Post-2015 Ukraine: the future we want

15 Jun 2013

Public opinion must be taken into account in the planning processes for future development, Ms Iryna Akimova, First Deputy Head, Administration of the President of Ukraine told a round table gathered in Kyiv to present the Report “Post-2015 Ukraine: the future we want” and to discuss priority development areas.

Ms. Akimova emphasized that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets and indicators had been used to determine the reform policy directions as declared by the President of Ukraine. She also assured the round table that the post-2015 development landmarks specified in the report would be reflected in strategic documents on national development. It was necessary, she said, to elaborate “a new economic policy related to infrastructure development and innovative processes”. The report was based on the outcomes of wide-scale national consultations involving over 25,000 people. It will serve as Ukraine’s contribution to the formulation of the Global Development Agenda to be discussed by a session of the UN General Assembly in autumn 2013. By now, over 200 thousand people have taken part in this global discussion, and national consultations are going on in 83 countries in all continents, including Ukraine. The national discussion concerning development of the future people want showed how the broad strata of the Ukrainian society see the medium-term development priorities and targets, the most significant of which include securing social justice, access to quality health care and education services, decent work, modernization of the economy, development of infrastructure, environmental protection and improvement of the quality of governance.

As well as Ms. Akimova, the event was attended by Mr. Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Ms. Ricarda Rieger, UN Development Programme Country Director in Ukraine, Ms. Ella Libanova, Director, M.V. Ptukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies, NAS of Ukraine, and Mr. Andrii Yermolaev, Director, National Institute for Strategic Studies under the President Ukraine as well as representatives of international organizations the UN, civil society and the media. Opening the event, Ms. Rieger, emphasized that the national consultations had been both rewarding and insightful. “We are getting a sense of the growing call for a truly transformative development agenda. The level of ambition, quantity and quality of engagement that we have encountered has been inspiring. Hearing from experts, the general public and people in difficult circumstances has shown us how much people care – not just about their own lives, but about the lives of others, the state of the environment, and the world we are leaving our children” she said.

The report aroused much interest in society. It is the social sphere that Ukrainians generally view as the main aspect of life requiring major attention both within Ukraine and globally. A total of 87% of the consultation participants pointed to the need for setting development goals and priorities for the long term and two-thirds believed that public involvement in the discussion of goals was important. The round-table participants repeatedly stressed the need for taking public opinion on the country’s strategic development directions into consideration in planning and management processes.

Mr. Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, pointed in his address to the necessity for taking public opinion into account in the planning processes: “We all are responsible for the future we want,” he said. For the first time ever in Ukraine, the national consultations process shaping development priorities involved vulnerable population groups: people with disabilities, unemployed people, orphaned children, people living with HIV/AIDS, members of ethnic minorities, etc. During the presentation of the report Ms. Ella Libanova, Academician of the NAS of Ukraine and Director of the M.V. Ptukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies, NAS of Ukraine, pointed out that the following goals and objectives, pledged as part of Ukraine’s post-2015 efficient development, had been highlighted within the four pillars – social, economic, environmental and institutional – of sustainable development: • equality of opportunities and social justice; • efficient health care and extension of a healthy lifetime; • accessible and quality education: intellectual development and competitiveness in the labour market; • decent work: promoting human development and human potential realization; • modern economy: shaping an innovative development model; • developed infrastructure: overcoming territorial inequality; • healthy environment: preserving and developing the ecological potential of territories; • efficient and good governance: a pre-requisite for achieving the identified post-2015 development goals.

In the course of the round table, there were numerous references to statements made by many people engaged in the national consultations, as provided in the Report, such as: “the top position must be given to securing human rights”, “acessibility of medical aid should be secured; it is important that every individual should have a guaranteed pension and that there should be protected housing”, “a model of development that would combine overcoming poverty and inequality with securing sustainable development should be formed”.

Mr. Andrii Yermolaev, Director, National Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of Ukraine, emphasized that: “Social justice is actually becoming a key element permeating all the aspects of life. Today, the issue of equitable system – in the sense of shaping fair rules of the game, retaining dignity, enabling personality development, and allowing one to lead a healthy life and realize oneself – is the key requirement of most societies that have gone through the totalitarian experiment”. During the report presentation, he pointed out the need to involve the “intellectual elite” in the processes of finding ways to achieve the objectives aimed at accelerated development in the areas identified by society.

Mr. Oleksii Miroshnychenko, Deputy Chair, Federation of Employers of Ukraine, stressed the importance of the national consultation findings for shaping development policy landmarks, including in education and employment while Mr. José Roman Leon Lora, a member of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, pointed out that the strategic development priorities specified in the Report complied with the directions set forth in the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, first of all on overcoming inequality, eliminating regional development disparities, and securing efficient governance. The national consultations have confirmed that the Ukrainian people are not indifferent to their country’s development and are willing to engage in the strategy of development. The methodology of national consultations was based on UN recommendations. A list of basic questions for discussion was compiled for each target group, and questionnaires were drafted in order to conduct electronic consultations. The MY World global online survey was joined by about 10,000 Ukrainians who stated that an honest and responsible government was the highest development priority.

The round table attendees concluded that securing human rights and social justice must become a cornerstone of the country’s development agenda. The opinions voiced by the round table participants will be considered in the Report completion process.