MARIUPOL, 23 July 2019 – Following up on their report of 8 July 2019, the Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, Kyriakos Hadjiyianni (MP, Cyprus) and former chair Margareta Kiener Nellen (MP, Switzerland) held a series of meetings yesterday in Mariupol related to the humanitarian situation in the heavily conflict impacted region of southeast Ukraine.
the recommitment by all sides to an unlimited ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, as agreed at the meeting held in Minsk on 17 July and as called for by OSCE parliamentarians in the 8 July Luxembourg Declaration. Civil and military authorities in place must now be held accountable for enforcing this ceasefire.Chair Hadjiyianni thanked the Trilateral Contact Group for facilitating
After observing the crossing of the line of contact at the Pyschevyk entry-exit checkpoint, visiting villages along the frontline with an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) patrol and talking to the local population, Kiener Nellen stated “No more dead, no more wounded! I urge to strictly respect International Humanitarian Law and to demilitarize all villages.”
Moreover, the parliamentarians hosted a roundtable with human rights stakeholders active in Donetsk Oblast to discuss the most pressing humanitarian priorities of the conflict affected population. Participants included the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, the UNHCR, the International Committee of the Red Cross and representatives of several NGOs and internally displaced persons.
“To address the daily needs of those most affected, we need to hear directly from them, and the concerted engagement of humanitarian actors plays a key role in this regard. Protection of all lives must be prioritised” said Hadjiyianni. “We will continue to keep our eyes and ears open and fight for the human and civil rights of the people who are daily victims of the conflict violating them.”
Hadjiyianni and Kiener Nellen also referred to the Luxembourg Declaration adopted by the PA two weeks ago, that supported their calls for “an immediate and lasting ceasefire and for further efforts to address the humanitarian tragedy in the conflict-affected areas, including in particular through increased demining efforts and specific measures to facilitate freedom of movement along the contact line.” They stressed the need to repair the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge immediately and to delink the status of IDPs from the obtention of socials benefits.
The parliamentarians also applauded the tireless commitment of the monitors and officials of the SMM to Ukraine and expressed appreciation for their support provided in organizing their visit to the Mariupol region.