UN Secretary General meets with representatives of Ukrainian civil society

The participants discussed the challenges to international security and law that have emerged as a result of Russia's annexation of Crimea

On the initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) and UN Secretariat, on March 21 UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with leaders of Ukrainian NGOs and think tanks. The Ukrainian side was represented by Oleksandr Sushko, Chairman of the Board of IRF and Ukrainian National Coordinator of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum; Yevhen Bystrytsky, IRF Executive Director; Valeriy Chaly, Deputy Director of the Razumkov Center; Ihor Semyvolos, IRF Board Member and Director of the Center of Middle East Studies; Alyona Hetmanchuk, Director of the Institute of World Policy; Andriy Demartino, independent expert and former adviser to the prime minister of Crimea; Ihor Burakovsky, Director of the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting; Oleksandr Bohomolov, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; Yarema Bachynsky, IRF Board Member.

The UN Secretary General spoke about his visit to Moscow and his view of the situation in Ukraine. The participants discussed the challenges to international security and law that have emerged as a result of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. They warned the UN Secretary General of the threat of a humanitarian catastrophe in Crimea as a result of gross human right violations following the de facto occupation of the region by the Russian military and stressed that the Russian media is spreading blatantly manipulative anti-Ukrainian propaganda.

They cautioned that Ukraine and the international community could soon face problems with refugees and displaced persons from Crimea due to the creation of intolerable conditions for the indigenous Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians, who will face political persecution for attempting to preserve their Ukrainian identity.

The UN Secretary General said the UN is ready to expand its diplomatic and mediation efforts to resolve the crisis. The participants welcomed the UN Secretariat’s consistent efforts to assist Ukraine. Suggestions were made on how to improve the UN response and reform UN institutions.

The organizers are grateful to Vasyl Filipchuk and the International Center for Policy Studies for their assistance in setting up the meeting.

International Renaissance Foundation
Stanislav Lyachynsky
(+380 44) 486 24 74

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