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21.05.2000

How Ukraine fulfils her obligations to the Council of Europe (the draft of PACE resolution)

   

Tunne Kellam, Hanne Severinsen, CE experts
•  The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe notes that after joining the Council of Europe on 9 November 1995 Ukraine, as a member-country, fulfilled some obligations mentioned in Conclusion 199 (1995). Nonetheless, the Assembly is profoundly worried that Ukraine is lagging behind with execution of other obligations.
•  The Assembly acknowledges that
•  Ukraine has regulated international conflicts in a peaceful way and avoided large-scale social unrest and civil war;
•  The new Constitution was adopted within one year from the time of joining the Council of Europe;
•  Ukraine undersigned several conventions of the Council of Europe, in particular, the European Convention about human rights and Protocols 1, 2, 4, 7 and 11 to this Convention, as well as the European Convention on torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment, the Framework Convention on national minorities, the European Charter of local self-administration.
•  However, bearing in mind the report of the Committee for observing the fulfillment of obligations by state members, the Assembly ascertains that, unfortunately, during the transition period from a totalitarian to a democratic state, Ukraine has not achieved distinct delimitation between the judicial, legislative and executive branches of power. The executive branch continues to control other branches and attempts to gain political power, sometimes illegally, which can negatively affect the future Presidential election of October 1999.
•  The Ukrainian power bodies have to do much in order to guarantee the principle of superiority of the right. The statement can be illustrated by facts when resolutions of the Constitutional and Supreme Courts are not obeyed, when corruption and crime steadily grows, when servicemen of the Ministry of Interior are used for private purposes.
•  The legislation process is too slow and only a few of legislative acts listed in Conclusion 190 have been adopted. The Supreme Rada of Ukraine has started to consider the new Civil and Penal Codes only recently. No progress is observed in reforming the judicial system and prosecutor’s office, which must be the top-priority task for shortening the transition period mentioned in the Constitution.
•  The transfer of the penitentiary system to the Ministry of Justice is carried out with a great delay.
•  The laws about local self-rule must be adopted without further delay according to the corresponding European Charter; the rights and obligations of the state administration and elected local self-rule bodies must be distinctly delimitated. The new status of Kyiv and Sebastopol must be adopted according to the same Charter.
•  The Constitution of the Autonomous Crimean Republic must be adopted as soon as possible in order to stabilize the relations between the state power of Ukraine and the local power of the Crimea.
•  Ukraine has openly ignored her obligations concerning the death penalty (according to official sources from 9 November 1995 to 11 March 1997 212 persons were executed). The Supreme Rada of Ukraine must regard the ratification of Protocol 6 to the European Convention of human rights as a top-priority task.
•  All facts of torture and degrading treatment of detained persons must become objects of meticulous investigation, and the activity of militia must be rigidly controlled by independent institutions and court bodies.
•  State-controlled mass media must follow a neutral and independent editorial policy; if opposition mass media are persecuted in court, then this persecution must be carried out according to a clearly defined procedure and without stopping the activity of the mass media before the verdict.
•  The procedure of appeals to cancel the results of election must be simplified; the terms of accepting the claim and the duration of the investigation must be stated.

 
•  The Assembly believes that state agencies of Ukraine, including the Supreme Rada, are largely responsible for the insufficient fulfillment of the obligations taken by Ukraine while joining the Council of Europe, in particular:
•  the framework document on Ukrainian policy on human rights protection;
•  the framework document on the judicial and court reforms;
•  creation of new Penal and Penal-Procedural Codes;
•  creation of new Civil and Civil-Procedural Codes;
•  adoption of a new law on political parties.

Besides, Ukraine promised to abolish the death penalty; the term has expired, but Protocol 6 has not been ratified. Besides, Ukraine has not fulfilled her obligation to ratify the European Charter on regional languages and languages of minorities.
•  As a result of the above analysis, the Assembly takes the resolution that if all the above-listed obligations are not fulfilled to the Parliamentary Assembly session in June 1999, then:
•  The Assembly will start the process of canceling the rights of the Ukrainian Parliamentary delegation according to Rule 6 of the procedure;
•  The Assembly will recommend the Committee of Ministers to start the procedure of suspending the rights of Ukraine to be represented, according to Article 8 of the Statute of the Council of Europe.
•  The Assembly adopts the decision to pass this resolution to the European parliament, European OSCE Commission, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, World Bank and International Currency Fund with the proposition to take into account this document in the process of their cooperation with Ukraine.

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