INTERVIEW | Conference on the restoration of Ukraine: energy, ecology, transport

ИНТЕРВЬЮ | Конференция по восстановлению Украины: энергетика, экология, транспорт

UNECE Executive Secretary Tatyana Molchan. INTERVIEW | Conference on the restoration of Ukraine: energy, ecology, transport Economic Development

At the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin this week, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced the creation of the Platform actions for the ecological restoration of Ukraine. UNECE Executive Secretary Tatyana Molchan spoke about this and other topics discussed at the Berlin forum in an interview with the UN News Service.

Tatiana Molchan: For us, for organizations that have been working with Ukraine for many years, including our Commission, the priority is that the recovery is not only quick, but also long-term in perspective. I was in Ukraine last week and, of course, I saw big problems. This concerns energy and security in general. When we talk about recovery, environmental and social issues also need to be taken into account. It is also important that in Ukraine all this is well received and that even in such difficult times they pay due attention to sustainable development.

UN News Service :A couple of years ago, a lot of materials were devoted to the restoration of Kharkov. But today Kharkov and the Kharkov region are again at the epicenter of hostilities. Internally displaced persons are arriving in Kharkov. Against this background, how can we talk about restoration?

TM:To be honest, this was one of the main questions that I heard when I was in Ukraine: is it advisable to discuss restoration now, when there is still so much destruction? We cannot yet even assess the scale of these destructions in order to begin restoration. However, I reiterated that it is very important to discuss this process now. We already have long-term cooperation within the framework of the project, which we launched in April 2022 to support Kharkov and Nikolaev. A master plan for the restoration of Kharkov was developed. Such work takes a lot of time. I think it is very important that when there is a real opportunity to start rebuilding, we do not waste valuable time discussing projects that do not exist. Now, together with the government, with the ministries [of Ukraine], we supported the development of new legislation regarding the housing stock.

The most important thing is that based on the models that we developed for Kharkov and Nikolaev, you can use the same approach to other cities. That is, the development of a master plan, then the creation of projects, and then assistance in their implementation and in identifying partners for the implementation of these projects. It is very important for us that there is synergy between all partners.

ИНТЕРВЬЮ | Конференция по восстановлению Украины: энергетика, экология, транспорт

Conference on the restoration of Kharkov.

UN News Service: In addition to the signing of the agreement to create this platform, there are some other breakthrough moments during the conference?

TM: The issue of ensuring energy security was discussed a lot during the conference. In recent weeks, as we see, the energy infrastructure in Ukraine has been severely damaged.

This was one of the main questions at the conference: how to help restore and in what format. We understand that now we need to completely review the entire energy structure of the country. In Ukraine, for example, the issue of decentralization of the heat supply system is being discussed a lot. There was also a lot of attention paid to renewable energy sources. I especially want to point out that this is the first conference of its kind to focus on ecology and climate. This was one of four main areas that were proposed for discussion at this conference. The destruction we see concerns not only infrastructure, energy, homes, but also ecosystems. We are very concerned about water supply and water quality. We never even imagined that we would be discussing this before.

ИНТЕРВЬЮ | Конференция по восстановлению Украины: энергетика, экология, транспорт

Signing documents in Berlin at the Conference on the Restoration of Ukraine.

UN News Service: I also wanted to ask a question about your recent visit to Ukraine. Maybe you want to share some information about this?

TM: During the visit, I met with representatives of the Ukrainian government, with ministers, but also with our colleagues from UN agencies, with the national coordinator, with other international partners who are in Ukraine. It is important to figure out how assistance to Ukraine can be effectively coordinated between different organizations. The situation in the country is dire, with daily blackouts and sirens sounding. This affects not only the safety of people, but also the development of the country.

The UN team in Ukraine is very good, a lot of important projects are being implemented. The main problem is that the situation changes, if not every day, then definitely every week. If a month ago energy was simply an important area, now, after the destruction of the country’s energy infrastructure, it is clear that this area should be one of the main areas of all our work. We noted that even security does not have as much influence on people’s decisions to leave their city or country as a shutdown of water, heat or electricity. Environmental issues are discussed in great detail. We will continue to provide assistance to solve environmental problems. It’s not just about water, it’s also about preventing pollution of underground resources. Another important area that I would like to note is the transport development plan and road safety issues. It was very pleasant and important for us that even the head of the Ukrainian government pays special attention to this issue. We decided that we would provide separate assistance in this area.

Read also:

Conference on the restoration of Ukraine: the UN is alarmed by the lack of funding for humanitarian operations


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *