Yanukovych to report on democracy in Ukraine at UN General Assembly

12:44, 21 September 2010
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UN experts say...

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych will deliver a speech on Ukraine`s democratic path at the 65th session of the UN General Assembly during his visit to New York on September 21-24, according to RIA Novosti.

This will be Yanukovych`s second trip to the United States. The Ukrainian president, who took office in February, first visited the country in April for a nuclear security summit in Washington.

The Ukrainian president is expected to address the General Assembly with a statement concerning the freedom of expression in his country.

Ukraine`s opposition led by former |Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and several international organizations, including Reporters Without Borders, have accused the Yanukovych government of suppressing media freedom in Ukraine.

In September, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns expressed concern over alleged violations of journalists` rights in the country.

Yanukovych is also expected to introduce a draft anti-piracy convention to the General Assembly. According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, the convention would eventually become the first international document to refer to maritime piracy as an organized crime. The Ukrainian leader will also reportedly push for the creation of an international court to deal with pirates.

Ukrainian sailors have frequently been captured by pirates off the Somali coast in the past few years. In September 2008, pirates hijacked a vessel with 17 Ukrainians, three Russians and one Latvian on board. The vessel`s captain, Russian citizen Vladimir Kolobkov, died from a heart attack while in captivity. The vessel was released only four month later after being hijacked.

Yanukovych is also planning to address the issue of nuclear disarmament in his speech. During the Washington nuclear summit, the Ukrainian leader announced that his country would get rid of its stockpile of weapons-grade uranium by 2012.

The Ukrainian delegation is expected to introduce a report called "Millennium Development Goals - Ukraine. 2010" during Yanukovych`s visit to New York.

UN experts say that since 2000, the country has managed to reduce poverty, child and maternal mortality, as well as to provide wider access to secondary school education. At the same time, the country has seen an increasing gap between men`s and women`s lifespan, a rising number of AIDS, HIV and tuberculosis infections, as well as a worsening ecological situation.

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