Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1178th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 8 March 2018
We warmly welcome back to the Permanent Council Special Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office on Gender Issues, Amb. Melanne Verveer and thank for her inspiring address.
Ukraine recognizes the importance of ensuring equal rights of women and men to foster peace, sustainable democracy and economic development. My country is fully committed to safeguard and promote gender equality in line with the OSCE commitments.
The Government of Ukraine pays due attention to the implementation of activities within the main areas of the OSCE 2004 Gender Action Plan: preventing violence against women; ensuring equal opportunity for participating in political and public life; encouraging women’s participation in conflict prevention, crisis management, and post-conflict rehabilitation; promoting equal economic opportunity; building national mechanisms for women’s advancement; ensuring non-discriminatory legal and policy frameworks.
Ukraine has taken efforts to improve its policy framework aimed at accelerating the elimination of discrimination against women and advancing women’s rights. In particular, last year the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the concept paper of the State Social Program on Equal Rights of Women and Men for the period until 2021 and established a new position of the Government Commissioner on Gender Policy.
In February this year we have finalized all relevant procedures and newly appointed Government Gender Policy Envoy, Ms. Kateryna Levchenko, immediately assumed her duties.
Ambassador Verveer had an opportunity to observe Ukraine’s commitment and progress during her fruitful visits to my country last year. We look forward to continuing our close cooperation.
The military aggression against my country by the neighbouring OSCE participating State caused enormous trauma and new challenges for Ukrainian society.
As it was highlighted by the delegation of Ukraine at the CiO Conference "Gender Dimension of the Internal Displacement" here in Vienna on 1 December 2017, 60% of internally displaced persons in my country are women. Even though only 28% of IDPs are of the employment age, women constitute two thirds among the registered unemployed IDPs.
Internally displaced women still face problems with housing, employment, social assistance, pensions, and their integration into host communities. The government consistently builds up a system for addressing these issues in a comprehensive manner, by developing a strategy for working with displaced persons and establishing coordination between the ministries, as well as between the central and local authorities.
The gender dimension of the internal displacement was reflected in the National Human Rights Strategy, National Action Plan to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 "Women, Peace, Security", State Program for Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men.
We commend your efforts as well as activities of the Gender Section of the OSCE Secretariat which maintain the important topic of gender equality high on the OSCE agenda. We believe that today’s discussion will contribute to fostering the commitment of the OSCE participating States to promote gender equality.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.