«YOUR SECURITY IS OUR SECURITY», - AMBASSADOR OF THE SWISS CONFEDERATION TO UKRAINE CLAUDE WILD DURING A MEETING WITH MINISTER OKSANA KOLIADA
Today, on September 23, 2019, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine Oksana Koliada and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Swiss Confederation to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova Claude Wild held the official meeting
During the meeting, Oksana Koliada said that in the near future at a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Action Program for the Government for the next 5 years will be presented, and outlined the main plans of the Ministry. In particular, policies regarding veterans, including their and members of their families reintegration to peaceful lifewere addressed.
«We have rather ambitious goals for quality medical assistance for the rehabilitation of our veterans, as well as for social and professional adaptation, the possibility to obtain second education. We are launching Veteran Hubs throughout Ukraine, which today are already operating in Mykolaiv, Zhytomyr, Rivne, Odesa, and in Kyiv through non-government initiative», ‒ said Oksana Koliada.
The Minister highlighted other areas of activity, such as development of Veterans Hospitals, 29 of which are in Ukraine, recovery of mental health of veterans in Ukraine, the development of state programs to provide veterans and their families with housing, as well as honouring Ukrainian heroes, creating a positive image of veterans in society.
Oksana Koliada defined one of the most important tasks that isto ensure the constitutional rights of internally displaced persons, as well as citizens of Ukraine, who were forced to remain in the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts:
«A number of draft laws have been developed that are designed to improve the reintegration of internally displaced persons into communities in the context of employment, housing, educational, medical and administrative services. A separate direction is work with civilians living in the forward edge of battle area (here in after referred to as «FEBA»)».
To address issues with IDPs and recovery of infrastructure, the Minister emphasized the importance of establishing effective Interagency Coordination with FEBA regional administrations and involving local government authorities in this process.
Oksana Koliada thanked the Government of Switzerland for supporting Ukraine with provision of humanitarian assistance, mine safety and water supply projects in the East of Ukraine.
For his part, Claude Wild, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Swiss Confederation to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, expressed his admiration for the efforts that Minister Oksana Koliada has been making to help solving issues of veterans. He noted that they are sadly watching what has been happening in Ukraine in recent years, but expressed confidence that Ukrainian veterans are in good hands, given that the Minister was also servicemen and participated in the combat actions.
«We take a role of a partner here. Your security is our security. I am sure we have demonstrated this with our previous cooperation», ‒ emphasized the Ambassador.
Claude Wild reviewed the previous cooperation with Ukraine: first of all, these are general humanitarian convoys, which Switzerland organizes together with the Government of Ukrainefor civilians living both on Government controlled areas and non-Government controlled areas. 10 convoys like this have been sent since 2015.
«We are reliable partners of Ukraine in solving the issue of providing water company «Voda Donbasu» with the necessary equipment and chemicals for water purification, since a stable water supply with clean, high-quality drinking water is very important for people on both sides of the front», emphasized Claude Wild, and also noted: «The Swiss government is one of the main donors of international organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which moreover use our experience».
The Parties agreed to continue ongoing cooperation between Ukraine and Switzerland, and to find an opportunity to expand joint activities regarding assistance to veterans. It was concluded to return to the discussion of specific areas of work after the submission of the Action Program for the Government for the next 5 years.
The meeting was also attended by Deputy Minister for European Integration OleksiiIlyashenko, representative of the Diplomatic Service Nicole Ruder, Humanitarian Liaison Officer Dietrich Dreyer and others.