Ukrainian issue on the Munich Security Conference 2017
On February 17-19, 2017 the 53rd Munich Security Conference was held. The Security Forum was attended by more than two dozen heads of state and government (including Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, President of Poland Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yıldırım, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko), Vice President of the USA Mike Pence, Secretary General of the UN António Guterres, Secretary General of the NATO Jens Stoltenberg, dozens of foreign ministers (France, Germany, the Great Britain, China, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Turkey, Saudi Arabia), defence ministers and prominent politicians, diplomats and experts. Participants discussed the problems of the European Union, the NATO, transatlantic relations, democracy, terrorism, the Syrian crisis, the situation in East Asia and other challenges to international security. The Chairman of the Munich Security Conference was a prominent German ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger. On the first day of the Conference the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko delivered a speech. In the President’s speech, there are the following messages: to refrain from appeasement of Russia not to repeat the experience of the Munich Agreement in 1938 on Nazi Germany; to strengthen the transatlantic unity; "Supporting Ukraine is the cheapest investment into security of Free World"; No deals on Ukraine's future behind Ukraine; to continue sanctions until Russia withdraws its troops from Crimea and Donbas; to deepen rapprochement between the EU and Ukraine as " Ukraine now is the most Euro-optimistic nation on the European continent". Poroshenko's speech contains a lot of calls to the West for supporting Ukraine and countering Russian aggression. However, apart from continuing sanctions, the President of Ukraine did not submit any new proposals to restrain Russia. Poroshenko also said nothing about the contribution that Ukraine was could make into the European and Euro-Atlantic security. Primarily, key partners are interested in Ukraine’s possibilities in addressing common challenges, and not only in solving the problem of Crimea and Donbas. On the second day of the Conference a meeting of the Normandy Four Foreign Ministers (Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia) was held. The diplomats agreed that the ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons should be a precondition for the start of the political process. In addition, the parties agreed to provide access of the Red Cross to the occupied territories of Eastern Ukraine. However, it was stressed that negotiations in Normandy format should not be extended by the State Secretary of US Rex Tillerson. The meeting in the Normandy format has not shown any breakthrough. Instead, it was once again emphasized that the implementation of the political provisions of the Minsk agreements should be preceded by the creation of a proper security environment. The main innovation was the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel first participation in Normandy Group. In general, this year's Munich Security Conference has not provided a separate panel for Ukrainian issue n. The conflict in Donbas and the annexation in Crimea were only indirectly mentioned during the discussion of other international security issues. Meanwhile, world leaders were waiting for concrete proposals from Ukraine to address common security challenges, but not the repetition of the old messages.
Ukraine presented the report at UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
February 14, 2017 at the UN headquarters in Geneva Ukraine presented its eighth periodic report for 66-th session Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Committee CEDAW). According to the procedure of the reports presentation, public organizations of Ukraine prepared and submitted independent reports and participated in discussions with the Committee members. Mariia Veselovska, ICPS expert on gender issues, said that according to the report of the Committee the appropriate recommendations to the Ukrainian government were provided. In the report was presented the main problems of men and women equality in Ukraine as follows: • Women in Ukraine are 24% paid less than men. This indicator has not changed since 2009. • Gender-based violence is very widespread in Ukraine. 22% of women and girls aged 15-49 have suffered from physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. •The percentage of women in power is quite low. The part of women working in the Parliament is 11% and in government - 12%. Overall, 16% of civil servants in Ukraine are women. Accordingly, the Committee members were interested in state level mechanisms existence addressing these problems in Ukraine, what obstacles should be removed to ensure equality between men and women, especially in politics and decision-making positions, as well as the problems of vulnerable groups of women as older women, women with disabilities, women from rural territories. NGOs highlighted in the reports a number of challenges faced by women in Ukraine: Reduction of social spending and jobs adversely affect the economic situation of women. A) Women and families are the primary beneficiaries of state social spending. B) That is women who are widely involved in areas affected by jobs reduction (education, medicine, social services). The report indicates problems for women in rural areas, in particular: "More than two-thirds of women from rural territories of active working age are working or self-employed unofficially. Thus, they are not protected by labor laws, have no social insurance and therefore can not receive pension». Separately highlights the problem of social payments for IDPs, most of them - 62% - are women, and a lack of sources of income for women who are in areas close to the line of conflict.
Yevgeniy Yaroshenko commented the statement by the German Ambassador Ernst Reichel
The German ambassador to Ukraine Ernst Reichel has suggested that local elections in the uncontrolled part of Donbas could be held even before the Kremlin withdraws Russian forces from the occupied territories. “It does not mean that elections in Donbas can take place only when there are no Russian troops or with a Ukrainian flag on every city administration building”, said the ambassador. He also noticed that the last parliamentary elections in the GDR were held in the presence of the Western group of Soviet troops and under the Communist regime in East Germany. Moreover, the ambassador considers that the parties have to change circumstances in order to make the elections possible. This statement by the German ambassador demonstrates that Germany is aimed at boosting implementation of the Minsk agreements. As a leader responsible for European security, Berlin seeks to avoid expenses on “Ukrainian crisis”. As a result, German diplomacy considers that local elections in the occupied part of Donetsk and Luhansk regions should be a first step towards activating Minsk process. Regardless of the diplomatic statement made by the ambassador, the conditions of elections in East Germany and occupied territories of Eastern Ukraine cannot be compared for the following reasons/ Firstly, there was no armed conflict between East and West Germany. As a result, East Germany had favorable conditions for the elections. Meanwhile, the situation in the occupied territories of Eastern Ukraine is totally opposite as the fighting is ongoing and it is impossible to conduct elections in such conditions. Secondly, despite the ideological and political differences, the GDR was a subject of international relations, enjoying all rights and responsibilities. The legitimacy of the GDR was recognized even by West Germany, and both German states supported the dialogue long before the reunification. In contrast, Ukraine considers so called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics as terrorist organizations and fears that the elections in the occupied territories of Donbas without proper security environment will help to legitimize pro-Russian militants. Thirdly, the elections in East Germany took place at the end of the Cold War when the socialist camp had collapsed and the regime in East Germany had been delegitimized. These elections were preceded by the German reunification, which actually meant the capitulation of the USSR in confrontation with the West. Instead, while the local elections in the occupied territories of Eastern Ukraine is the first step towards reintegration of these areas, these elections in the presence of Russian troops and mercenaries will lead to Ukraine’s actual surrender to Russia given disadvantages of the Minsk agreements.
