GENEVA (7 March 2014) – UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović arrived in Ukraine late Thursday evening to conduct a preliminary assessment of the human rights situation following developments in the country since November 2013. He will be joined by a team of five other staff from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva over the weekend in addition to the two human rights staff already in Kiev.
During his eight-day visit, Mr. Šimonović plans to meet authorities and State officials in Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv and Simferopol, as well as civil society organisations at central and regional levels. Today, he met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Ombudsperson. Mr Šimonović will also liaise with regional organizations active in Ukraine, especially the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the Council of Europe.
Mr. Šimonović, OHCHR’s most senior human rights official in New York, will seek to identify existing and potential human rights challenges and to advocate for the protection of human rights, including those of minorities, as well as for accountability for recent human rights violations. Mr Šimonović will present a report with recommendations for follow-up action to the High Commissioner upon his return.
He will address the media on 14 March 2014. Further details will be available closer to the date.
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