From Lugano to London: Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis hands over lead for Ukraine Recovery Conference to UK
Bern, 18.01.2023 - The Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC) held in Lugano last July will be resumed in London in 2023. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, in the presence of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's State Secretary, Oleksandr Bankov, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis has officially handed over responsibility for preparing the next URC to UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Grant Shapps. The head of the FDFA recalled the Lugano Principles and described them as a compass pointing the way to Ukraine's recovery even in dark times.
In early July 2022 in Lugano, Mr Cassis brought all key stakeholders involved in the political process for Ukraine's recovery to the table for the first time. In addition to various countries and international organisations, the G7, the EU and NATO also attended the conference. On the second day of the conference, the Lugano Declaration, Lugano Principles, political framework and common benchmarks for the reconstruction process were presented to the 59 delegations. The UK Foreign Secretary at the time announced that the UK would host the URC follow-up conference.
"The decisions taken in Lugano will be followed up in London," said Mr Cassis, as he officially handed over responsibility for preparing the next URC to UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Grant Shapps. The main focus in Lugano was on post-war reconstruction, giving hope to people in Ukraine, said Federal Councillor Cassis. "I believe we need a compass to guide us, even in the dark times we are currently experiencing," he added. "The Lugano Declaration serves as that compass."
Mr Cassis affirmed Switzerland's continued support for the recovery of Ukraine. He used the opportunity afforded by the presence of the State Secretary of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Oleksandr Bankov, to thank Ukraine again for its close cooperation both during and after the Lugano Conference. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal attended the event via video transmission from Kyiv (Kiev).
In Davos, Mr Cassis also took the opportunity to recall the Lugano Principles, which state, for example, that Ukraine should lead the process, that the process should be transparent, that democratic participation and gender equality should be promoted, and that Ukraine's reform efforts must be continued. Only a few weeks after the conference, the Lugano Principles were already being invoked. In October 2022, for example, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen referred to the Principles at the URC in Berlin, as did French President Emmanuel Macron at the conference in support of Ukraine held in Paris last December.
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