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The need for international condemnation of Holodomor, the great famine in Ukraine of 1932-33

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 11512 | 25 January 2008

Ms Renate WOHLWEND, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Ms Marie-Louise BEMELMANS-VIDEC, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Ryszard BENDER, Poland, EDG ; Mr Andris BĒRZINŠ, Latvia, ALDE ; Ms Oksana BILOZIR, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Roland BLUM, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Giorgi BOKERIA, Georgia ; Ms Olena BONDARENKO, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Luc Van den BRANDE, Belgium, EPP/CD ; Mr Jean-Guy BRANGER, France ; Ms Ingrida CIRCENE, Latvia, EPP/CD ; Ms Minodora CLIVETI, Romania ; Mr Valeriu COSARCIUC, Republic of Moldova ; Mr Vlad CUBREACOV, Republic of Moldova ; Mr Juris DOBELIS, Latvia, EDG ; Mr Mátyás EÖRSI, Hungary, ALDE ; Ms Doris FROMMELT, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Mr John GREENWAY, United Kingdom ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Andrzej GRZYB, Poland ; Ms Azra HADŽIAHMETOVIĆ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, ALDE ; Mr Mike HANCOCK, United Kingdom, ALDE ; Ms Olha HERASYM'YUK, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Mr Serhiy HOLOVATY, Ukraine, ALDE ; Mr Stanisław HUSKOWSKI, Poland ; Mr Tadeusz IWIŃSKI, Poland, SOC ; Mr Gediminas JAKAVONIS, Lithuania ; Ms Danuta JAZŁOWIECKA, Poland ; Mr Karol KARSKI, Poland ; Mr Hakki KESKIN, Germany ; Mr Oleksandr LAVRYNOVYCH, Ukraine ; Ms Darja LAVTIŽAR-BEBLER, Slovenia, SOC ; Ms Sabine LEUTHEUSSER-SCHNARRENBERGER, Germany, ALDE ; Mr Göran LINDBLAD, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Dariusz LIPIŃSKI, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Arthur LOEPFE, Switzerland ; Ms Mirjana MALIĆ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, SOC ; Mr Miloš MELČÁK, Czech Republic ; Mr Neven MIMICA, Croatia, SOC ; Mr João Bosco MOTA AMARAL, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Ms Nino NAKASHIDZÉ, Georgia ; Ms Kristiina OJULAND, Estonia ; Mr Hryhoriy OMELCHENKO, Ukraine ; Mr Andrey PANTEV, Bulgaria ; Ms Ganira PASHAYEVA, Azerbaijan, EDG ; Ms Marietta de POURBAIX-LUNDIN, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriy PYSARENKO, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Andrea RIGONI, Italy, ALDE ; Ms Jadwiga ROTNICKA, Poland, EPP/CD ; Lord David RUSSELL-JOHNSTON, United Kingdom ; Ms Hanne SEVERINSEN, Denmark, ALDE ; Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV, Ukraine ; Mr Michał STULIGROSZ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Ms Elene TEVDORADZE, Georgia ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Mr Marek WIKIŃSKI, Poland, SOC ; Mr Wolfgang WODARG, Germany ; Ms Gisela WURM, Austria, SOC

The right to life is the first and essential human right defined by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950).

The rule of the totalitarian Stalinist regime in the former Soviet Union led to tremendous human rights violations depriving millions of people of their right to life. The artificial famine in Ukraine of 1932-33 (Holodomor) is the most tragic evidence of the murderous deeds of the totalitarian Stalinist regime.

The great famine was the primary result of deliberately planned actions aimed at physical annihilation of the opponents of the repressive regime on a national level. Terror by artificial famine became a principal instrument of this policy. According to statistics, during just one year in the period 1932-33, Ukraine lost a quarter of its population (according to different sources, from 7 to 10 million people): 17 people were dying every minute, more than 1 000 every hour and nearly 25 000 every day. The total number of victims was equal to or even exceeded the population of some present-day European countries.

The tragedy of the great famine was intentionally concealed during the Soviet era. It was even forbidden to discuss it openly. Nevertheless, this tragedy has no statute of limitations. After decades of silence, today is the opportune moment to restore historical truth, to honour the memory of victims of the great famine and to express sympathy to their relatives.

The Council of Europe shall not keep silent about this tragedy, being the unique all-European institution in the field of human rights protection. It shall join the voices of other international organisations which have already expressed their position concerning Holodomor:

  • on 7 November 2003, 35 United Nations member states made the joint statement on the 70th anniversary of the Great Famine of 1932-33 in Ukraine (Holodomor);
  • on 1 November 2007, UNESCO adopted its resolution on remembrance of victims of the Great Famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine in 1932-33;
  • on 30 November 2007, 33 OSCE participating states made the joint statement on the 75th anniversary of Holodomor 1932 and 1933 in Ukraine;
  • Holodomor in Ukraine was condemned by national parliaments of the Council of Europe member states such as Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland, as well as by the parliaments of Canada and the United States, observers to the Organisation.

While preparing a report and adopting a relevant resolution which will go in line with the previously adopted Resolutions 1096 (1996) and 1481 (2006), the Parliamentary Assembly could show solidarity with its international partners and member states in condemning the deeds of the repressive Stalinist regime, raise public awareness of this tragedy and commemorate the memory of millions of Ukrainians who became victims of the great famine of 1932-33.