Public discussions in the regions: "Mоdels and costs of Donbas conflict settlement"
ICPS within the project "Modeling the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the support of strategic advisers to MinTOT, supported by the International Fund "Renaissance" held a public discussion "The settlement of the conflict in Donbas: model and price" in Kramatorsk. The conflict in Donbas remains a primary challenge to Ukraine’s national security. The peaceful settlement of the conflict is hampered by the lack of a state strategy for reintegrating the particular districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions (uncontrolled Donbas) as a result of disparities among the political elite. Analyst Yevgen Yaroshenko noted the international experience of conflict resolution. There are four possible models. The Bosnian model is based on preserving the state’s territorial integrity in exchange for its federalization. The Bosnian model may bring peace to Ukraine, though it will not contribute to resolving the causes of the conflict. Such a scenario is more favourable for Russia and the West as it will not divert additional resources from them in the confrontation over Ukraine. The Croatian model provides for an alternative solution to the Minsk process, relying on unilateral actions and the military advantage of government forces.The Pakistani model arose from prolonged and deadly conflicts when the state either realizes that it cannot defeat separatist forces by military means or concludes that resources invested in retaining disloyal territory enormously exceed potential benefits derived from reintegrating these areas. The German model provides for the returning of lost territories on pre-war terms by means of peaceful negotiations with external players involved. Senior economist Vasyl Povoroznyk said about costs of Donbas conflict settelement. A basic economic assessment of the implementation of one or other model of conflict resolution in eastern Ukraine should take into account the role of the region and its contribution to the economy of Ukraine in the pre-conflict period, an assessment of actual losses of the region as a result of conducting ATO and also the costs of conducting full-scale military operations in the ATO zone. Anatoliy Oktysiuk presented the positions of Ukrainian political parties regarding Donbas conflict settlement: "Ukraine’s current political forces have essential differences in attitudes towards resolving the conflict in Donbas. The ruling political parties demonstrate a vague vision of how uncontrolled Donbas should be reintegrated, avoiding decisive steps in this area for fear of political destabilization and early parliamentary elections. At the same time, oppositional and non-parliamentary forces enjoy larger room for maneuver and are more active in advancing their proposals for reintegrating uncontrolled Donbas".
"Competitiveness Index of Ukraine depends on the pace of reforms" - Vasyl Povoroznyk
During the World Economic Forum in Davos was presented the global competitiveness ranking - Global Competitiveness Index 2016-2017. Ukraine has lost six positions, fallen to 85th place among 138 countries. This year it was the worst result for the last four years. Switzerland became the leader (5.81), second one - Singapore (5.72). Also the top ten included: USA, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Finland. Nearest neighbors of Ukraine became Namibia (84th place) and Greece (86th place). What exactly should be implement in order to improve the position of Ukraine in the ranking of global competitiveness - the commentary of senior economist Vasyl Povoroznyk: "We need to re-raise the topic of reforms. There are small accomplishments as system Prozorro, deregulation in certain sectors. But we need to do a lot: protection of property rights, judicial reform, deregulation, anti-monopolies reform. Without all this things, we will not soon go up in the ranking."
ICPS in the Global Go To Think Tank Index
ICPS was included to the World Index ranking think tanks on the results of 2016. According to preliminary ranking in the category of leading think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe - we took 33th place, adding seven positions for two years. The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania conducts research on the role policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. Often referred to as the “think tanks’ think tank,” TTCSP examines the evolving role and character of public policy research organizations. The 2016 edition of the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report marks the 10th anniverary of the report. Highlights of think tanks in the world: There are 1931 think tanks in North America (Mexico, Canada and US) of which 1835 are in the United States There are 1770 think tanks in Europe Close to 55 percent of all think tanks are in North America and Europe 90.5 percent of think tanks were created since 1951 The number of think tanks in the US has more than doubled since 1980 31 percent of think tanks were created between 1981 to 1990 The End of Post WWII consensus & Challenge to the Welfare State contributed to the growth of think tanks on the left and the right of the political spectrum Most of the think tanks that have come into existence in the United States since the 1970s are specialized for a particular regional or functional area About one quarter of U.S. think tanks (approximately 400 institutions) are located in Washington, DC More than half the think tanks are university affiliated The rate of establishment of think tanks has declined over the last 12 years in the United States and Europe Top Think Tanks in Central and Eastern Europe: