Kyiv, 26 June 2020 – During an online meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba today, the Administrator of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Achim Steiner personally offered his agency’s support to Ukraine in overcoming the COVID-19 crisis and keeping the country on its sustainable development path.
Steiner told Kuleba that UNDP could act as a sounding board and trustworthy policy advisor to the government of Ukraine on the country’s development perspectives beyond recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and towards the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).
“UNDP offers its expertise to Ukraine’s leadership, as it governs in a time of crisis,” Steiner told Kuleba. “The COVID-19 crisis threatens the health of Ukrainians, the health of Ukraine’s economy, and the gains it has made in sustainable development. We want to help you protect those gains, and go on to a recovery that is better, greener, and fairer for all Ukrainians.”
Steiner acknowledged the commitment of the Government of Ukraine to achieving the SDGs, which are now integrated into the state policy of “Leave No One Behind” and congratulated Ukraine on achieving progress in 15 of the 17 SDGs, as shown by its Voluntary National Review report on SDG progress.
The UNDP Administrator also thanked Kuleba for his leadership in aligning the Agenda 2030 and the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which he said were mutually reinforcing frameworks for a prosperous and transparent state.
Kuleba said his ministry appreciates that Ukraine was among the first countries globally to receive this level of UNDP support in challenging times. “It’s really appreciated! Recently, Ukraine has shown good progress in digitalization and taken some important steps on its transition path to a green economy,” he said. “And we can do more – the political will is there. I’m sure with UNDP’s global support, we can achieve tremendous results.”
The two went on to discuss a wide range of topics, including UNDP’s support for Ukraine’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ukraine’s interest in and commitment to being part of the EU Green Deal and transition to a green economy, and the country’s progress in advancing digital transformation in public administration and public service provision, and the plan to make digital governance a reality for Ukrainians under the visionary “State in a Smartphone” initiative.
In particular, Steiner underlined that the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting hard on the key fundamentals of human development: income, education and health, which will result in divergence from the sustainable development pathway declared by many countries, including Ukraine. He said UNDP was working to ensure a resilient and sustainable recovery after the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
In turn, Steiner reassured Kuleba of UNDP’s commitment to continue supporting Ukraine’s efforts to transform into a modern and prosperous state, achieving the SDGs, addressing the needs of the communities affected by the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, and implementing the country’s commitments to international conventions, protocols, standards and human rights instruments – in line with Ukraine’s reform agenda and national priorities.
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.
UNDP Ukraine is the third largest programme country globally, offering innovative approaches and integrated services ranging from democratic governance and public administration reform to energy and environment, and inclusive local development, recovery and peace building.
Yuliia Samus; UNDP in Ukraine Communication Officer email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: MFA Ukraine / UNDP Ukraine