Launching of the new Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Ukraine 2015-2018

Local news, 09.07.2015

On July 9, 2015 the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine launched in Kyiv the new Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Ukraine 2015-2018.

The event took place in the premises of the Radisson Blu Hotel (22 Yaroslaviv Val Street).

The welcoming words were addressed by the Swiss Ambassador to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova Mr. Christian Schönenberger and by honourable guests representing Ukrainian authorities, i.e. Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Municipal Economy of Ukraine Mr. Hennadiy Zubko, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Mrs. Yuliya Kovaliv, Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Mrs. Vladyslava Rutytska, and Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine Mr. Ihor Perehinets. The Ukrainian high-level guests, who represent the key national partners for the Swiss Cooperation Strategy 2015-2018 highlighted the relevance and the effectiveness of the Swiss assistance provided to Ukraine. They also expressed their gratitude to the Swiss Confederation for the long-term and productive cooperation.

Afterwards, the Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine Mr. Guido Beltrani presented the new Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Ukraine 2015-2018 and highlighted its most important aspects.

Switzerland provides technical, financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since almost 20 years, in line with the Framework Agreement between the Government of the Swiss Confederation and the Government of Ukraine on Technical and Financial Cooperation, signed on October 13, 1997 and ratified on May 14, 1999.

Switzerland's support generated a relevant and tangible impact in the past. Results achieved during 2011-2014 thanks to Swiss funded projects are, among others: (i) the living conditions of 120’000 inhabitants of rural areas of Ukraine have been enhanced thanks to more responsive local authorities and improved local services, in particular water supply and solid waste management; (ii) the infant mortality rate decreased on average from 9‰ to 5.5‰ in those regions of Ukraine supported by Swiss funded health projects; (iii) the municipal energy efficiency in the city of Vinnytsia improved considerably and Vinnytsia was rewarded as the first Ukrainian city with the European Energy Award for its efforts in this area; (iv) 11’000 small and medium agribusinesses in Ukraine are able to save 100 million USD annually thanks to a simplified business environment, e.g. the cancellation of the mandatory certification of grain quality and grain silos. The support provided during 2011-2014 amounted to CHF 57 million. For the period 2015-2018, Switzerland has decided to increase its support to Ukraine with an estimated contribution of CHF 100 million for the four years.

During 2015-2018, Switzerland is committed to promoting cohesion, inclusive democratic governance and sustainable social and economic development in Ukraine. In line with this overall goal, Switzerland will focus its support on the following domains: governance (in particular decentralization) and peacebuilding, health, energy efficiency and economic development. Therefore, Switzerland is strengthening its support in those areas where it has been active until now and has achieved tangible results, while on the same time it will also support the new reform agenda of Ukraine and promote peaceful solutions to the on-going armed conflict. Additionally, Switzerland provides humanitarian assistance to Ukraine through direct interventions and as part of international relief efforts.

While parts of the Swiss strategy will be implemented countrywide, special attention will be given to those areas of the country affected by the armed conflict and to vulnerable people.

The Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Ukraine 2015-2018 (PDF, Number of pages 48, 2.0 MB, English)

Local news, 16.09.2015

On September, 15th the Swiss Cooperation Office Ukraine supported an event in frames of Bohdan Hawrylyshyn School on Policy-Making and Development of Civil Society which took place in Kyiv, Ukraine and focused this time on the political experiences of the Swiss Confederation.

Around hundred young people – students, activists – participated in the meeting with Swiss politician Mr. François Lachat, First President of the government of the youngest Canton of Jura in Switzerland.

The event was organized by the Bohdan Hawrylyshyn School in partnership with Swiss Cooperation Office Ukraine and the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine.

Welcoming speech was presented by Dr. Dr Bohdan Hawrylyshyn, Head of the Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Charitable Foundation. All the participants were also greeted by Dr Christian Schoenenberger, Ambassador of Switzerland to Ukraine and Mr Holger Tausch, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office Ukraine.

Mr. François Lachat is a politician with significant experience. At his time he was a Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) of the Swiss Parliament, Co-founder & former vice-president of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), Head of the Swiss delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). During his speech, Mr. Lachat shared his knowledge and experience in finding consensus in controversial political and local conflicts peacefully, showing it on the example of Canton of Jura.

For Ukraine Swiss experience in conflict solving could be of great importance, especially at the current situation. This was demonstrated by the youth that was asking serious questions and provoking hot discussion.