Ukrainian delegation at 2018 PACE: Follow-up deliberations

Source: Parliament of Ukraine

The UA Permanent delegation to PACE took part in the debate on “Follow-up to the report of the Independent Investigation Body on the allegations of corruption within the Parliamentary Assembly”
A fast track procedure was applied to the debate which took place on April 26.

O.Sotnyk, speaking on behalf of the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, drew attention of the parliamentarians to the fact that voters expect them to be held accountable. “Transparency, responsibility and integrity are the qualities that determine legitimacy of a parliamentarian,” stated she.
S.Kiral, as a representative of the European Conservatives Group, stressed that the Council of Europe has been, is and will be the polar organization in Europe whose goal is to prevent interstate violence, degradation of society, cruelty and barbarity, which have repeatedly occurred in the 20th century.
L.Yemets took note of the fact that corruption is a terrible disease for any country.  If it is allowed to develop uncontrollably, then there will soon be no legitimate judicial decision or government in the country. All state institutions will have nothing to their own citizens, as they’ll know that any position or solution can be obtained if someone has enough money. Enough said, any external enemy can easily destroy or subdue a state weakened by corruption.

A Ukrainian delegate O.Honcharenko underscored that, in his opinion, not all names involved in corruption were mentioned in the report and that this corrupt group still keeps working in the Assembly. Their next goal is to return Russia to the Assembly without any sanctions.  They will use any mechanisms to achieve their own goals.
Another delegate from the Ukrainian team S.Vlasenko underlined that corruption can sometimes be used as a form of hybrid warfare by one member state of the Council of Europe against the other, as well as for interference in elections, and this is completely unacceptable.
The deputy head of the delegation S.Sobolev emphasized that corruption’s not a national problem, but it’s a problem for the whole world. “After months of investigations within the Parliamentary Assembly, we have 198 pages of facts, and only one name has been referred to as a suspect.  This is not enough at all,” he said.  S.Sobolev also expressed his opinion that this year would there be able to stop corruption at the PACE, because, according to the Code of Conduct, the parliamentarians make electronic declarations, and all the gifts, hotels and services must be included in the e-declarations.
B. Bereza stressed the report shows that the Assembly’s structures still are under strong unwholesome influence, and if there is no punishment, this would further discredit the Parliamentary Assembly and its institutions. The report should become the beginning of the process of ridding, not new concealments.  Every time there is a question of corruption, Russia is up mentioned, and the Parliamentary Assembly simply closes its eyes. Russia violates all its treaties, does not implement any resolutions, ignores the human rights and actually destroys European democracy, including through its lobbyists.  Perhaps, the members of the Assembly ought to finally admit that Russia does affect developments not only here, but also in the European Parliament and other institutions.

(Entitled to updates)

MIL OSI

Ukraine at 2018 PACE session: Day 4

Source: Parliament of Ukraine

“Ukrainian delegation sincerely congratulates the anti-corruption process int the PACE,” — Iryna Herashchenko
On April 26, the First Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Herashchenko took part in the debate on corruption within the PACE during the 2018 Ordinary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
When addressing, she lime-lighted the principles of integrity which the Assembly should be based upon.  According to her, the Ukrainian delegation has always defended the Assembly’s values fundamentally and pointed out the violations of the basic principles by the former leaders steadily and methodically.
At the same time, the First Vice-Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament has also outlined a wide range of corruption-related issues in the PACE.
According to her, corruption, bribery, blackmailing are the elements of the hybrid war and methods that are being unfortunately applied in the PACE, by Russia in particular, at present and grossly violate the norms and principles of the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly.
She also remarked that the Ukrainian delegation has always protected the PACE principles of democracy, and would continue to undertake all necessary efforts in combating corruption and Russian lobbying at the Assembly.
Representatives of the Ukrainian delegation took an active part in the debate.
Leonid Yemets reported to the audience about the fight against corruption in Ukraine and announced creation of an anti-corruption court in Ukraine. He also proposed to do so for Europe.
Oleksii Honcharenko rigorously raised the issue of the responsibility of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe T. Jagland for his inaction regarding corruption within the Secretariat.
Serhii Vlasenko focused on the gross negligence displayed by the PACE Member States to effectuating the Assembly’s resolutions, which continues to bring impunity in its wake.
Boryslav Bereza reminded to the floor of the reiterated facts of “pushing through” the pro-Kremlin decisions by the Russia’s loyal lobbyists at the Assembly, and the latter used to close its eyes at that overt guile.
Olena Sotnyk spoke out on behalf of the legal committee and condemned the commission for not having considered the trip to Syria and urged the national parliaments to investigate the episodes and names mentioned in the report.

