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Ukraine, allies adopt principles for reconstruction

#Ukraine #allies #adopt #principles #reconstruction

Dozens of countries on Tuesday pledged to support Ukraine in what is expected to be a long and expensive recovery, agreeing on the need for sweeping reforms to increase transparency and fight corruption.

At the end of a two-day conference in the southern Swiss city of Lugano, heads of state and government from around 40 countries signed the Lugano Declaration, which sets out a number of principles for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Swiss President Iganzio Cassis, who co-hosted the conference with Ukraine, hailed the declaration as a “first important step in Ukraine’s long road to recovery.”

“Our work prepares for the time after the war, even if the war is still raging,” he said at the graduation ceremony.

“This should give the people of Ukraine hope and the certainty that they are not alone.”

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told the conference on Monday that reconstruction after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion will cost at least $750 billion.

He said Tuesday’s statement “definitely marked the beginning of our long-distance conversation.”

“We have to make everything that was destroyed better than it was,” he said.

– fight corruption –

The statement said the countries, alongside Ukraine and the European Union, are “fully committed to supporting Ukraine on its journey from early to long-term recovery.”

She added that she supports “Ukraine’s European perspective and EU candidate country status”.

Under the principles, the countries agreed that Ukraine itself must take the helm in reconstruction.

As billions of dollars in aid money flow to Ukraine, ongoing concerns about widespread corruption in the country have led to a focus on the need for reform.

The Lugano Principles emphasized that “the recovery process must help accelerate, deepen, broaden and achieve Ukraine’s reform efforts and resilience, in line with Ukraine’s European path”.

“The recovery process must be transparent and accountable to the people of Ukraine,” the document said.

It also called for the reconstruction process to be “inclusive and ensure gender equality, and for Ukraine to be rebuilt in a “sustainable manner.”

Schmyhal on Monday presented the government’s phased recovery plan, which focuses on the immediate needs of those affected by the war, followed by funding for longer-term reconstruction projects aimed at making Ukraine European, green and digital.

On Tuesday, he stressed that his country is keen to move forward quickly to create the framework for rapid change.

“When we say we’re ready to move fast, we mean really fast,” he said, noting that a meeting was scheduled to begin implementation later Tuesday.

He also noted that two follow-up conferences are already planned, one of which will be chaired by the EU in a few months, and that London has agreed to host a Ukraine-building conference next year.

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#Ukraine #allies #adopt #principles #reconstruction

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