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Statement in Response to the Report Given by the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine

Delivered by Ambassador Steffen Kongstad at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 18 June 2020

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I join others in welcoming the Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, Ambassador Villadsen, back to the Permanent Council and thank him for his report.

The PCU has, as all our field operations, experienced challenges related to the ongoing pandemic. Norway appreciates how the mission has adjusted its work and introduced mitigating measures under these difficult circumstances. We would be interested in hearing how this situation, as well as the somewhat late approval of projects financed over the unified budget, will affect the mission’s work for the rest of the year.

We appreciate the mission’s strong emphasis on gender, both in its work and in the report presented to the Permanent Council. It is encouraging to see how the three year Gender Strategy aims to promote gender mainstreaming in all programming areas, policies and procedures. A deeper understanding on how gender affect the outcome of activities, will improve the mission’s effectiveness.

We are pleased to note the work done in the justice sector, particularly related to the European Court of Human Rights  and Ukrainian constitutional law. This is key to building the capacity to exercise the rule of law.

Many Ukrainians suffer from the ongoing conflict in the eastern parts of the country. We welcome PCU’s efforts to assist the victims from the conflict. We also appreciate the cooperation between the PCU, the SMM and the Ukrainian authorities in this field.

The OSCE mission in Ukraine has now been active for more than twenty years. A main priority is capacity building. For such capacity building to be effective, it is of utmost importance that the mission acts according to the host country’s priorities, but also that the host country is willing, and able, to do its part to adopt, integrate and implement the necessary reforms. We encourage the PCU and the Ukrainian authorities to continue the good cooperation that we have seen over the last years.