The Crimea Platform Expert Network (CP) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine signed a memorandum of cooperation. Mr.Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, and coordinators of seven working groups of the Expert Network affixed their signatures to the document. The list of signatories includes Ms Olha Skrypnyk, Chairman of Crimean Human Right Group Board, a member of CP Expert Network, Coordinator of HR and IHL Working Group.
The memorandum is aimed at establishing the principles and mechanisms of cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Expert Network in order to achieve the goals of the Crimea Platform.
The text of the memorandum states that the MFA and the CP Expert Network share a common understanding of the negative effects of the occupation, such as: militarization of the Crimean peninsula, consistent human rights violations, destruction of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar identity in the peninsula, suppression of freedom of speech, propaganda of war among the civil population and distortion of the region history, restrictions on freedom of navigation, etc. Therefore, the parties have agreed that occupation effects can be counteracted effectively only by coordinated efforts of the Ukrainian governmental bodies, Ukraine partner countries, and representatives of civil society, think tanks, academic community and public intellectuals, and decided to sign the memorandum.
The MFA and the CP Expert Network are planning to cooperate in such priority areas:
- Consolidation of the international policy of non-recognition of any change in the status of the temporarily occupied ARC and the city of Sevastopol;
- Monitoring and analysis of the effectiveness of sanctions, development of proposals for their strengthening and blocking of evasions;
- Protection of human rights and international humanitarian law;
- Security in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov region and beyond, protection of the principle of freedom of navigation;
- Recovery from the negative environmental and economic effects of the occupation;
- Counteractions to the erasure of cultural identity in the Crimean Peninsula;
- Monitoring of the condition and actions to preserve the cultural heritage;
- Protection of the rights of indigenous peoples of Ukraine in the Crimean Peninsula.
“Less than a year ago, the MFA began consultations with experts on the launch of the Crimea Platform and the development of the expert dimension of the Platform. Less than a year has passed, and the Crimea Platform Summit has already taken place, the Crimea Platform Expert Network has officially started its work, and today we are signing this Memorandum. For me, this proves a high motivation and willingness to make every effort to achieve the goals of the Crimea Platform, both on the part of the expert community and on the part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We do understand that we have a lot of hard daily work ahead, but the major is specific developments, recommendations, and understanding of next steps to de-occupy and reintegrate Crimea we have’ Ms Skrypnyk thinks.
“The liberation of Crimea is a key task of the Ukrainian state, which is one of the priorities of the Foreign Policy Strategy. Thanks to the creation of the Crimea Platform, together we returned the issue of Crimea’s de-occupation to the forefront of the international agenda. The role of the expert community is extremely important in the architecture of the Crimean Platform. That is why establishing the effective cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the expert network is an extremely important step”, Mr Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, stressed out.
To remind: an inaugural forum of the Crimea Platform Expert Network was held in Kyiv on 6 August 2021. An opening address was delivered by Ms Emine Dzhaparova, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, and the event was attended by representatives of the governmental bodies of Ukraine, and diplomatic missions, national and international experts.
- The Inauguration Summit of Crimea Platform held on August 23 launched officially a new international coordination and consultation format, the CRIMEA PLATFORM supported by 47 countries and international organizations.
- The CRIMEA PLATFORM operates in three dimensions: governmental, parliamentary, and expert. The expert dimension of the platform is based primarily on the Expert Network of the Crimea Platform, which development began in March 2021 by expert panels of Ukraine from various spheres.
- The Crimea Platform Expert Network was established as a community of individual Ukrainian and foreign experts, Ukrainian, foreign and international non-governmental organizations, initiatives, associations, expert think tanks, and scientific institutions whose activities contribute to achieving the main goals of the CRIMEA PLATFORM. The Expert Network members emphasize that they operate without any vertical administrative and financial subordination to any state authority of Ukraine or another country.
- It is important for the Expert Network to cooperate with international organizations and expert panels in various countries in order to consolidate international support for the liberation of Crimea from occupation, security and freedom of navigation in the Black and Azov Seas, recovery from the negative effects of the occupation.
- The Expert Network officially began its work on August 6, when the Inaugural Forum of the Crimea Platform Expert Network attended by national and international experts, representatives of embassies and state authorities of Ukraine was held in Kyiv. Based on the Forum outcomes, the Network activities are now structured in 7 subject dedicated groups: non-recognition policy and sanctions; human rights and international humanitarian law; security, economy and environment protection, cultural heritage of Crimea; humanitarian policy; restoration of the rights of indigenous peoples as an instrument of de-occupation of Crimea.
- According to the Forum Decision, Ms Olha Skrypnyk, Coordinator of Group for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, Chairperson of Crimean Human Rights Group Board, was delegated by Crimea Platform Expert Network to make a speech during the official part of the Crimea Platform Inaugural Summit. She spoke as Expert Network representative in the Ukrainian Delegation on August 23 and was the only representative of civic society among the Summit participants.
- The Crimea Platform Expert Network is open to collaboration with experts, NGOs, think tanks and research institutions from around the world to jointly research and develop recommendations for Ukrainian authorities and other governments, international governmental and non-governmental organizations to bring de-occupation closer and facilitate reintegration of Crimea.