I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania, the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this Explanation of Vote.
The European Union reaffirms its resolute support to Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We reiterate that we do not recognise and continue to condemn the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, which is a violation of international law. It remains a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all States.
The EU continues to call for full compliance with international human rights standards in the Crimean peninsula. All pending cases of human rights violations and abuses, such as enforced disappearances, torture and killings should be thoroughly investigated. International human rights observers must be granted full, free and unhindered access to the whole territory of Ukraine, including in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. The EU recalls UNGA Resolution 68/262 of 27 March 2014, UNGA Resolution 73/194 of 17 December 2018 and UNGA Resolution 73/263 of 22 December 2018 and calls for their full implementation, including the Russian Federation's obligations under applicable international humanitarian law.
The EU reaffirmed its full support to the endeavours of the Normandy format, the OSCE, including the work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, and the Trilateral Contact Group. The EU stressed the importance of enhancing negotiating efforts aimed at sustainable and peaceful resolution of the conflict in view of the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by all sides and of measures aimed at rebuilding confidence while underlining the responsibility of the Russian Federation in this regard.
For all these reasons the Member States of the European Union and aligned countries decide to vote in favour of inclusion of the item “Situation in the occupied territories of Ukraine” into the regular agenda of the 74th United Nation General Assembly session.