Ukrainian World Congress calls upon Inter-Parliamentary Union to reject proposal to convene Assembly in the Russian Federation
The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) has called upon the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to reject the proposal to convene the 137th Assembly of the IPU scheduled for 2017 in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
In a letter issued on 22 October 2016 to the IPU President, IPU Secretary General, Heads of National Delegations to the IPU set to meet in Geneva, Switzerland, on 23-27 October 2016, UWC President Eugene Czolij highlighted that a decision to convene the 137th IPU Assembly in the Russian Federation would counter a focal point of the organization, namely the promotion of human rights, parliamentary democracy and development.
The UWC President reminded the IPU leaders that the international community has condemned the actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine which are in violation of international law, agreements and principles, including the illegal occupation of Crimea; persecution of the residents of the peninsula and denying their fundamental human rights and freedoms; ongoing military aggression being waged in Eastern Ukraine which has escalated in recent months despite a so-called “ceasefire”; and illegal detainment of Ukrainian political prisoners in the Russian Federation.
Eugene Czolij also highlighted the fact that Russian aggression is not isolated to Ukraine as most recently demonstrated in Syria where, without regard for human life, the Russian Federation has engaged in the heavy bombing of civilian sites, specifically in Aleppo.
“The Ukrainian World Congress commends the theme of the 135th IPU Assembly, Human rights abuses as precursors of conflict: Parliaments as early responders, as timely and critical when fundamental democratic values and basic human rights in various parts of the world are being openly challenged,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij. “With this in mind, we urge you to reject the proposal to convene the 137th Assembly of the IPU in St. Petersburg to pressure the Russian Federation to comply with its basic international obligations.”