Press Statement of Special Representative of OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Sajdik after meeting of Trilateral Contact Group on 21 June 2017
MINSK, 22 June 2017—The Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ambassador Martin Sajdik, made the following statement to the press after the meeting of the TCG and its working groups in Minsk on 21 June 2017:
"First of all, I cannot but mention the serious incident of 20 June 2017 when OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) staff members were attacked and shot at in certain areas of Donetsk region. Such incidents are unacceptable. Obviously, all parties shall provide for the security and unimpeded movement of SMM personnel. Immediate response measures shall be taken. The parties shall reiterate their commitment to safeguarding the work of OSCE SMM at the highest political level. Today, in support of the initiative of the Security Working Group, I raised this issue in the TCG and I expect prompt reactions from all the parties.
In addition, the Working Group presented the proposal of the so-called ‘harvest ceasefire’—a complete cessation of fire along the entire contact line for the harvest period from 24 June 2017 to 31 August 2017. The initiative has, of course, received support from the TCG. Participants pledged to convey it to their political leadership.
The issue of water supply, which we have repeatedly discussed, is closely related to the cessation of fire, the withdrawal of forces and hardware, and mine clearance.
In the conflict zone, more than two million people on both sides of the contact line depend on the common water supply systems of Donbas. These critical objects of water supply infrastructure have repeatedly been damaged by shelling. The TCG unanimously supported the proposal of the Head of the OSCE SMM Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan to develop measures to ensure the sustainable operation of the water system for the next meeting. This applies to water pipelines and pumping stations near the settlements of Vasylivka, Petrivske, Krasnyi Lyman as well as the Yuzhnodonbasska water pipeline system.
The topic of water supply and corresponding payments was also considered in the Working Group on Economic Issues. It is a positive development that since late May, a second payment for water supply was made by certain areas of Luhansk region, thus providing water for the population of these areas. Participants of the Working Group still are to develop a stable payment mechanism for water supplies.
In the humanitarian field, the parties welcomed the significant work carried out since the previous meeting. In particular, additional interviews were conducted to verify the free will of those persons who, after their release, prefer to stay in the territory where they were in detention.
Finally, the Working Group on Political Issues continued to deliberate on the issues related to the so-called ‘Steinmeier formula’ in the context of the discussions of the recent Oversight Meeting of Political Directors and Deputy Foreign Ministers of the Normandy Four.”
Quelle: Externer Link: www.osce.org
750,000 children at risk of being cut off from safe drinking water after increased shelling in eastern Ukraine—UNICEF
KYIV, Ukraine/GENEVA 16 June 2017—At least 750,000 children are at imminent risk of being cut off from safe drinking water following a surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine, warned UNICEF today.
The recent escalation of hostilities has damaged vital water infrastructure. Approximately 400,000 people, which includes 104,000 children, had their drinking water cut off for four days this week after two filtration stations for the South Donbass Water pipeline were destroyed by shelling. Urgent repairs were completed yesterday evening.
"Nearly 3 million people in eastern Ukraine rely on water infrastructure that is now in the line of fire. We expect more families will be cut off from safe drinking water, putting children at severe risk of disease and other dangers,” said UNICEF’s Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Afshan Khan.
In Donetsk, power lines providing electricity to the city’s water filtration station were damaged earlier this month, threatening more than 1 million people’s access to safe water.
Children cut off from clean drinking water can quickly contract water-borne diseases such as diarrhea. Girls and boys having to fetch water from alternative sources, or who are forced to leave their homes due to disruptions to safe water supplies, face dangers from ongoing fighting and other forms of abuse.
"All sides of the conflict must allow urgent repairs when water sources are destroyed and immediately stop the indiscriminate shelling of vital civilian infrastructure,” said Khan.
UNICEF has provided access to safe drinking water to more than 1.5 million people in government and non-government-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine. This work includes trucking water to people when service is cut off, providing essential supplies and equipment and repairing damaged infrastructure.
After more than three years of conflict in eastern Ukraine, 3.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and more than 1.5 million have been forced from their homes.
UNICEF once again calls for all sides to immediately recommit to the ceasefire signed in Minsk in August 2015 and to respect international humanitarian law, including allowing unrestricted humanitarian access.
In 2017, UNICEF is appealing for US$31.3 million to provide health and nutrition support, education, clean water, hygiene and sanitation as well as protection for children and families affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The appeal has a funding gap of US$21.4 million.
Quelle: Externer Link: www.unicef.org