(Entitled to updates)

MIL OSI

First Vice-Speaker gives IDP talk at II p 2018 PACE session

Source: Parliament of Ukraine

“The biggest problems for internally displaced persons in Ukraine are lack of permanent housing and work, reintegration in other regions,” said Iryna Herashchenko during the debate at the PACE session

On April 25, 2018, during the Second part of the 2018 Ordinary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a debate was held on the theme “IDPs’ humanitarian needs and rights in Europe”.
Addressing the debate, the First Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Herashchenko drew the colleagues’ attention to a number of topical issues related to the IDPs’ rights in Ukraine as a part of Europe.  She stressed that the very problem of 1.7 million internally displaced persons (IDP) was caused by the continued Russian aggression in the Donbas, the deterioration of security and humanitarian situation in the region as a whole. She also outlined a range of pressing issues related to ensuring the IDPs’ rights, having mentioned among them want of housing and jobs, and reintegration in other regions of the country.
Although the Ukrainian parliament has passed the necessary laws for this category of citizens, the state is reasonably unable at present to provide housing for all IDPs who left their nests due to the Russian aggression. Therefore, the First Vice-Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament urged foreign partners to intensify assistance to the IDPs, in particular through international humanitarian aid channels.
She also notified that the Ukrainian side is constantly raising the issue of the IDPs’ rights within the framework of the TCG’s working subgroups on the peaceful settlement in the Donbas during the negotiations in Minsk.
“Ukrainian in-migrants should be able to take part in future local elections in the Donbas after de-militarization and de-occupation of this region,” Iryna Heraschenko emphasized.
She also observed that it is the Donbas demilitarization and the return of peace to the Ukrainian land can groundly improve the situation with the in-migrants.

MIL OSI

Chair’s Chornobyl Day address

Source: Parliament of Ukraine

Address by Andriy Parubiy, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, on the occasion of the Chernobyl Disaster Day
Dear Ukrainians! 
On April 26, 1986, thirty-two years ago, a terrible tragedy occurred in Ukraine – the largest environmental and man-made disaster of the twentieth century – an accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.
This catastrophe has forever influenced not only the lives of Ukraine and Ukrainians, but also of all mankind.
Every year on this day we first remember and honor the feat of the heroes-liquidators of the Chornobyl accident. The people, who at the price of their own health and even their lives, unsparingly took the radiation disaster battle, saving the world from the terrible consequences of uncontrolled nuclear energy and radiation pollution.
Thousands of our compatriots have forever left their homes.  Thousands have lost their relatives.  Thousands of heroes, who participated in the elimination of the consequences of the accident, have received chronic illnesses.
In spite of the economic difficulties, under the very arduous circumstances of the Russian aggression, the government is doing its utmost to help all those who had a hand in eliminating the consequences of the dreadful accident and all those affected by the terrible Chornobyl disaster.
Dear compatriots!
I call you this day in a special way, to truly remember the grand and unforgettable feat of the heroes-liquidators.  Eternal memory and eternal glory to heroes-liquidators!
Dear Liquidators!
On behalf of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, I express my deepest appreciation for your feat, for the millions of lives saved.  I wish you good health, well-being, long years of life and a well-deserved popular fame.

