Zelensky Signs Ratified Istanbul Convention

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a bill on ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

"Signed! The bill on ratification of the Istanbul Convention. Its content is simple but extremely important. It is a commitment to protect women from violence and various forms of discrimination," Zelensky announced on Instagram.

"We share European values. For us, human life and health are the highest values," he added.

On Monday, the Verkhovna Rada ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention.

Ratification of the Istanbul Convention is a good signal ahead of the EU summit on Ukraine's readiness to implement the necessary reforms, as it is a kind of "marker of a civilized country" for EU member states.

This decision, which was postponed for many years due to the position of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches, was crucial for the Netherlands and Sweden, two skeptical countries that eventually agreed to back candidate status for Ukraine.

The Convention was signed by 46 countries and the European Union. However, 10 countries (and Ukraine before today's vote) have not ratified the agreement. Ukraine joined the Istanbul Convention in 2011, but its ratification was delayed by protests from churches and conservative politicians because the term 'gender' is mentioned in it.

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