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:
15 February 2022
Secretary-General's remarks to the Press Stakeout - on Ukraine
Good afternoon. I am deeply worried by the heightened tensions and increased speculation about a potential military conflict in Europe. The price in human suffering, destruction and damage to European and global security is too high to contemplate. We simply cannot accept even the possibility of such a disastrous confrontation. I will remain fully engaged in the hours and days to come. I just spoke this morning with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and of Ukraine. My message is clear: There is no alternative to diplomacy. All issues – including the most intractable – can and must be addressed and resolved through diplomatic frameworks. It is my firm belief that this principle will prevail. The United Nations Country Team remains fully operational in Ukraine. As United Nations Secretary-General, it is my duty to appeal for the full respect of the United Nations Charter, a fundamental pillar of international law. The Charter clearly says, and I quote: “All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.” “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” The time is now to defuse tensions and de-escalate actions on the ground. There is no place for incendiary rhetoric. Public statements should aim to reduce tensions, not inflame them. I welcome the recent flurry of diplomatic contacts and engagements, including between Heads of State. But more needs to be done, and I expect all to intensify their efforts. I have made my good offices available and we will leave no stone unturned in the search for a peaceful solution. Abandoning diplomacy for confrontation is not a step over a line, it is a dive over a cliff. In short, my appeal is this: Do not fail the cause of peace. Thank you.
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11 February 2022
Joint UN mission visits humanitarian-development nexus projects in eastern Ukraine
Osnat Lubrani, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, joined Dafina Gercheva, UNDP Resident Representative to Ukraine, and Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR Representative in Ukraine on a visit to eastern Ukraine 9-11 February 2022. This joint mission focused on humanitarian-development nexus projects, jointly implemented by UNDP and UNHCR. The nexus approach aims to address critical humanitarian and protection needs in a way which is sustainable and simultaneously strengthens local systems and accountabilities, by fostering links and synergies between humanitarian and development actions, in close collaboration with local authorities and local communities. The visited sites constitute strong examples of how this approach can provide sustainable solutions for internally displaced and conflict-affected persons. The projects were designed in close consultation with the local population, in partnership with the private sector, and local and regional authorities. Budget allocations have been secured from authorities to ensure that the interventions remain sustainable and anchor local ownership. The projects were made possible by the generous contributions of the European Union. Other important partners include Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. In Popasna, Luhansk Oblast, on 9 February, Lubrani, Gercheva and Lindholm Billing attended the opening ceremony of the renovated ‘Leleka’ rehabilitation center for children with disabilities. At the opening ceremony, Lubrani said that the center would ease access to persons with disabilities to much needed facilities and services as well as build their skills and their confidence. “Meeting the children and the dedicated staff and volunteers, it is rewarding to realize how this center is contributing to full inclusion of people with disabilities in society.” Lubrani said. Also in Popasna, the mission visited the University of the Third Age, which encourages life-long learning, and boarded Mobile Social Services centers. These roaming vehicles provide medical and sanitary services, but also legal advice, socio-psychological assistance and gardening help, to name a few. On 10 February, Lubrani, Gercheva and Lindholm Billing visited a Multifunctional Creative Space for Youth Development, in Toretsk, Donetsk Oblast. The creative space allows children, primarily from socioeconomically vulnerable families, to develop their creative talents in a safe space. Moving on to Niu York in Donetsk Oblast, the mission visited the town’s Cultural Hub – a platform for community initiatives, dialogue, and concerts. Local youth proudly explained that after 70 years of being called Novhorodske, the town regained its original name in 2021. The center also serves as space for an impressive exhibition of photo portraits celebrating women leaders and activists in the community. The next day, the mission continued to the town of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast. There, it visited the Territorial Center for Social Services, which offers psychosocial support, leisure and personal development for older persons who have been greatly impacted by the conflict, including through family separation and trauma. Also in Avdiivka, children attending the “Renaissance – Music School of the Future” held a moving concert for the visitors. Currently 22 teachers teach music instruments and theory, including Ukrainian music history, to some 180 students. Afterwards, Lubrani and Lindholm Billing attended the opening of a new traumatology unit at the central hospital of Avdiivka. This improvement will expand access to health care for many Ukrainians on both sides of the contact line. Lindholm Billing, said that there are still critical humanitarian needs due to the protracted conflict, but highlighted the importance of – wherever possible – addressing these in a way which simultaneously builds the capacity of local communities and authorities to protect the rights and dignity of the population in the future: “UNHCR, as a humanitarian organization with a protection and solutions mandate, provides different types of support and assistance to help individuals or communities in a particularly vulnerable situation address an immediate need, such as psychosocial support, and strives to work in partnership with development organizations, such as UNDP, to link our programs to their projects aimed at developing local systems and structures. In this way, immediate needs are met, while local systems are developed to address the same or similar needs of other people in the future. The people whose needs our programs are seeking to help, and the local authorities are key actors and partners in this community-based ‘Humanitarian-Development Nexus’ approach.” At the same time, Gercheva attended the opening of the local court, which had stopped operating after the beginning of the conflict in 2014. New computers and videoconferencing equipment will enable the court to resume hearings right away, thus facilitating access to justice for all Ukrainians. Gercheva said that all people must have unhindered access to justice – especially those who live in the conflict-affected areas across eastern Ukraine. “The armed conflict and ongoing pandemic have created additional challenges for justice and rule of law by limiting access to courts, and hindering the movement of people who try to cross the ‘contact line’ seeking protection,” she said. “Despite the many obstacles and formidable challenges, UNDP and its partners will continue to make every effort to enhance the capacity of Ukraine's judiciary.” During the visit, the UN delegation also met with the heads of Donetsk and Luhansk oblast administrations, to discuss the ongoing partnership and to explore areas for strengthened future collaboration. The visit also provided an opportunity for Lubrani, Gercheva and Lindholm Billing to host townhall meetings to engage with UN staff, field questions and express strong appreciation for the work of all UN personnel serving in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. The joint mission was a testament to the UN’s continued engagement for all Ukrainians, with focus on those most vulnerable. It highlighted the potential for further operationalization of the humanitarian-development nexus approach and underscored the UN’s commitment to helping Ukraine achieve the sustainable development goals and ensuring that nobody is left behind.
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17 February 2022
2022 Humanitarian Needs And Response Overview: Ukraine
After seven years, the protracted humanitarian crisis has faded from global headlines causing mistaken perceptions that it is “frozen”. The ceasefire brokered in July 2020 has become increasingly fragile, resulting in the number of civilian casualties returning to pre-ceasefire levels. Civilian infrastructure is frequently coming under fire, and widespread contamination by explosive ordnance and mines remains a serious concern. With no political solution to the conflict in sight, it is likely that the humanitarian needs will continue with an increase in severity in 2022, particularly in NGCA. The socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in eastern Ukraine has become more pronounced due to the prolonged closure of the “contact line”, restrictions on movement, and decreasing livelihood opportunities. Residents of NGCA, particularly the elderly, have been most impacted by restrictions on movement across the “contact line”, cutting them off from basic services and social entitlements, including pensions. With the winter fast approaching and the COVID-19 epidemiological situation worsening, especially in NGCA, the operational environment has become increasingly complicated. The humanitarian crisis continues to be at risk of being politicized, and access constraints remain a serious challenge to humanitarian operations in certain areas of eastern Ukraine.
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