Statement by Mr. Andriy CHESNOKOV, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine for European Integration at the 10th ECOSOC Youth Forum

Statement by Mr. Andriy CHESNOKOV, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine  for European Integration at the 10th ECOSOC Youth Forum

As prepared for the Interactive Ministerial Roundtable

“Achieving the SDGs with and for youth”,

7 April 2021

Dear delegates,

dear colleagues!

I would like to inform you that the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine has elaborated a National Youth Strategy until 2030 which was approved by the Decree of the President of Ukraine. The Strategy includes important aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as other UN strategies and documents, providing the principles of youth policy development.

The aim of the Youth Strategy is to create opportunities for young people living in Ukraine to be competitive (resilient, capable, and healthy), to participate in society and as active citizens to contribute to the further development of Ukrainian society.

The Strategy sets out 4 priorities: security, health, capacity, integration of Ukrainian youth into society and the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives and approaches to work. In order to understand the challenges facing young people in today's environment and to adapt their work to the new realities and needs, a research of the pandemic’s impact on youth in Ukraine was conducted with the support of the UNDP.

According to the research, the pandemic has affected most the spheres of education and youth employment. During the pandemic, every fourth young person in Ukraine could not find a job not because there were no vacancies, but because of the lack of proper competencies that could meet the employers’ expectations. The quarantine encouraged young people to make more active use of online learning platforms and to seek additional resources for learning outside the formal education system.

Since the introduction of quarantine, the level of civic engagement of young people in Ukraine has become multifaceted. The pandemic negatively affected the involvement of young people in public life, according to the survey. At the same time, the decline in social engagement is primarily related to quarantine restrictions rather than to declining interest in community life. The share of young men and women who got interested in participating in public life (12.9%) is higher, compared to those for whom it decreased (10.8%).

Given the above and responding to such new requests and needs of young people, a new State Program "Youth of Ukraine" for 2021-2025 has been elaborated and is under consideration of the Cabinet of Ministers. Our work within the new State program is aimed at supporting young people to be more adaptive to the changes of the modern world, to be competitive not only in the labor market but also in other spheres of life, as well as to increase the level of youth participation in public life.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not the only challenge we face and must respond to. We must not forget that as a result of Russia’s aggression parts of Ukraine’s territory are temporarily occupied. Young citizens of Ukraine who live in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts as well as in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol cannot fulfill their rights in full, and SDGs cannot be implemented there as well.

We would like to use this platform to call on UN member states to increase pressure on occupying power to stop military aggression and guarantee the rights of the population, including young people, in accordance with the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

I thank you.