The OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine (PCU) has developed a cross-dimensional Economic-Environmental/Politico-Military Programme at the request of and in close co-operation with its Ukrainian partners in support of the country's efforts to implement OSCE commitments.
The programme focuses on several areas:
Sustainable socio-economic development and environmental security are key elements of stability and progress. Following requests from the Government of Ukraine, the PCU has designed a series of development projects that will assist the country in reaching its overall development goals and raise citizens' environmental awareness, including the promotion of "green" behaviour and sustainable development through education.
The PCU continues its support to the Ministry of Education and Science with the introduction of environmental education into primary and secondary school curricula. An extensive training programme is being implemented to strengthen the capacity of teachers to use innovative environmental education tools in the school setting as well as during extra-curricular activities. More detailed information about this project can be found here.
To ensure that the environmental security and radiation control system in Ukraine and at its borders is enhanced, the PCU will assist in developing training materials and designing a training programme to build the capacity of personnel of the State Environmental Inspectorate of Ukraine and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine to respond to potential environmental and radiation threats in the course of transboundary movements of goods and raw materials.
While striving to achieve greater transparency and accountability towards citizens, Ukraine’s state authorities and self-government bodies enjoy PCU assistance with the introduction of e-governance tools in the implementation of economic policies. Drawing on international experience and OSCE expertise, the PCU is facilitating pilot initiatives in several regions to introduce e-governance applications and implement one-stop shop principles. The aim is to increase the efficiency of government bodies dealing with regulatory matters and minimize bureaucratic red tape.
To assist Ukraine in implementing strategy directed at anti-money laundering and countering financial terrorism, the PCU will support training of staff of the responsible agency to ensure timely detection and prevention of suspicious transactions.
The PCU assists the country’s State Emergency Service (SES) in strengthening the capacity of its demining units for the safe clearance of Ukraine’s sea coastal areas from Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and rehabilitation of localities affected by an uncontrolled explosion at the obsolete ammunition stockpile in Lozova, Kharkiv region. In co-operation with the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation, assistance is provided to improve capabilities for humanitarian demining operations in contaminated areas by providing special equipment and training.
The PCU also assists the SES in raising public awareness about the risks and threats posed by ERW, specifically among the social group most vulnerable to the problem – school-age children – through supporting development and production of multimedia informational materials for Ukrainian schools.
The OSCE is assisting the Ukrainian Government with the elimination of approximately 16,200 tonnes of the toxic rocket fuel component mélange by ensuring its disposal in an environmentally sound and cost-effective manner. Mélange poses a danger to Ukrainian citizens and the environment, and has to be eliminated within the next few years.
By 2013, over 10,000 tonnes of this toxic liquid had been removed from Ukraine. The clearance of Ukraine’s western and central parts was completed in 2011 by eliminating the stockpiles from the storage sites in Vinnytsya, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Kyiv regions. Within the ongoing final phase of the project, the remaining quantity of mélange is being removed from the other two military bases near Shevchenkove, Kharkiv region, and Lubashivka, Odessa region, to ensure respectively the eastern and southern parts of the country are safe from the toxic hazard as well.
The project is managed by the OSCE FSC Support Section and facilitated by the PCU.
The PCU supports the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) in facilitating the Moldovan-Ukrainian dialogue on the Dniester River basin focusing on reducing vulnerability to extreme floods and climate change. The first vulnerability assessment of the Dniester basin is being prepared. In the future the project will aim to develop a climate change adaptation strategy for the Dniester river basin and will implement the highest priority measures based on the strategy.
The principal partners in the project are the environment ministries, water management authorities, health authorities and Foreign Ministries of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, as well as scientists and relevant non-governmental organizations in both countries. The project is implemented in close co-operation with the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in the framework of the Environment and Security initiative (ENVSEC).
More information on the project is available here.
The PCU also helps the OCEEA to build Ukraine's capacity to combat transboundary trafficking of environmentally sensitive commodities: hazardous waste, ozone-depleting substances, obsolete pesticides, and rare and endangered animal and plant species. This is done by supporting an intersectoral dialogue, training for authorities in charge of controlling the movement of cargo across national borders, and publication of methodological materials for trainers. The principal targets of these activities are Ukraine and Moldova's Environment Ministries, environmental inspectorates, state customs services and state border services.
The PCU helps implement an ENVSEC project of the OSCE Secretariat aimed to facilitate the demarcation process between the Republic of Belarus and Ukraine by reducing environmental risks from hazardous substances and pollution for the employees involved in demarcation activities in the Exclusion Zone. In particular, the project foresees conducting an assessment and mapping of the radiological state of the environment of the Belorussian-Ukrainian borderline in the Exclusion Zone, and developing of the sanitary regulation for human presence there.
The PCU supports the country's military reform process by assisting the Ukrainian Government in the further elaboration of sustainable and efficient methods of military social adaptation. PCU activities focus on:
The Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine is responsible for retraining of discharged and soon-to-be discharged military personnel. The PCU has been assisting with the social adaptation of discharged military personnel for several years. In 2013, the retraining is being conducted in the following locations: Bila Tserkva, Kerch, Chornomorske, Perevalne, Bakhchysarai, Sevastopol, Balaklava, Vinnytsia, Havryshivka, Mykolayiv, Ochakiv, Odesa, Chornomorsk, Kherson, Uman), Zaporizhzhia, Melitopol, Shyroke, Semenivka, Lviv, Volodymyr-Volynskyi, Sumy.
In 2013, the PCU will provide more than 660 discharged, and soon-to-be discharged, military personnel with retraining in a variety of fields. As a part of gradual hand over of this training initiative to the host country, the Social Policy Ministry committed to organize retraining for an additional 90 servicepersons and approximately 300 family members of discharged military officers (mostly spouses) – work that in the past was done within the PCU project.
Retraining is provided in selected professional fields, based on the demands of local labour markets. Graduating officers receive state diplomas and international certificates. To date, over 70 per cent of the officers have found employment within three months of graduation.
The PCU assists the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service (USBGS) in improving the security of the country's borders and is helping to strengthen the institutional capacity of the USBGS.
The USBGS is undergoing a large-scale reform process involving its transformation from a military to a law-enforcement agency. In response to a request from the USBGS administration, the PCU facilitated the purchase of computer and biometric control equipment. Also planned are risk and criminal analysis training seminars for border guard officers, as well as the procurement of further equipment.
The PCU also developed a project to assist the USBGS with capacity building and development of a course curriculum on the detection of stolen motor vehicles at border crossing points.
These activities are expected to improve the operational and professional capacities of the USBGS to collect and analyze data on illegal cross-border activities.