Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : OSCE report on deportation of Ukrainian children highlights immense suffering caused by Russia’s war – UK statement at the UN Security Council [May 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 4 May 2023.

Ambassador James Kariuki gave a statement at the United Nations Security Council meeting on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Thank you Mr President, and thank you, Foreign Minister Osmani, for your briefing.

For almost 50 years, the OSCE has played a vital role in promoting peace, stability and security in Europe, and it remains a critical institution for European and Euro-Atlantic security.

During a challenging period for multilateralism, we welcome the positive role played by the OSCE in supporting the Security Council on international peace and security.

I will highlight 3 areas in particular:

First, the vital contribution of OSCE through its autonomous institutions, including the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and its field missions in Central Asia, the Western Balkans and Moldova. We also strongly support OSCE efforts to facilitate a peaceful resolution of the conflicts in Georgia, Moldova and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Second, the OSCE’s work across all dimensions underpins our common security and prosperity. This includes its actions on economic development, environmental protection and climate change, which have our full support.

And finally, we welcome the OSCE’s ongoing work through the Moscow Mechanism to expose violations and abuses of international humanitarian and human rights law. This includes reporting on the brutal crackdown on political and media freedoms in Belarus and holding Russia to account for its actions in Ukraine.

Mr President, when Russia launched its unprovoked, full-scale invasion against Ukraine in February 2022, it transgressed all of the OSCE’s core principles – sovereignty; respect for territorial integrity; inviolability of borders; and the peaceful settlement of disputes.

The publication today of the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism report on the deportation of Ukrainian children once again highlights the immense suffering caused by Russia’s war.

It outlines the grave human rights violations and abuses Russia has committed and supports growing evidence that several thousand Ukrainian children have been removed from their families, friends and homes, and forcibly transferred out of the country.

In these times of crisis, we need functioning and effective regional organisations to address shared problems and uphold the principles of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act. The OSCE has an important role to play. But, to fulfil this role, it relies on participating States fulfilling their commitments.

Instead, Russia is choosing to obstruct the Organisation. It does so by delaying key decisions on its budget, blocking leadership appointments and frustrating the work of its human rights institutions. We urge all 57 OSCE participating States, including Russia, to support the Organisation and ensure it is fully functional and adequately funded to deliver on its important work.

The United Kingdom remains steadfast in our appreciation for the work of the OSCE and our support for North Macedonia’s Chairmanship.