During a meeting with Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Matteo Mecacci in Stockholm, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba put forward an initiative to make Ukraine a regional hub for OSCE activities in human rights protection and strengthening of civil society amid blocking by Russia of OSCE meetings on the implementation of the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM).
"Ukraine has a very strong civil society. We consider this a strength and advantage of our country. Therefore, we are ready to take on the role of a regional hub for strengthening civil society in the Central European region," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry (MFA) press service said on Friday, citing Kuleba.
In this context, the minister urged the OSCE/ODIHR to consider the possibility of holding events in Ukraine that would provide a platform for effective interaction between representatives of governments and civil societies of the states of the region.
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reaffirmed the full support of the Ukrainian side for the mandate of the bureau to assist the participating states in the protection of human rights and freedoms and the holding of democratic elections.
The minister said the issues of ensuring human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, tolerance and non-discrimination, as well as the continuation of the development of democratic institutions will remain among the priorities of Ukraine. The Ukrainian side will continue to closely and constructively cooperate with the ODIHR in the area of competence of the office.
Kuleba noted the importance of regional and international mechanisms, including the ODIHR, monitoring with remote monitoring, of the human rights situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine under the Ukrainian national legislation and international law. A separate subject of the meeting was the protection of the rights of Ukrainian citizens who are in places of imprisonment in Russia and in temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories.