes as well as Russia’s restrictions on freedom of religion and belief, freedom of movement, and freedom of association.

Thank you for your Office’s continued commitment to documenting and reporting the human rights situation in Ukraine, despite operating in challenging circumstances. Like the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism reports and Ukraine Monitoring Initiative, your Office’s reporting helps the international community understand the scope and scale of Russia’s violations and systematic use of violence. It makes a vital contribution to accountability for Russia’s actions. For example, the UN Commission of Inquiry’s report in March this year provided important insight into child deportations from Ukraine.

Events in Ukraine mirror the repression Putin’s regime has subjected the people of Crimea and the people of Russia to for years. Echoing the concern of the UN Special Rapporteur on torture regarding the treatment and health of Alexei Navalny, I take this opportunity to call on the Russian authorities to ensure that Mr Navalny receives urgent and comprehensive medical care.

I also take this opportunity to repeat the UK’s support for the appointment of the first UN Special Rapporteur on human rights on the Russian Federation, Mariana Katzarova. The UK looks forward to publication of her report in September 2023.

Finally and briefly, I want to recall in this forum the importance of the OSCE’s own institutions for the defence of human rights. ODIHR’s work is vital to fostering long-term security in the OSCE region.  All participating States have a responsibility to ensure that ODHIR has a proper budget to continue delivering on its mandate.

High Commissioner, thank you for your presence here today. The UK looks forward to continuing to work with you and your Office, and to advocating within the OSCE for the importance of human rights and democracy in underpinning our collective security.  Thank you Mr Chair.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button