Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1202nd meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 15 November 2018.
We warmly welcome Ambassador Žugić back to the Permanent Council and thanks him and his team for the efforts of fostering the implementation of OSCE commitments in the second dimension.
Good governance, combating corruption and money laundering, energy security, fostering the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals by the participating States, environmental implications of armed conflicts remain Ukraine’s priorities in the Second Dimension. Among our focus are the issues of economic renewal of Donbas and rehabilitation of conflict-affected territories, addressing the acute environmental aspects of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
Let me take this opportunity to express particular gratitude to the Co-ordinator for support of Ukraine’s efforts in such a priority area as fight against corruption, in particular by facilitating exchange with the Special Representative of the Chairmanship-in-Office on Combating Corruption, Professor Paola Severino during her recent visit to Ukraine. In this regard we also welcome the engagement by the Co-ordinator in preparation of extrabudgetary project “Strengthening local government integrity in Ukraine” aiming at capacity building and training for selected municipalities in addressing vulnerabilities to corruption and establishing effective integrity management system.
The Co-ordinator’s assistance in the establishment of the Dniester River Basin Commission and its working groups and in the implementation of the Dniester Treaty between Moldova and Ukraine has brought about important accomplishments in transboundary water management.
OSCE activities in the economic and environmental dimension have an important role to play for the advancement of the OSCE comprehensive approach to security. We need to pursue these activities guided by the security mandate of this Organisation. In this regard we welcome the Co-ordinator’s thematic focus on environment and security, environmental issues in the conflict zones in particular, and the intention to explore possibilities for joint action, including with the field presences.
OSCE can assist in overcoming environmental impacts in crisis situations by monitoring and assessing them with a view to providing recommendations to the participating States on effective response to civilian health risks and potential long-term environmental damage, post-conflict environmental assessment and recovery.
To address such environmental challenges in Ukraine there is a clear need for setting up a comprehensive and effective system of ecological monitoring in the occupied areas of the Donbas region of Ukraine, in particular in view of significant risks to environment of the flooding of coal mines.
We encourage the Co-ordinator to pursue activities in this field in close interaction with the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine and the SMM.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.