MIL OSI

Chairman triggers Ukraine-wide parliamentarism educ course

Source: Parliament of Ukraine

Triggered by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy, there has been launched an educational course on the Ukrainian Parliament and the history of Ukrainian parliamentarism.
Within this course, a series of lectures will take place at Ukrainian higher education institutions nation-wide.
The lecturers will be employees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ukrainian parliamentarians and the public figures of mark.
The opener of the series has been held on April 24, 2018 at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Within the framework of the educational course on Parliament and Ukrainian parliamentarism, Tetiana Podolska, the Head of the Parliament Chair’s Secretariat, read the lecture at the university.

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Ukraine at PACE 2018 Ordinary Session

Source: Parliament of Ukraine

The UA Permanent delegation to PACE takes part in the Second part of the 2018 Ordinary Session
On April 23, the Second part of the 2018 PACE Ordinary Session opened.
“Our Assembly is not a battlefield to confront national agendas. On the contrary, it is a place where bridges between peoples and governments are built and where parliamentarians from all over Europe defend the common good – the fundamental values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law as concrete means to prevent conflicts and uphold peace on the continent,” PACE President Michele Nicoletti said in his opening speech of the PACE spring session in Strasbourg.
“Our Assembly should also give its contribution reflecting on how, in the present situation, conflicts within the states and among the states can be prevented and settled, being faithful to our ideal of peace through law,” Michele Nicoletti said.
He urged MPs to uphold the rule of law, by means that respect international law and within the framework of multilateral mechanisms that were created to maintain peace and security and stressed that the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security was lying with the UN Security Council.
At its spring session (Strasbourg, 23-27 April), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will look at states of emergency and derogations from the European Convention on Human Rights.
It will also discuss fighting organized crime through the confiscation of illegal assets, the funding of the terrorist group Daesh, as well the legal challenges and human rights obligations of hybrid war. A joint debate will address the issues of protecting editorial integrity and the status of journalists. The Council of Europe’s role in Libya and a report on the humanitarian needs of internally displaced persons are also on the agenda, as is a report on climate change and implementation of the Paris Agreement.
There have been requests for urgent debates on  “Member States” respect for international rules-based agreements and principles in the context of the interventions by the Russian Federation in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and most recently in the United Kingdom and of a further recent transgression of international law by the regime in Syria and its sponsors”, and on “Illegal elections of the President of the Russian Federation on the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea: a human rights violation” as well as on “Europe?s Role in Peace Making Initiative in Syria”.
In the course of the general debate, a delegate from Ukraine O.Honcharenko noted that the decision of the Bureau to reject the urgent debate on the Russian Federation’s aggressive policy using chemical weapons in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Syria and its aggression in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia had only been adopted by a small majority. He then suggested voting for consideration of this important issue at the meeting to include it on the agenda.
“This issue is one of the most important problems Europe is facing at the moment.  The world community witnessed the use of chemical weapons in the United Kingdom and Syria, aggression in Ukraine, along with illegal elections in the occupied territory of Ukraine, all of which have taken place for the first time in the history of the Council of Europe since the Second World War,” said the Ukrainian parliamentarian.

(Entitled to updates)

MIL OSI

Ukraine in PACE 2018 Ordinary Session

Source: Parliament of Ukraine

24 April 2018, 17:45
Recordative occasion at Parliament on Chornobyl cataclysm
more
24 April 2018, 17:45
Ukraine in PACE 2018 Ordinary Session
more
23 April 2018, 18:03
Committees round-up: Daily
more
23 April 2018, 15:45
I.Herashchenko: Regaining vets back to life is society’s ought
more
23 April 2018, 11:15
H.Hopko: Pursuing Bolbochan’s gilded fighting spirit legacies
more
20 April 2018, 18:30
Committees round-up: Daily
more
20 April 2018, 18:15
Parubiy-Herbst: Atlantic Council props birth of triple assembly in June
more
20 April 2018, 14:45
Morning session’s over
more

