Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 27th Regular Session

Item 10
Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s Report on Ukraine

Statement by Australia
24 September 2014

Australia welcomes the High Commissioner’s report on the human rights situation in Ukraine. We also welcome its findings and support its recommendations. As the report makes clear, the need to find a peaceful solution to end the violence in the eastern regions of Ukraine is urgent.

Australia welcomes President Poroshenko’s peace plan as a major opportunity for de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine. We welcome also Ukraine’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire – and apparent support for this ceasefire from militant leaders.

The peace plan presents a significant chance for addressing grievances and ending the crisis. These are courageous initiatives and should have our support.

It is pleasing that the ceasefire agreement has brought some respite to people affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine, allowing humanitarian groups such as the International Committee for the Red Cross to help deliver urgent humanitarian aid to those in need. In this regard we are pleased to announce that Australia is contributing AUD 1 million to the ICRC for the provision of humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

We urge militants in eastern Ukraine to adhere to – not take advantage of – the ceasefire. We are deeply concerned by reports that OSCE observers were gravely endangered during the course of a recent agreed monitoring mission. The observers were shelled en route to the site, and later threatened with violence by armed groups. Commitments to adhere to the ceasefire must be upheld.