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General Assembly - Plenary Meeting on the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine

Date:

02/23/2021


General Assembly - Plenary Meeting on the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine

Statement delivered by Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the General Assembly plenary meeting on the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine ---

 

Mr. President,

Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

While reiterating its unwavering support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and independence of Ukraine, Italy remains deeply concerned about the crisis in eastern Ukraine, in consideration of its profound impact on the local civilian population and, more generally, on stability and cooperation in Europe.

In line with UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262, we reaffirm our non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

We ask for the full respect of international humanitarian and human rights’ law in the Crimean Peninsula in line with the relevant Resolutions of the UN General Assembly which Italy supported and co-sponsored. Human rights observers and humanitarian actors should be granted full and unhindered access.

Italy remains strongly committed to a sustainable political solution based on the Minsk Agreements and will continue to uphold diplomatic efforts in the Normandy format, the OSCE and the Trilateral Contact Group.

We look forward to the full implementation of the commitments made at the Paris Summit of 9 December 2019 and of the positive steps subsequently outlined, starting with the urgent, comprehensive implementation of the ceasefire.

We commend and support Ukraine’s efforts in this framework. We urge all sides to show openness to dialogue and political will in order to advance the ongoing negotiations in the Normandy Format and in the Trilateral Contact Group.

We firmly believe that there is no alternative to the Minsk Agreements. We call on all sides to swiftly and fully implement them and condemn all initiatives that run against their letter and spirit. We also call on the Russian Federation to assume its responsibility in this regard.

The role of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission remains essential. Our support for the SMM and its observers is immutable, as testified by our increased contribution to the Mission. The OSCE SMM must be granted safe, secure, unhindered and unconditional access throughout Ukraine in accordance with its mandate.

In 2018, holding the Chairmanship-in-Office of the OSCE, Italy spared no effort to restore mutual trust and facilitate dialogue toward a lasting and sustainable solution. We focused on strengthening the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and assigned absolute priority to alleviating the humanitarian conditions of civilians. We supported similar efforts conducted by the following Chairmanships.

Mr. President,

After almost seven years of conflict, the civilian population continues to bear the heaviest burden. We express our solidarity and remain seriously concerned about their suffering. The Italian Development Cooperation is actively engaged in the humanitarian response with a special focus on health and mine action. It is imperative to stop the violence, proceed immediately to fulfill all mine action commitments and ensure full and unimpeded access to all humanitarian actors.

Despite some encouraging steps forward, much more needs to be done to ease the living conditions of civilians and to facilitate their safe crossing of the contact line. We call on all sides to ensure the security and accessibility of existing crossing points and to take measures for the opening of new ones.

Mr. President,

Rebuilding trust and confidence at the negotiating table is the right way to move forward with the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. The status quo is not sustainable for the security of the region and is certainly not sustainable for the concerned population. Italy will continue - from within the EU, in the relevant multilateral fora and at the bilateral level - to support the dialogue between the parties and to encourage strengthened diplomatic and humanitarian efforts towards a peaceful solution of the crisis.

I thank you.


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