Head of the Delegation of Ukraine, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Serhiy Kyslytsia made a corresponding statement on Wednesday, speaking at the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
He recalled that "massive and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms are ongoing on the peninsula as a result of the temporary occupation of Crimea by Russia." "The devastating actions of the occupying power pose a serious danger to the preservation of world historical and cultural values, as well as the authenticity of Ukrainian cultural heritage, including the Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora, as well as the Khan's Palace in Bakhchisaray in a temporarily occupied territory," Kyslytsia noted.
According to him, actions under the auspices of UNESCO aimed at protecting the world cultural heritage in Crimea are blocked by a permanent denial of access to international monitoring mechanisms, "which is a gross violation of international law and resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly on this matter by the occupying power."
As the international community acknowledged, Kyslytsia said, "the efforts to protect cultural heritage amid the armed conflict must be made in accordance with the Charter, including its objectives and principles, as well as international law, and with respect for the sovereignty of all states."
"If you share this view, the only solution is to immediately involve UNESCO with its extraordinary mandate. The problems we face are increasingly linked with political issues which raise discussions on the relevance of the most pressing issues of the UNESCO mandate,” the deputy foreign minister said.
He urged to determine whether ordinary people's rights belong to UNESCO's mandate so that the organization could respond quickly and appropriately to the new challenges of the second decade of the 21st century.
As reported, the decision to extend the monitoring of the situation in the annexed Crimea in 2020 was approved at UNESCO Executive Board session on October 16.
Earlier, UNESCO released the report of the Director General of the Organization on the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea in the fields of education, science, culture, dissemination of information and functioning of media, highlighting further deterioration of the situation on the peninsula.
After the annexation of Crimea, Russia has taken under its jurisdiction all cultural and historical heritage sites located on the territory of the peninsula. Kyiv insists that these sites belong to the Ukrainian people and requests that they should be protected by UNESCO.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes the National Reserve Khersones-Tavriysky (Tauric Chersonese) located in the annexed Crimea. In addition, the Khan Palace in Bakhchisaray, the Genoese Fortress in Sudak, the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, Mangup Kale fortress, Eski Kermen cave town and Chufut-Kale city-fortress apply for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
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