On behalf of my delegation I would like to emphasize the high importance and
relevance of today's thematic debate.
It is symbolic that we undertake these debates on multiculturalism and respect
for diversity on the eve of the World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialog and
Development. It reminds us that our Organization has elaborated necessary instruments,
one of which is the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. What is needed
is to respect them and to implement them in the most effective way.
I would like to continue on the theme raised by reverend Trond Bakkeving as
to the importance of the issue of cultural diversity in modern society. I became
more convinced in that after the World Summit on Peace and Tolerance held in
Kyiv (my capital) on 25 April 2007. Organized by the World Congress of Christians,
Jews and Muslims together with the Global Foundation for Democracy, the summit
has gathered the prominent religious leaders from Christian, Islamic and Jewish
communities of the world.
After having listening to the Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger, ex-Prime
Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, spiritual leaders from Orthodox Church
of my region, Islamic theologists from the Gulf countries I recognized that
we have more in common than what makes us different as to basic principles of
our religions. But what we are to continue to learn is the nature of inter-religious
and cultural intolerance and conflict in multicultural society, in order to
elaborate effective mechanisms aimed at increasing our understanding of multiculturalism
and respect for diversity.
The United Nations has been built on a solemn pledge by its Member States to
reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the
human being. That pledge can hardly be fulfilled if we fail to remember and
to acknowledge - sometimes it takes courage to do - the tragic events of the
past, vast violations of human rights and mass suffering of people.
It is important to remember the past in order to learn from it and to avoid
repeating it. We must use that knowledge to strengthen the effectiveness of
the rule of law and to enhance the respect for human rights and fundamental
freedoms in the world.
It is none the less important to properly recognize the crimes against humanity
and to honor the memory of their victims for the sake of improving trust and
understanding among the peoples so that new generations could move forward in
harmony and good dialog.
Ukraine calls upon the United Nations as the collective voice of the international
community to contribute to the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the
Great Famine of 1932-33 (Holodomor), among other things, by adopting a relevant
We do not intend to establish responsibility of any state for the acts committed
on the territory of Ukraine in 1932-33. We clearly emphasize that policies and
acts of the then totalitarian regime should be blamed for the man-made famine.
Thank you for your attention.