Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the 13th Session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing

Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the 13th Session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing

Dear Madam Chair,
Distinguished colleagues,
It is a proven fact that in the situation of armed conflicts children, women and elderly persons are the most vulnerable groups.

The full-scale war against Ukraine started by russia in February 2022 pushed our country to develop new tools and strategies to address the critical challenges and fulfill the needs. The war not only significantly increases the share of the elderly population in Ukraine, but also presents new challenges and threats to their lives.

Ukraine has more than 10 million pensioners, which is almost 23% of country’s population. A huge number of them lost their homes, were forced to displace and to leave everything they had just to stay alive. Because of russian constant shelling and occupation of Ukrainian territories, people of Ukraine, and elder people in particular lost the ability to satisfy their basic needs such as free access to water, food, electricity and heat. The fundamental right to a decent life of the elderly has been grossly violated.

​Millions of people have lost their jobs, putting them at risk of not having the required work experience to receive a pension. To address this issue, Ukraine has passed a law and developed a digital tool for making pension contributions without requiring official employment, using charitable funds and other sources.

Despite the war, the Government of Ukraine continues to pay pensions and all other social benefits in full and even increase them with the help of partner countries.

​Despite the challenging circumstances, the Government, with the support of international partners, has organized evacuation flights and social transportation for people living in areas that are frequently under fire or close to the warfare zone.

However, many elderly citizens refuse to leave and remain in these areas, often due to limited mobility and disabilities. As a result, they are left alone without the care of their family members, who were forced to leave in order to protect themselves and their children.

Russia's deliberate destruction of critical civilian infrastructure and power plants worsens the situation, especially during harsh winter season when temperatures dropped to -20°C, leaving older people without access to heat and basic needs.

The war has made it difficult to organize care services for the elderly, including at home, in hospitals, day care centers, assisted living facilities, and palliative care. In this area, significant support from our international partners is needed.

The war is forcing us to create new tools that other countries may need to improve the quality of life of older people. And we are open to share our experience in order to help elder people around the world.

Madam Chair,

Distinguished colleagues,

​On the first day of the 13th session of open-ended working group on ageing, we call everyone not to neglect the needs of elder persons in war and do everything to fulfill basic needs of all people.

Thank you.