CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
I would like to join others in welcoming Ambassador Villadsen back to the Permanent
Council, and thank him for his report.
In a country, which for the past five years have seen a substantial part of its territory outside its control, it is only natural to spend much energy focused solely on the ongoing conflict. It is positive that the PCU balances its efforts between capacity building related to the effects of the conflict and to more strategic reforms. From a long list of programmes and projects, I would like to pay special attention to two.
A large number of Ukrainians have experienced the hardships of armed conflict. To reduce the risk of these experiences leading to further violence, capacity building for social workers and psychologists is of high value. Doing so in cooperation with the Ministry of Veterans should contribute to this capacity finding its way to where it is needed the most.
As a long-term supporter of Ukraine’s reform process, Norway appreciates the continued cooperation between the PCU and Ukrainian authorities on judicial reform. Without a well functioning judicial system, human rights of ordinary Ukrainians are not safe. And lack of trust in Ukrainian courts reduces foreign investments, thus hampering the economic developments of the country.
We appreciate the focus given to gender issues, especially in the work on gender mainstreaming in the judiciary. We also note that there is awareness on the ratio of representation of women and men. We look forward to seeing how your work on introducing gender mainstreaming also in your other activities will affect the project outcomes.
As the OSCE presence in Ukraine has now lasted for over twenty years, we should remind ourselves that the PCU is in Kyiv to provide expertise and capacity. The results of this work are fully dependent on the Ukrainian authorities’ willingness to cooperate with our organisation and make use of the capacity it provides. Norway will continue our support towards building a stable Ukraine, both bilaterally and through the PCU.
Statement in Respons to the Report Given by the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine.pdf