11 July 2016
Verkhovna Rada Committee on State Building, Regional Policy and Local Self-Government recommends Ukrainian Parliament adopt draft law “On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine” (as to voluntary unification of territorial communities) as a basis
more
02 June 2016
“We return to Ukrainian right on truth”. Speech of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
more
30 May 2016
“The adoption of Law of Ukraine” On the Judicial System and Status of Judges” gives a chance to reach end of judicial reform” – the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andrii Parubii
more

24 April 2018
Recordative occasion at Parliament on Chornobyl cataclysm
more
24 April 2018
Ukraine in PACE 2018 Ordinary Session
more
23 April 2018
Committees round-up: Daily
more
23 April 2018
I.Herashchenko: Regaining vets back to life is society’s ought
more
23 April 2018
H.Hopko: Pursuing Bolbochan’s gilded fighting spirit legacies
more
20 April 2018
Committees round-up: Daily
more
20 April 2018
Morning session’s over
more
19 April 2018
I.Herashchenko meets US Atlantic Council’s J.Herbst
more

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Recordative occasion at Parliament on Chornobyl cataclysm

Source: Parliament of Ukraine

A Memorable roundtable devoted to the 32nd anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster was held at the premises of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
On April 26, Ukraine will honor all the heroes-liquidators and victims of the Chernobyl disaster. This tragic event has also been marked with the support of the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.  The Chornobyl Association of People’s Deputies of Ukraine together with the Ministry of Energy and Coal Mining held this memorable roundtable on April 24.
The event was attended by parliamentarians, members of the association, experts in nuclear energy, and activists of the public Chornobyl-related organizations. The participants of the event honored the memory of all the radiation victims with a minute’s silence.
During the event, the Chornobyl liquidators shared their own memories.
The participants of the recordative roundtable focused on the problem of Chornobyl accident liquidators’ insurance, which could become one of the most effective mechanisms of social support of the liquidators and those who suffered from the awful debacle.
In association with the Nuclear Insurance Pool, which spans more than twenty Ukrainian insurance companies, there has been concluded a Preliminary cooperation agreement with the aim of developing relevant proposals for the Chernobyl insurance mechanism. Participants of the commemorable meeting have witnessed an official exchange between the teams of signatories of the above agreement.
During the event, the participants considered and adopted the draft resolution concerning a range of economic problems in the Chernobyl social programmes and how to address them.
The final version of the draft resolution will be sent out to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, to the ministries and departments engaged, to the core parliamentary committees and widely promulgated in the media.

MIL OSI

I.Herashchenko: Regaining vets back to life is society’s ought

Source: Parliament of Ukraine

“The ministry for veterans and anti-terrorist operation participants must formulate and implement a state policy of rehabilitation, social protection, and return of veterans and combatants to peaceful civilian life,” – Iryna Herashchenko
There has taken place a joint meeting of the First Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Herashchenko, the Head of the Committee on Veterans, Combatants, Participants, ATO Participants and Disabled People O. Tretiakov with the Deputy Director for the Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives at the German Marshall Fund of the United States Filip Vojvodic-Medic (Washington, DC), the Executive Director of the Public Nonprofit Organization “NextOp” John Boerstler, the Head of the NATO Civil Life Adaptation Working Group K. Castro and the Head of the NGO “The Legal Hundred” L.Vasylenko.
The meeting has been held on the eve of the International Conference “Vets: The World’s Practices of Civilian Life Reintegration” that is to take place in Ukraine on May 24-25 with the assistance of the German Marshall Fund. The event’s speakers will be the world’s leading experts in the field of reintegration of combatants into a peaceful life from the United States, Canada and other countries.

