Focus on Ukraine at the UNESCO meeting in Paris
On 1 October, the UNESCO executive team, representatives of international and non-governmental organisations, and experts together with diplomats of UNESCO Member States gathered in UNESCO headquarters to discuss the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine) and the city of Sevastopol, illegally occupied by the Russian Federation.
“We continue to be concerned with the worsening situation in the fields of UNESCO’s competence, particularly with serious restrictions of free media, safety of journalists and media people, and the impact of the on-going armed conflict on cultural and educational institutions in the Crimea,” said Irena Vaišvilaitė, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to UNESCO, after having read the statement signed on behalf of thirty countries.
Having urged to free all the Ukrainian citizens who were wilfully and illegally detained on the Crimean Peninsula, the Permanent Representative of Lithuania to UNESCO underlined that the authors of the statement were joining the international call for the immediate release of the Ukrainian filmmaker and writer, Oleh Sentsov.
The statement also reiterates support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, while Russia is urged to comply with its international commitments.
The Executive Board of UNESCO decided in 2014 that the situation in the occupied Crimea should be monitored. Since then the UNESCO community biannually assesses developments in this part of Ukraine in the fields covered by UNESCO.
Lithuania strongly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. We condemn the ongoing military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine that flagrantly violates international law, the Charter of the United Nations, the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, and bilateral agreements between Ukraine and Russia. We will continue to support Ukraine and coherently implement the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea five years ago.
Permanent Delegate of Lithuania to UNESCO, Ambassador Irena Vaišvilaitė, informed Lazare Eloundou Assomo, Deputy Director of the World Heritage Centre, in Paris on 17 December, that Lithuania is joining the international initiative aimed at the reconstruction and recovery of the Iraqi city of Mosul.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania allocated EUR 30 thousand in humanitarian aid to Ukraine which will be transferred to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This contribution is another step in implementing the Humanitarian Response Plan for Ukraine initiated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) that amounts to USD 187 million in 2018, however, has been implemented by only 38 per cent so far.
On 12 December, marking the 27th anniversary of the establishment of Lithuanian-Ukrainian diplomatic relations Minister Linas Linkevičius opened in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the exhibition of paintings and posters by Ukrainian children dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the statehood of Lithuania. Two new publications featuring the history of Lithuania and Ukraine were presented during the opening of the exhibition.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania strongly condemns illegitimate “voting” conducted by the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” on 11 November that is contrary to norms of international law.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania allocated EUR 50 thousand in humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The funds will be transferred to the United Nations (UN) migration agency, the International Organisation for Migration. This act is another contribution to the implementation of the Humanitarian Response Plan launched by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The Plan aims at allocations which are expected to reach USD 187 million in 2018.