SPEECH BY OKSANA KOLIADA ON THE PLENARY SESSION OF THE 74TH UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Pisky settlement is a respectable settlement near Donetsk, with developed transport, educational and medical infrastructure. Today there are 6 families living in this village who do not have the strength and financial ability to leave the area of everyday shelling. This is how it looks today.
Every day 10 children from the occupied village of Staromaryivka get to school in the Ukrainian-controlled village of Hranitne. 4 kilometers along a mined path and dilapidated masonry. This happens so regularly that Google Maps has paved the way.
Armed aggression of the Russian Federation continues in my country for 2075 days. During this time more than 13 thousand citizens of Ukraine were killed, 3345 of them civilians, 172 – children. Among the killed were also 298 foreign citizens, passengers of the flight MN-17 "Malaysian Airlines", shot down by the Russian Buk missile system.
More than 100,000 Ukrainian children live in front line areas where mine action education is relevant. Since 2014, 7 children have been killed by mines and 29 were injured.
1.4 million citizens were forced to leave their homes, more than 5 million (13% of the country's population) live in temporarily occupied territories where human rights and freedoms are violated.
As a result of the occupation of Crimea and certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, Ukraine lost more than 7% of the territory. It is larger than the territory of countries such as Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Estonia.
In the territory of occupied Crimea, the civilians are persecuted and arrested on political, ethnic and religious grounds, Ukrainian schools are closed, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar identities are obliterated, and Ukraine’s cultural heritage is destroyed. One month ago, Arbitration Court of the Central District of Kaluha issued default correspondence decision to evict the Crimean Diocese of Orthodox Church of Ukraine from the Saint Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Volodymyr and Olha Cathedral in Simferopol. At the same time the decision was made for the demolition of the Crimean Diocese of Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Yevpatoria!
More than 100 citizens of Ukraine in the Crimea are imprisoned for political reasons. During only 2014, more than 500,000 Russian citizens were resettled to the Republic of Crimea. The rigid militarization of Crimea takes place.
We are trying to unite our country. The main goal is mental reintegration. And only then – restoration of territories. The focus is on the person with his problems and needs.
We are really grateful to everyone who supports us during this difficult time for our country. There are 50 international humanitarian agencies working on both sides of the contact line. Over the 5 years of the war, our partners have accumulated and provided assistance totalling 540 million dollars. More than 3.5 million citizens of Ukraine adversely affected by the war are beneficiaries of this assistance.
Due to our collaboration with international partners, we are able to address the most actual basic needs of these people. And today is the time for a gradual, but decisive transition from urgent humanitarian response to effective development programs.
Regarding the state, we have following tasks.
First, to simplify the access to the basic state services for the residents of temporarily occupied territory – administrative, educational, medical. Recently, we have significantly simplified the procedure for crossing the contact line, addressing a number of actual needs of our citizens who are forced to live in the occupied territories.
Second, we are forming a new effective program for the regional investment development, focusing on infrastructure projects which can also over time change the economic structure of the region.
Third, we are revitalizing the work to formulate an effective information policy. Because the aggression started within an informational space. Hybrid war is the realities of today. I would suggest learning this Ukrainian lesson to all our foreign partners.
Fourth, we maximize the monitoring activity on the temporarily occupied territories. Particular attention is paid to the Crimea. Our task is to capture all cases of violation of human rights, the interests of the state, in order to respond promptly and to develop effective response mechanisms.
Fifth, we are developing and already implementing comprehensive housing compensation programs, as well as a whole range of housing programs for displaced persons.
The Government of Ukraine, together with the Parliament, adopted a series of regulations aimed at protecting the rights of prisoners of war, illegally detained civilians, and victims of political persecution in the temporarily occupied territories.
And lastly, I want to thank everyone who is supporting Ukraine – from powerful government agencies to the smallest humanitarian missions. We appreciate the international assistance to Ukraine. It is our common task that the children of Ukraine, all over the world, would never have to face the realities of war, wouldn’t have to learn types of mines, but would have fun and enjoy life», ‒ Minister for Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine Oksana Koliada on the plenary session of the 74th UN General Assembly.