On 19 November, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal and representatives of international development partners (DPs) met for a Development Partnership Forum in Kyiv in order to follow up on progress in key reform areas and discuss the preparation for the fifth Ukraine Reform Conference (URC), which will take place in Lugano, Switzerland, on 4-5 July 2022. The meeting builds on the previous Development Partnership Forum held in October 2020 and the last URC, held in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July 2021.
The preparatory process for the URC2022 “On the Road to Lugano” has been launched by Vice President, Federal Councillor of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis and Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv on 29 October, with the first event dedicated to Ukraine’s successful reform – decentralization.
The next Ukraine Reform Conference will consolidate our efforts for the success of reforms, stability and prosperity of Ukraine. Ukraine seeks to use the best world experience which our international partners already have in implementing structural changes. We look forward to a constructive dialogue and appropriate proposals that will promote Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration”, - said the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmygal during the Forum.
Drawing lessons from previous URC editions and from the current challenges of the reforms in Ukraine, Switzerland and Ukraine decided to focus on a limited number of key reform streams, which are grouped into the two pillars Stability and Prosperity. The first pillar – stability – will address
”Eradicating corruption”, “Empowering Hromadas”, and “Strengthening cohesion”. The second pillar – prosperity – primarily includes economic reforms: “Going green”, “Investing in people”, “Ensuring transparency in state-owned enterprises” and “Banking for the future”. The cross-cutting topic is digital transformation. Both the preparatory process “On the Road to Lugano” and the Conference itself are guided by a positive and inclusive multi-stakeholder approach.
“The URC2022 is a tangible process that promotes the legitimacy of decisions, strengthens ownership and increases the effectiveness of reforms. With the motto Reforms for All, All for Reforms!, the URC2022 favours an inclusive approach involving business, academia, civil society, and local and national government. Broad participation and consultations are a must”, said Simon Pidoux, Swiss Ambassador-at-Large for the URC 2022.
The “On the Road to Lugano” process consists of preparatory events both in Ukraine and abroad (World Economic Forum in Davos on the 20 January 2022, Brussels in March 2022, Washington D.C. in April 2022, Zürich/Geneva in May 2022), the work of thematic multi-stakeholder advisory groups as well as associated events in relation to the URC2022. The Conference in Lugano will consist of various elements such as a plenary session, panel discussions, bilateral meetings, side events, a press conference, as well as innovative conference formats and live streaming. The conference will conclude with the joint signing of the Lugano Declaration by the Presidents of Switzerland and Ukraine.