The United Nations in Ukraine

The United Nations in Ukraine works with the Government and the people of Ukraine to build a culture of dignity, through understanding of and respect for human rights, towards a peaceful and transformed Ukraine. The special attention of the United Nations is given to the needs and aspirations of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in Ukraine. This approach builds on the core SDG concept of equitable development for all, ‘leaving no one behind’ and the key message to ‘reach the furthest behind first’.


 UN Policy Papers

General Description of the initiative:

The UN Policy Papers are a series of analytical documents, created jointly by all the UN Agencies, Funds and Programs in Ukraine with the aim to capture a common UN position on issues which correspond to contemporary Ukrainian reform priorities and to present policy recommendations, based on global best practices. The UN has the ambition to continue to issue Policy Papers on critical questions related to key reforms that are essential for the sustainable development of Ukraine, and that have specific impact and significance in terms of addressing structural issues of poverty, inequality and vulnerability in the country, exacerbated now by the significant COVID-19 socio-economic impact.

UN Policy Paper on Census (click to read a full document)

The last census in Ukraine was held in 2001 and the need for clear understanding on Ukrainian population has become crucial. The quality of data obtained during a census and access to it are known to be integral parts of good governance, as they are key to ensuring evidence-based decision-making. The COVID-19 pandemic has made some adjustments to the organization of censuses in many countries around the world - however, the UN urges governments and national statistics authorities not to stop preparing for national censuses and not to consider alternative census options.

UN Policy Paper on Land reform (click to read a full document)

Agriculture is fundamental to Ukraine’s economy and the welfare of its people. Not surprisingly, land reform is one of the most widely discussed reforms in recent Ukrainian history. Adoption of the land turnover law and the decision to open the land market is an important step towards rural economic and social development, as it turns land into a valuable possession. The moratorium on land sales has hindered those who want to sell their land, or build small but viable farms, and has kept rental rates for land artificially low. Land reform brings together key issues of Sustainable economic growth, environment and employment – which is also one of the 4 strategic pillars of the UN-Ukraine partnership framework, and therefore it has an important role in accelerating sustainable and green economic development.

UN Policy Paper on Labour code (click to read a full document)

Labour legislation reform is one of the most long-discussed reforms in Ukraine. Preserving employment should be a priority, in the current pandemic context this means legally authorizing and introducing flexible teleworking arrangements, encouraging part-time employment, focus on digitalization of the public services to ensure their continuity and implementation of the policy response in a remote way. A fair and balanced Labour Code is a powerful driver for a wide range of Sustainable Development Goals. Labour legislation makes a vital contribution to economic development, it addresses adverse impacts on people, the environment and society, and so promotes the well-being of the population as a whole.

UN Policy Paper on Universal health coverage (click to read a full document)

Universal Health Coverage fulfils the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, meaning that all people and communities have access to the effective health services they need without suffering financial hardship. COVID-19 has vividly demonstrated the importance of a modern health system, to respond effectively to health crises and pandemics, to provide citizens with the health services they need and to promote critical development goals. After the outbreak working on strengthening of health systems and UHC will become even more crucial as it prepares us for the next potential outbreaks.

UN Policy Paper on In-Out Migration (click to read a full document)

Migration is crucial for the socio-economic development of Ukraine; it also represents a key area of the country cooperation framework with the European Union.  Safe, orderly and regular migration with full respect for human rights is crucial to achieving a wide range of development goals. COVID-19 has accelerated the need for a comprehensive migration governance framework. An effective response requires a centrally coordinated whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach that benefits migrants and society as a whole and involves full respect for human rights. To this end, Ukraine’s Strategy of State Migration Policy must be accelerated, stakeholder capacity enhanced, and mechanisms for coordination institutionalised and made inclusive.

UN Policy Paper on Social Protection in Ukraine (click to read a full document)

Social protection is a human right and it contributes to social and economic development. Social protection systems with wide population coverage,  adequate and affordable benefit levels are a key instrument for sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda therefore commits governments to implementing social protection systems and floors to achieve substantial coverage for all, including the poor and vulnerable. The policy paper underlines significant avenues for improving Ukraine’s social protection system, especially in times of COVID that did reveal limitations of the existing social security system.

UN Policy Paper on Gender-based violence (click to read a full document)

Gender-based violence (GBV) is regarded among the most common human rights violations and disproportionally affects women and girls, though men and boys are victims too. GBV, intimate partner violence, domestic violence and sexual violence are widespread in Ukraine. Registered incidences are on the rise and are compounded by the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective prevention and combating GBV requires transformation of socio-cultural barriers, behavioral patterns and attitudes towards GBV through awareness-raising campaigns and gender mainstreaming in national programs and action plans. 

UN Policy Paper on Population Dynamics (click to read a full document)

Population dynamics is fundamental both to national development processes and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Demographic situation in Ukraine is often characterized as a crisis due to a combination of population decline and deterioration of its "demographic quality" - first of all, health and well-being of people, opportunities for full realization of their potential. The contemporary demographic reality must be consistently studied, well-understood and comprehended. Based on such comprehension and acceptance, ways must be sought to adequately and effectively respond to current demographic processes striving to develop human capital, refraining from alarmist rhetoric and short-sighted policy decisions. Perhaps, the most important step towards ensuring the country’s demographic resilience is to conduct a full-fledged population census in compliance with international standards and recommendations. 

UN Policy Paper on Disability (click to read a full document)

People with disabilities are one of the most excluded groups in our society and one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Even under normal circumstances, persons with disabilities are less likely to access services and to participate in the community.  This analytical document presents a common UN Agencies position on the situation of people with disability in the country, as well as formulates specific policy recommendations for Ukraine to encourage policymaking in line with the global best practices. 



Equitable access to quality and inclusive services and social protection;Sustainable economic growth, environment and employment;The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Ukraine is composed of representatives of 16 UN specialized agencies, funds and programmes, accredited in Ukraine. The work of the UN in Ukraine is guided by the Government of Ukraine - United Nations Partnership Framework 2018-2022. This strategic document was formulated with strong participation from the Government of Ukraine, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Ukraine, civil society and other stakeholders and affirms the commitment of all partners in support of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 in areas that coincide with national development priorities. Results formulated under this document respond to the national development challenges and make use of the UN’s comparative advantages, capacity and resources. There are four key Pillars of work:

  • Democratic governance, rule of law and civic participation;
  • Human security, social cohesion and recovery with a particular focus on Eastern Ukraine.
Caption: On photo: Ukrainian singer Taras Topolya with sons
Photo: © UNFPA Ukraine
Caption: Women from local communities of conflict-affected Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions at the workshop on community-mobilization for empowerment, 11-11 July, Kharkiv.
Photo: © UN Women/Anna Korbut
Caption: Ukraine. Displaced Ukrainian family returns home with aid from UNHCR.
Sergey, Katia and their 3 year old daughter, Sofia, return home after receiving aid from UNHCR in Nikishino, eastern Ukraine, on March 1, 2015. The family's home was hit during fighting in the village and they are now making repairs in hope of moving back in. For the foreseeable future however they remained displaced and stay in a friend's house.
Photo: © UNHCR/Andrew McConnell


The Sustainable Development Goals in Ukraine

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Ukraine: