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.