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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Report by OSCE's Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine: UK response

UK Ambassador Bush thanks Ambassador Villadsen for PCU's work on mitigating the impacts of the conflict, dialogue promotion and rule of law and human rights.

28 October 2021


Thank you Madam Chair. I would like to thank Ambassador Villadsen for his detailed briefing on the work of the Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine.

The UK continues to welcome your strategic objectives to support the Government's reform effort, promote a culture of dialogue and help mitigate the effects of conflict. We recognise and value the many and varied projects implemented by your office, but I will focus this statement on three areas: mitigating the impacts of the conflict, dialogue promotion and rule of law and human rights.

The UK appreciates the PCU's ongoing work to mitigate the effects of the conflict. This includes your facilitation of discussion between regions on best practices in providing psycho-social assistance to veterans in the territorial communities – we hope this will contribute to alleviating some of the stress and trauma experienced by veterans. The PCU also continues to do vital work on demining, such as facilitating public involvement in state mine action policy development, as well as providing materials to be used for education activities in schools in conflict affected areas of eastern Ukraine. Education on mines is crucial as we continue to receive tragic reports of children sustaining injuries from unexploded ordnance. We are also grateful to the PCU on efforts to mitigate the environmental impacts of the conflict, including work to support the State Water Resource Agency in planning and management of water resources in eastern Ukraine. The PCU's work on initiating preparation of recommendations for improving interagency co-ordination in cases of water crisis events is particularly important given the water-related risks in eastern Ukraine.

I would also like to highlight your work to promote dialogue by providing training to 204 civil servants and reform managers in dialogue, conflict management and effective communication. This is further supported by your contribution to the Guide on Civil Service Culture prepared by the National Agency of Civil Service, which aims to use dialogue tools to manage conflicts and build organisational culture in state institutions.

On the rule of law, we appreciate the PCU's continued support to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to enhance access to and improve the quality of constitutional justice. We welcome the working group you have established to develop a guidebook on gender analysis of constitutional issues, which aims to promote a gender perspective in constitutional adjudications.

It is important that gender sensitive approaches are applied across all aspects of the PCU's work, to increase its effectiveness and beneficial impact. We therefore commend your progress on implementation of the 'Action Plan for Implementing the Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality at the OSCE PCU (2020–2022)', which I note was 40 per cent complete at the beginning of October. We welcome that this strategy covers a broad range of areas, including on structure, training, management, coordination and reporting.

We were pleased to see efforts to promote gender equality in several of the projects in your written report, including on combating gender stereotypes and mainstreaming gender equality in education. We also welcome efforts to advance gender-sensitive justice delivery through supporting the National School of Judges to develop a gender competencies framework.

Lastly, I would like to commend the PCU for continuing to adapt your activities in response to the challenges posed by Covid-19. We note that despite these challenges, the PCU has managed to achieve a high overall implementation rate which we are pleased to hear today now stands at 82%.

The UK remains committed to the long-term security, stability and prosperity of Ukraine. We thank the PCU for promoting reform across a broad range of issues, some of which have been highlighted today. We call for the PCU to be given unrestricted access throughout Ukrainian territory, including in eastern Ukraine and illegally annexed Crimea, as is provided for in its mandate. We once again thank Ambassador Villadsen and his team for their work supporting Ukraine, and I wish them continued success.

Thank you.

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