Wednesday, 24. October 2012, Geneva
Norway would like to thank Ukraine’s delegation for the presentation of their National Report.
Norway is deeply concerned about the instances of selective justice in Ukraine, brought to the attention of the international community during the last year. We believe these are indicative of a deeper need for systemic change to invoke the rule of law. We welcome the Rada’s approval of a new criminal procedures code, and await its implementation.
Norway is a profound supporter of the Council of Europe’s action plan for Ukraine, and we believe this should be fulfilled not only technically but also to change attitudes about good governance and democratic rules of play.
We appreciate that Ukraine has taken an active stance to integrate its minorities. Norway has declared its willingness to support Ukraine’s cooperation with the OSCE High Commissioner on Minorities with regard to the issue of the Crimean Tatars.
Norway would therefore recommend that Ukraine rapidly implement the recently adopted Criminal Procedure code. We further recommend that Ukraine speed up the work to bring the criminal procedure code in line with European standards, as proposed by the Council of Europe.
Finally, we welcome the commitment expressed by Ukraine in its national report to equality and non-discrimination. We are, however, deeply concerned by legislation currently under consideration that would explicitly discriminate LGBT persons and limit their right to freedom of expression. Norway recommends that Ukraine reject any proposed legislation that would restrict freedom of expression relating to sexual orientation.
Thank you, President.
1) How does Ukraine plan to implement the urgent need for juridical reform to avoid further reported instances of selective justice, and to prevent political decisions to be taken to court, instead of being dealt with in political processes and elections?
2) Will any concrete steps be taken to reform not only the criminal procedures code, but also the criminal code itself?
3) Norway is deeply worried about draft laws depriving LGBT persons of their possibility to assert their rights as sexual minorities. How will Ukraine ensure these minorities their right to free speech and access to the public domain in accordance with its obligations under international human rights law?
4) The Crimean Tatars poses a special challenge to reintegration in the Crimea. Ukraine`s efforts to accommodate the repatriated group is much appreciated. However, there seem to be a further need to assess the situation for this group with regard to language, education and the right to land. How could the international community be of assistance in this matter? How does Ukraine assess the suggestion by the OSCE High commissioner on National Minorities to hold an international conference on the situation of the Crimean Tatars?