Crimea

Map of Crimea. Source: UN Cartographic Section, DFS

10 March 2014 ? With tensions and mistrust growing in Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the international community to help the key actors calm the situation and work toward a durable and fair political solution, ahead of closed-door Security Council consultations on the crisis.

?I am increasingly alarmed by the developments in Ukraine,? Mr. Ban said in a statement, urging all sides to refrain from hasty actions and provocative rhetoric. ?Recent events in Crimea in particular have only served to deepen the crisis,? he added.

?Since the beginning of this crisis, I have appealed to all parties to de-escalate tensions and to engage in direct and constructive dialogue in order to forge a peaceful way forward.?

The Secretary-General called on the international community?s support in those efforts, stressing that a further deterioration of the situation ?would have serious repercussions for the people of Ukraine, the region and the global community.?

?I also continue to urge the relevant authorities to ensure that the human rights of all in Ukraine are respected, with particular attention to the rights and protection of minorities,? the UN chief said.

?At this crucial juncture, we cannot afford either miscalculations or inaction,? he cautioned, underscoring that a resolution of the crisis must be found on the basis of UN Charter principles, including the peaceful settlement of disputes and respect for the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Last week, in a development the Secretary-General referred to as ?worrying and serious?, lawmakers in the autonomous Ukrainian region of Crimea voted to join Russia and to hold a referendum on 16 March to validate the decision.

The move came amid rising tensions in the region, where additional Russian troops and armoured vehicles have been deployed, and against the backdrop of the protests and violence that have plagued Ukraine since last November.

The Security Council is scheduled to meet in closed consultations on the Ukraine later today.

Meanwhile, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan ?imonovic continues his mission to Ukraine.

The Secretary-General had asked him to travel to the Ukraine urgently to mark the continued high-level engagement of the UN with the country, to assess the human rights situation, and to develop recommendations for further action.

Mr. ?imonovic has held numerous meetings, including with the acting Foreign Minister, the Ombudsperson, the diplomatic community in Kyiv, international organizations and civil society representatives.

He will travel to Kharkiv this evening, and plans to go to Crimea and Lviv after that.

Mr. ?imonovic and his delegation intend to stay in Ukraine until 15 March.

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