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’.

THE ONGOING WORK

 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 practises. 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 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.

 

FOCUS OF UN WORK IN UKRAINE

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.
On photo: Ukrainian singer Taras Topolya with sons
Women from local communities of conflict-affected Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions at the workshop on community-mobilization for empowerment, 11-11 July, Kharkiv.
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.

Milestones 

  1. 1991 - Ukraine declares independence. It maintained human rights and full membership in the UN as high priorities, in part by signing the Convention on the Right of the Child.   
  2. 2003 - The United Nations acknowledges the Great Famine of 1932-33 on its 70th anniversary as a national tragedy for Ukraine caused by Soviet Policies. The same year Ukraine signs the Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).   
  3. 2010 - Ukraine signs the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. The Convention is comprised of 50 clauses and is aimed at the protection of rights of people with disabilities. The document guaranteed their right to employment, health care, education, access to justice, personal inviolability and freedom of movement and protects them from a manifestation of discrimination. At this time at least 3 million people with disabilities live in Ukraine. 
  4. 2016 - Ukraine was among the first countries to sign and ratify an agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to regulate activities for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from 2020. In pursuance of the provisions of the Paris Agreement, Ukraine has drafted, adopted, and submitted Ukraine's 2050 Low Carbon Development Strategy to the UNFCCC Secretariat.
  5. 2019 - President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky adopted a Decree on Sustainable Development Goals until 2030 aimed at ensuring the national interests of Ukraine in the sustainable development of the economy, the civil society and the state in order to achieve an increase in the level and quality of life of the population, observe the constitutional rights and freedoms of Ukraine's citizens.
  6. 2019 - With a strong support of UNAIDS, Ukraine started to pay for HIV prevention services, which was previously financed by donors. As a result of the joint advocacy and technical assistance, the Government of Ukraine is already financing most of the HIV treatment and prevention programmes, including opioid substitution therapy and pre-exposure prophylaxis. Transition from a donor to domestically financed AIDS response is a globally recognized success of Ukraine.

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: