UN committee adopts resolution recognizing Russia as occupying power in Crimea

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Image: Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

2016/11/16 • Crimea, Politics, Russia

On 15 November, the UN’s human rights committee adopted a resolution dedicated to the human rights situation in occupied Crimea. This is the first UN document to recognize Russia as an occupying power, and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol – as occupied territory.

73 states voted in support of the document entitled “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine),” 23 voted against, and 76 abstained. 41 states joined the list of co-sponsors.

The countries that voted against were: AngolaArmeniaBelarusBoliviaBurundiCambodiaChinaCubaComoros IslandsEritreaKazakhstanIndiaIran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russian FederationSerbiaSouth AfricaSudanSyriaUzbekistanVenezuela, Zimbabwe.

This is the first time that the Russian Federation is recognized as an occupying power, and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as a temporarily occupied territory, in official documents of the UN.

In addition, the resolution confirmed the territorial integrity of Ukraine and denounced an attempt to annex the Ukrainian peninsula, as well as  calls upon Russia to uphold its obligations under UN law as an occupying power and end abuses against residents of Crimea, release Ukrainians who were illegally detained, and revoke the banning of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis.

The document also urges the Russian Federation to grant international human rights mechanisms, in particular the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, unimpeded access to Crimea in order to monitor the human rights situation and asks the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a separate thematic report on the situation in the peninsula.

The approval of the resolution is planned at the plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly in December 2016.

Ukrainian officials have welcomed the resolution as an important diplomatic, political and legal mechanism by which Ukraine protects the rights of citizens of Ukraine on the territory of temporarily occupied Crimea.

According to Emine Dzheppar, advisor to Ukraine’s Minister of information policy, Russian representatives attempted to obstruct the vote by means of pressure and intimidation of voting members. She also informed that many delegations considered that issues such as the current resolution should be viewed not in the Third Committee in New York, but in Geneva, at the UN’s Human Rights Council.

The delegation of Belarus in the Third Committee attempted to remove the draft resolution on Crimea and several other resolutions from consideration, but this proposal was supported by only 32 delegations, 101 voted against and 37 abstained.

In 2014, following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, the UN had adopted Resolution 68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine, which was supported by 101 countries.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dirk Smith

    The usual third-world suspects in voting against this resolution.

    • Paul

      India seems out of place on that list?

      • Turtler

        Unfortunately. But for all of the admirable nature of India it has an odd and repugnant connection with various tyrants and despots in the Third and Second World. They did outright say they would not support measures to punish Russia for its’ crimes.

        So I am not terribly surprised this happened. Though I am disappointed.

      • Quartermaster

        India has long been a question mark on such things. Supposedly among the non-aligned nations, it has taken Russia’s side on many issues, and the Soviet Union prior to that.

  • zorbatheturk

    Poltroon
    Usurper
    Thief
    Invader
    Narcissist.

    Vladolf da Putler, Fuehrer von RoSSiya.