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H.E Mr. Victor Yushchenko, President

24 September 2008

Statement Summary

Invoking the aims and values of the Charter and Millennium Development Goals, VICTOR YUSHCHENKO, President of Ukraine, expressed the need for “common and good will” to face recent tragedies in the Caucasus.  “The principal challenge that stands before us is the neglect and undermining of the standards of the international law and foreign affairs,” which included sovereignty, territorial integrity and firmness of the state boundary, he said.

He expressed condolences to Georgians, Ossetians and Russians, and condemned all acts of aggression in the region.  He stipulated that Ukraine “vigorously denounces” the violation of Georgian territory, but did not recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, citing Ukraine’s attainment of commonwealth status in a “legitimate and acknowledged way”.  He went on to condemn the illegitimate and separatist affirmation of statehood of any territories.  He urged the Security Council — whose balanced decisions and effective actions were needed –- to strengthen its role in global peace and security.

On its part, Ukraine pledged support in continued peacekeeping activities and efforts to settle protracted conflicts following the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, human rights and freedoms.  Ukraine would also work with the international community in solving the food and energy crisis, with emphasis on ecology.  He proposed an initiative to develop a framework binding agreement -- a “World Environmental Constitution” -- and to establish a structure for ecological protection in conjunction with the United Nations.

In closing, Mr. Yushchenko remarked on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Great Famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine, saying that national tragedies should be commemorated jointly in order to prevent any future repetitions.

[Source: GA/10751]