On August 6, USUF’s Ukrainian partner organization, the Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy (POID), joined the International Expert Network of the Crimean Platform. The Crimean Platform is a new coordinating and consultative venue initiated by Ukraine that will allow the international community to address the security and human rights challenges posed by Moscow’s actions with the ultimate goal of Crimea’s de-occupation. The first summit, with representatives from over forty countries, will take place on August 23.
The activity of the International Expert Network is an important component of this new initiative. Over 180 experts from around the world have already signed up. In the words of Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, the de-occupation of Crimea has created the largest international network of experts in the history of Ukraine. First Deputy Foreign Minister, Emine Dzhepar added that “this new format shows that we are ready for the long haul and are thinking about these matters strategically.”
The network of experts consists of seven thematic working groups: Non-recognition policy and sanctions; human rights and international humanitarian law; security; economics and ecology; Crimea’s cultural legacy; humanitarian issues; and a group working on the renewal of the rights of indigenous people as an instrument for the de-occupation of Crimea.
The members of each group are tasked with continually monitoring and analysing the situation in occupied Crimea and in the region of the Black and Azov seas and developing practical ideas and proposals for the Platform in their area of responsibility. These recommendations will inform national and international policy for the de-occupation of Crimea.
The Foundation is particularly pleased that POID is one of the think tanks invited to participate in the network of experts through its senior expert Natalya Belitser who will participate in working group three on security and group seven on indigenous people.