UOC hierarch takes part in a joint OSCE-UN meeting
The topic of the OSCE-UN meeting was the implementation of economic rights, which is relevant today for religious organizations of the UOC.
On November 12, 2021, Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka, Head of the Representation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to European International Organizations, took part in a joint OSCE-UN meeting on "Effective Minority Participation in Economic Life as a Conflict Prevention Strategy." This was reported by the Information and Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The event was held at the UN Headquarters in Geneva, with the participation of Tatiana Valova, Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Kairat Abdrakhmanov and UN Special Rapporteur on Minorities Fernand de Varennes.
The hierarch joined the meeting online.
The UOC noted that modern international law refers to the category of minorities not only ethnic or national groups living in a certain area, but also any other community of people regardless of their number, which are united by certain criteria, including religious beliefs.
The topic of the joint meeting was not directly related to the observance of human rights in the sphere of religion, but concerned the possibility of their actual implementation in the economic sphere, which is relevant for UOC religious organizations, since today they often lose the opportunity to exercise economic rights due to the so called law "on renaming", and in some cases – the actual discriminatory policy of state and local authorities. Believers of the UOC often face denials of their legal rights, from the inability to obtain land for the construction of a church to the exclusion of UOC priests from the system of military chaplaincy.
Participants discussed the improvement of the international mechanism for the protection of minority rights and made recommendations to international human rights organizations and structures.
We will remind, on November 11 the UN Human Rights Committee recognized the fact of violation of rights of the UOC and called on Ukraine to protect believers and their temples from violence and vandalism.