In the course of the meeting, there has been much debate about creation of a unified state body – the Ministry for Veterans Affairs which is to be responsible for all the work over the social protection of war veterans and ATO participants.
While meeting, the Presidential envoy on the peaceful settlement of the Donetsk-Luhansk clashes Iryna Herashchenko informed those present about the current situation in the Donbas, the work of the Minsk working groups, the humanitarian and security situation in the Donbas.  She also observed that during their captivity, the illegally detained Ukrainians had been seriously injured, tortured and deprived of communication with their families.
At the same time, Iryna Herashchenko noticed there is a big problem about searching for missing people. According to her, there are more than four hundred people considered to be missing at the moment. Additionally, the politician notified those in attendance about the systematic violations by the SRDLO’s gunmen of the armistice established with great difficulties.
In turn, the participants of the meeting expressed their readiness to transfer the necessary experience in adaptation to a peaceful life and to provide information about their own structures engaged in delivering the services in question to veterans.
 
Worthy of note

The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) strengthens transatlantic cooperation on regional, national, and global challenges and opportunities in the spirit of the Marshall Plan.
GMF contributes research and analysis and convenes leaders on transatlantic issues relevant to policymakers. GMF offers rising leaders opportunities to develop their skills and networks through transatlantic exchange, and supports civil society in the Balkans and Black Sea regions by fostering democratic initiatives, rule of law, and regional cooperation.
Founded in 1972 as a non-partisan, nonprofit organization through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to its headquarters in Washington, DC, GMF has offices in Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, Bucharest, and Warsaw. GMF also has smaller representations in Bratislava, Turin, and Stockholm.
 
About NextOp, Inc. (Nonprofit)

“NextOp recruits, trains, and places high-performingmiddle-enlisted military leaders into Industry careers”.
NextOp provides companies with world-class, skilled candidates and coaches them on how to be effective employees. NextOp’s mentors work with each transitioning veteran to adjust to their new roles and cultivate the necessary skills to excel in field work, increasing satisfaction and reducing turnover for these positions.

MIL OSI

Committees round-up: Daily

Source: Parliament of Ukraine

There are /// bodies in focus of our committee scan today:
 
