I am also happy to welcome Ambassador Henrik Villadsen back to the Permanent Council and thank him for his comprehensive report.
With an ongoing conflict in the east and substantial parts of Ukraine being outside control of the country’s democratically elected government, there are many challenges facing the Project Co-ordinator. The pandemic has further exacerbated these challenges. We are pleased to see that the PCU has nevertheless managed to carry out a long list of projects over the last year. We understand the difficulty in reporting on outcomes and impact of the executed projects during the pandemic, but would appreciate if future reports could focus more on results and perhaps less on activities.
Norway welcomes the emphasis on gender equality and on gender mainstreaming the PCU’s work, including the points made in ambassador Villadsen’s presentation. We are also pleased to see a focus on youth, especially with regards to conflict prevention and on human rights education. We further appreciate the work done to assist the host country with its justice and legal reform agenda.
Conflict and suffering can easily lead to more conflict and more suffering. The ongoing conflict in Donbas and Russia’s illegal attempt to annex Crimea, continue to affect the civilian population. We welcome the work done to support those affected by the conflict, including former combatants and family members. We appreciate the coordination and cooperation between the PCU and the SMM, whenever this is useful and within the respective mandates.
Norway gives high priority to security sector governance and reform. We welcome the work done to support democratic control of Armed Forces and to strengthen the understanding for equal rights and opportunities for women and men in the Ukrainian armed forces.