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Statement at Arria meeting on the Baltic and Black Sea Regions

Thank you, Chair.

 

Ireland is committed to ensuring the rights of persons belonging to national minorities as enshrined in the UN Conventions as well as those of the Council of Europe, and the OSCE commitments on non‑discrimination and respect for diversity. All states must uphold the international commitments they have freely made.

 

We believe that the protection and promotion of human rights, including minority rights and gender equality are the foundation of modern, diverse states.

 

We recall the importance of avoiding propaganda, hate speech and intentionally divisive language.  Difference does not cause conflict: rather it is the stoking of divisions for political purposes that is a driver of conflict.

 

The tragic lessons of the Second World War should serve as a moral and political inspiration for a fairer, tolerant world where -human rights and fundamental freedoms are fully respected.

 

Chair,

 

This leads me to Ireland’s concern at the continued restriction of fundamental freedoms and civic space, in particular freedom of peaceful assembly, by the Russian Federation occupation authorities in Crimea.

 

The occupation has serious consequences for human rights, including the oppression of Crimean Tatars. 

 

Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict. We also remain concerned about serious human rights violations and abuses linked to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, as reported by the OHCHR.

 

Finally, at this time of increased tension, I wish to restate Ireland’s commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol are inherently part of Ukraine, and the occupation by Russia is an illegal violation of Ukrainian sovereignty.

 

Ireland does not recognize the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol nor any political structure created on the basis of this attempted illegal annexation.

 

Thank you.

 

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