Ukraine Conference in Lugano to focus on recovery
Bern, 24.05.2022 - Following Russia’s attack on Ukraine on 24 February, Switzerland and Ukraine decided to realign the scheduled 5th Ukraine Reform Conference and dedicate it instead to the country’s recovery; the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC2022) will take place in Lugano on 4-5 July. Invitations were sent out last week to around 40 states and 18 international organisations. President Ignazio Cassis, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba gave a briefing about the aims of the conference on the fringes of the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos on Tuesday, 24 May.
The path to Ukraine’s recovery is through a broad-based political and diplomatic process. Switzerland and Ukraine want to start this process in Lugano. Discussions are set to focus on Ukraine’s reconstruction and development plan, as well as contributions on the part of international partners. Specifically, the conference will address the priorities, methods and principles of reconstruction, as well as what form reconstruction may take in the areas of infrastructure, the economy, the environment and social issues. URC2022 will also consist of a pledging element.
Furthermore, it will be about reforms that can be implemented in the current situation. “After all, reconstruction and the reform process are not in competition with each other - on the contrary: the resilience that Ukraine has demonstrated to date is in part thanks to the reforms it has implemented so far”, stated President Cassis: “How reconstruction proceeds and what reforms accompany it will be just as important as the means deployed.”
International delegations as well as representatives from the private sector and civil society are expected to attend URC2022, however details are not yet known. The participation of President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Shmyhal is confirmed, but in what form (in person or virtually) will depend on further developments.
One event at the conference will be aimed specifically at representatives of the business community. A cultural programme is also planned to show solidarity with the people in Ukraine and with refugees, and will provide an opportunity to present the diversity of Ukrainian culture.
“We should be under no illusions; the challenges of recovery are enormous, as is evident from all the horrific images we have seen from the war zone”, stressed President Cassis. Switzerland's aim is that the conference should be an important step on the challenging path of Ukraine’s reconstruction and a contribution to stability in Europe.
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