Committee on Taxation and Customs Policy
The Committee held a roundtable on the occasion of the 25thanniversary of the adoption of the first local audit law: “Audit in Ukraine: Prospects and Challenges”.
The event was attended by parliamentarians, representatives of the Ministry of Finance, other government bodies, the World Bank, the EU Delegation to Ukraine, the Audit Chamber of Ukraine, the Federation of Professional Accountants and Auditors of Ukraine and other non-governmental organizations.
Opening the meeting, the head of the committee Nina Yuzhanina reminded that exactly 25 years ago the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law of Ukraine “On Auditing Activities in Ukraine”. She also said that the joint authors of the law were taking part in the round table.
Later on, the committee head read out the recently amended presidential enactment granting thereby their professional holiday to Ukrainian accountants and auditors.
Participants of the roundtable were greeted by Johannes Baur, the First Counsellor, the Head of Operations Section 3 “Economic cooperation, energy, infrastructure and environment” under the European Union Delegation to Ukraine, Klavdiia Maksymenko, Senior Country Officer at the World Bank Ukraine, Yevhen Kapinus, the State Secretary of the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance.
Then there were delivered a range of panoramic reports on auditing in Ukraine since 1993 until 2018, with its updated visions and prospects in the light of the newly passed law.
It was also noted it has been for the first time within the recent 25 years that the audit services market be regulated by the adopted audit law solely, with “no strings attached”.
The round table participants observed that Ukraine is still halfway to the implementation of the European Union audit activity requirements, in as much as the requirements of the Directive 2006/43/EC only have so far been implemented into the Ukrainian legislation, while the core point continues to be done as yet – to implement the European standards in such a way so as to create cleared conditions for development of the domestic audit.
Committee on Fuel and Energy Complex, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety
The committee held a round table on the concept of introducing   competitive pricing mechanisms for renewable source electricity (RSE).
The committee deputy head Oleksandr Dombrovskyi made a welcoming speech and called on the participants to engage in a constructive dialogue and professional discussion.
He drew attention to the urgent issues in the generation of electricity.  He noted that the acutest problem of these days is choosing which technological and economic model the further development of generation and the national legislation should follow, because today’s critical state of certain types of generation, their levels of technical wearing out are approaching to the breaking point of 90 percent. Disregard of these challenges does multiply for Ukraine the risks of facing the same negative experience of the “green” generation as acquired in some European countries.
In the context of the discussion, the head of the subcommittee on electric energy and energy transportation Lev Pidlisetskyi tabled a number of proposals to the Concept of competitive RSE pricing and its updated version with the above-mentioned proposals taken into account.
The participants of the round table exchanged their thoughts on the updated Concept and presented additional proposals.
Despite the slight share of renewables in Ukraine compared to the worldwide installed capacity, Ukraine was said to remain one of the leaders among the CIS countries for implementation of renewable sources of energy.
Among the negative factors of the current system of stimulation of renewable energy sources they have lack of investor confidence, the short-term prospects, a significant financial burden on consumers, disbalances within the United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU), the imperfect regulatory policies and the risks associated with investments in renewables, the need to modernize such policies and to introduce an auction system capable of implementing projects of significant capacity.
As a result of the discussion, the updated concept of legislative changes in the realm of renewable energy was proposed.
Committee on Social Policy, Employment and Pension Provision
The deputy committee head Serhii Kaplin in combination with   representatives of the “Counselor for IDP issues” programme conducted wide discussions over pension payments to Ukrainian citizens residing in the temporarily occupied and uncontrolled territories of the country.
The delegation included Program and Executive Directors of “Stabilization Support Services” Dermot Hamilton and Olha Ivanova, the Program Coordinator for the “Counselor for IDP issues” programme Valeriia Vershynina as well as representatives of the British Embassy – programme managers of the Embassy Fiona Coughlan and Nataliia Vasyliuk and Rachel Williams,  Communications and Engagement Officer.
During the meeting, there was  an ample debate on assisting Ukraine in providing support for internally displaced persons and Ukrainian citizens residing in the temporarily uncontrolled area, and, in particular, restoration of pension payments to citizens in the conflict zone.
Serhii Kaplin emphasized the need to work out a new strategy for paying pensions to our citizens in those lands of uncertainty, involving establishments of the Oschadbank, the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, the OSCE, etc.
Dermot Hamilton supported the Committee’s efforts and said that the draft law providing for making tools of pension payments to those citizens, is currently under consideration at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council  of Europe, which has worked out appropriate recommendations.
Participants of the meeting agreed to continue the joint work on the matter together with parliamentarians, representatives of human rights organizations, public and executive bodies.

Worthy of note

Stabilization Support Services (SSS) is a Canadian Federally Incorporated Non-Profit Organization. It utilizes the skills and expertise of key personnel in specialized areas including systems design, financial implementation, international logistics and operations, and cross sectoral programming capabilities.The purpose of SSS is to seek institutional grants from large donor bodies and governments in order to provide support and services to help stabilize countries in crisis. These services include the following:
Procuring medical equipment to be used to help nations during times of conflict and post-conflict;
Providing medical support such as access to primary health care, and augmenting hospital facilities through the delivery and installation of portable field hospitals;
Providing medical training support services such as pre-hospital and trauma life-support training, training members of humanitarian mine clearance programs, and specialty advanced medical courses;
Providing equipment and training to assist with domestic security and counter-terrorism services including the provision of technology and training to deal with IEDs and EOD removal;
Post conflict support to humanitarian mine action interventions dealing with landmines and the explosive remnants of war (ERW);
Providing technical solutions and encrypted communication support; and
Mentoring, training, and other forms of capacity-building support.

MIL OSI