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Statement in reply to the briefing given by Ambassador Villadsen

Delivered by Minister Counsellor Henning Hj. Johansen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 24 January 2019

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Mr. Chair,

I would like to join others in welcoming Ambassador Villadsen to the Permanent
Council, and thank him for his report.

Norway strongly supports Ukraine’s reform process. Ukraine has made good progress
and is implementing important reforms, but much remains to be done, also in this
election year. We believe the OSCE institutions and the PCU are highly capable in
assisting Ukraine.

Implementation of OSCE commitments is an important part of the reform process. We
appreciate the PCU’s support to ensuring transparency of the election administration
process and increasing cyber security. We also appreciate the close cooperation the
PCU has with the ODIHR, within existing mandates and procedures, in preparations for
the upcoming election observations. Public trust in the legitimacy of elections is
essential.

For any reform to be effective, the authorities must understand the needs of the citizens
and respond to them. We believe the Dialogue for Reform and Social Cohesion can be
helpful in creating awareness of problems in the conflict zone and finding constructive
solutions. This will contribute to stability and economic development.
Journalists and media are important in providing information, but can also contribute to
political polarisation. We commend the two projects on supporting conflict-sensitive
journalism and strengthening media self-regulation. This is at the heart of building an
inclusive society based on mutual respect.

With many international donors involved in Ukraine, we would like to hear more on
what you and the PCU do to avoid overlap and coordinate your efforts with those of
other organisations, both inside and outside the OSCE family.

Norway highly appreciates your efforts to promote gender related issues, including by
assisting in introducing gender focal points in courts and the Ministry of the Interior.
We look forward to seeing the effects of introducing gender mainstreaming in all areas
of your work later this year, as was mentioned during yesterday’s informal meeting.

The OSCE and other partners can provide expertise and build capacity. However, it is
the responsibility of Ukrainian authorities to make full use of the knowledge and
capacity they acquire, and to build on it in further development.

Norway will continue to support the PCU in its efforts, and we will continue our bilateral
support towards building a democratic and stable Ukraine.

Thank you.

2019-01-24 norway reply PCU.pdf