OSCE Announces New Support Programme for Ukraine

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: August 8, 2022; 11:49 ♦ (Vindobona)

During a visit by the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Secretary General to the Ukrainian capital Kiev, a new support programme for Ukraine was announced. It is designed to assist the Ukrainian government in dealing with the war's immediate threats and risks.

The programme is designed to help the Ukrainian government deal with the immediate threats and risks posed by the war. / Picture: © OSCE/Kateryna Ryabiko

In recent weeks and months, the OSCE has shown itself to be committed to supporting Ukraine in dealing with the consequences of the war. Now, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau and OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid announced during a visit to the Ukrainian capital Kiev that they would initiate a new support programme for Ukraine.

This is intended to help the Ukrainian government cope with the immediate threats and risks of the war. It will also support Ukrainian institutions and civil society organisations in developing Ukraine's long-term democratic and social resilience.

"Supporting Ukraine - its government, its people, its civil society and its institutions - has been and remains the OSCE's top priority. Even though we had no other option but to close our two field operations due to the attitude of the Russian Federation, the OSCE remains committed and committed to stand by Ukraine in these difficult times," stressed Chairperson Rau, alluding to the forced closure of the Special Monitoring Mission and the Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine after the Russian Federation did not agree to extend their respective mandates. Vindobona reported.

"The programme we are launching is ambitious and I believe it will help the country address the multiple and unprecedented challenges it faces due to the ongoing Russian military onslaught," he stressed.

Secretary General Schmid stressed that the new assistance programme will build on the trusting partnership and diverse experience that the OSCE has gained in Ukraine over the past three decades.

"Before the outbreak of war, the OSCE had the largest international presence in Ukraine. I thank our staff, our greatest asset. With this new programme, we will make every effort to preserve and use the invaluable experience and expertise we have built up," she stressed.

The new programme already includes more than 20 projects supporting Ukrainian state institutions, civil society and their citizens. It draws on the OSCE's proven partnerships and invaluable experience gained over the past three decades.

The immediate priorities of the project include addressing humanitarian needs and preventing and combating illicit trafficking in arms, ammunition and explosives. This also includes addressing the environmental damage caused by the war, e.g. by raising awareness on how to mitigate the increased chemical security risks.

This will involve working more with local authorities in the future to protect civilians from unexploded ordnance and other legacies of war, through OSCE training with partners and supporting the development of the legal and policy framework.

OSCE Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe