Tag Archives: development

Lugano: Ukraine Recovery Conference

Brussels 11.06.2022 The Ukraine Reform Conference scheduled to take place on 4 and 5 July has been renamed the Ukraine Recovery Conference to reflect the new focus of the gathering. The way to rebuild Ukraine is through a broad-based political and diplomatic process. Switzerland and Ukraine want to start this process in Lugano. Discussions will focus on Ukraine’s reconstruction and development programme and on contributions from international partners.

The conference is being co-organised by Ukraine and Switzerland and demonstrates Switzerland’s support for the only country on the European continent currently affected by armed conflict. Prior to Russia’s attack on Ukraine in February 2022, Switzerland was the fifth largest bilateral donor in Ukraine, which is also one of the few countries where the Swiss international cooperation strategy is being implemented using all of its instruments (development cooperation, humanitarian aid and peacebuilding).

Hosting the URC2022 in Switzerland gives us the opportunity to foster an inclusive approach to the reform agenda in Ukraine based on shared responsibility. The URC2022 conference will now go beyond reforms and is aimed at rebuilding Ukraine. Switzerland will be able to support Ukraine with its expertise, engagement and unique position as a non-EU and non-NATO European country.

URC2022 is expected to attract international delegations as well as representatives from the private sector and civil society. Details are not yet known. The participation of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Shmyhal is confirmed, but in what form (physical or virtual) depends on how the situation evolves.

After the Euromaidan in 2013, Ukraine embarked on an ambitious reform programme. Since then, the authorities have effected more reforms than in the two decades since Ukraine’s independence in 1991. Euromaidan crystallised the Ukrainian people’s aspirations for a more European direction and closer alignment with European values for their social contract and international orientation. Although the revolution proved to be a great source of inspiration and a driver of Ukraine’s reforms, it was the association agreement and free trade agreement with the EU as well as visa liberalisation that actually anchored the country’s reform agenda. To date, Ukraine has undergone landmark reforms in banking, decentralisation and digital transformation.

The Ukraine Reform Conference (URC) takes place once a year and provides an annual overview of developments. It was launched in London in 2017 (2018 Copenhagen, 2019 Toronto and, due to COVID-19, only again in 2021 in Vilnius). The goal of the URC is for Ukraine to present the progress it has made, for international partners to express support, and for all stakeholders to examine what steps to take next to advance the reform process. Each URC is co-organised by the foreign ministers of the host country and Ukraine.

Chile: EU deplores loss of life

“The European Union recognises the relevance of the recent demonstrations in Chile and its people’s legitimate demands, noting also the latest decisions of the President on a social package and changes in his government, as well as the cancellation of the COP 25 and APEC Summits”reads the statement by the spokesperson of the European External Action Service on the latest developments in Chile.

“We deplore the loss of life and reject any violence. Human rights must be respected in all circumstances and any breach should be duly investigated. In this context, the decision of the Chilean government to request the presence of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and of other human rights organisations is important.

“The lifting of the state of emergency and the government’s intention to launch a broad dialogue with all Chileans could be conducive to effective responses to the expectations of the citizens.

“As a longstanding partner and friend of Chile, the European Union is ready to support the Chileans in their aspirations to move towards a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive development.”

Clashes at demonstrations in the capital of Santiago have left at least 20 people dead and led to the resignation of eight key ministers from Pinera’s cabinet.

The Chilean President has now canceled the hosting of the economic APEC forum and COP25 environmental summit, which were both due to take place later this year.

Finnish Jutta Urpilainen for EU development cooperation job

The Development Committee questioned  the candidate Jutta Urpilainen for the international partnerships portfolio on future development cooperation and respect of EU values.

Political groups’ coordinators from the committee will meet within 24 hours to assess the performance of Commissioner-designate Urpilainen.

During her introductory speech, Jutta Urpilainen said that the 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals is “a golden opportunity for the European Union” to continue to play a leadership role in supporting partner countries to eradicate poverty worldwide, whilst also “promoting values, including empowering women and girls as a precondition for inclusive societies”.

 

Gender equality should be a top priority and mainstreamed in all policies and programmes, she added.

MEPs put forward several questions on the ongoing negotiations on the proposed Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, the post-Cotonou agreement with countries from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, calling for greater transparency to keep the European Parliament and the public informed.

Members also questioned the Commissioner-designate on how she would ensure that EU values are respected, particularly on gender equality and women’s empowerment, which are a priority in international cooperation. Later in the hearing, MEPs raised the issue of linking development to migration challenges and the Paris Agreement on climate action.

The full hearing link below: