UNGA's 3rd Committee endorses updated draft resolution on human rights in occupied Crimea
The Third Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) has endorsed the newly updated draft of the resolution titled: "Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine."
The relevant document was backed by 67 UN member states, 26 voted against it, 82 abstained. The following countries voted against: Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nicaragua, the Russian Federation, Serbia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
The Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations reported that the key elements of the draft resolution include a number of requirements for the Russian Federation as an occupying state. The text of the document states that the UN General Assembly affirms "that the seizure of Crimea by force is illegal and a violation of international law, and affirming also that those territories must be returned."
It also condemns politically motivated persecutions of citizens of Ukraine and calls on Russia to free all Ukrainians who are illegally detained in the occupied Crimea and Russian territory.
Illegally imprisoned Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, Crimean activist Volodymyr Balkuh and Crimean Tatars' human rights activist Emir-Huseyn Kuku are designated as political prisoners.
The UN General Assembly's draft resolution also condemns the "imposition of automatic Russian citizenship on protected persons in Crimea, which is contrary to international humanitarian law," and calls on Russia "to end the practice of compelling Crimean residents to serve in the armed or auxiliary forces of the Russian Federation, including through pressure or propaganda, and in particular ensure that Crimean residents are not compelled to participate in military operations of the Russian Federation," as well as in "illegal election campaigns."
It also calls the Russian Federation "to monitor and accommodate the medical needs of all Ukrainian citizens unlawfully detained for the exercise of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including political prisoners, in Crimea and the Russian Federation and allow the monitoring of those detainees' state of health and conditions of detention by independent international monitors and physicians from reputable international health organizations, including the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Committee of the Red Cross."
What is more, it urges Russia to refrain from criminalizing the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the rights to peaceful assembly in Crimea, as well as to stop discrimination against those who do not recognize the Russian occupation of Crimea.
The document calls upon all international organizations and specialized agencies of the United Nations system, when referring to Crimea in their official documents, communications and publications, including with regard to statistical data of the Russian Federation, to refer to "the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation," and encourages all States and other international organizations to do the same.
It also requests the Secretary-General to take all steps necessary to ensure the full and effective coordination of all United Nations bodies with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.
After this consideration at the committee's meeting, the draft resolution of the UN General Assembly will be finally considered in December this year.
The first wording of the resolution on human rights in Russian-occupied Crimea was considered in December 2016. It was supported by 70 countries, 77 abstained and 26 voted against it.
On December 19, 2017, the UN General Assembly approved its amended version with 70 countries for it and 26 against, while 76 abstained.