Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis to attend third Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin

Press releases, 10.06.2024

Switzerland has been supporting the recovery and reconstruction process in Ukraine since the start of the war. In line with this commitment, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis will attend the third Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC) in Berlin on 11 and 12 June 2024, following on from the URCs in Lugano (2022) and London (2023). The Berlin conference will focus, among other things, on private sector involvement, social aspects and the promotion of local and regional development.

The broad-based political recovery process was launched at the 2022 URC in Lugano, where 59 delegations from states and international organisations agreed on the Lugano Declaration and Principles. These form the compass for the political recovery process.

The second follow-up conference to the Lugano URC is now taking place in Berlin, after a similar event in London in June 2023. Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis will represent Switzerland at the conference on 11 June 2024. Commenting on the objective of the URC process, Mr Cassis said: "We need to act and think in a short-, medium- and long-term way by combining our experience, strengths and skills." In other words, humanitarian aid, reconstruction and reforms must be pursued in parallel.

The URC in Berlin will discuss a number of issues linked to Ukraine's recovery, in particular how the private sector can be more heavily involved in promoting economic growth in the country and thus advance its reconstruction. With this in mind, a number of companies have been invited to attend the URC, with several Swiss firms among those that will be present in Berlin. The conference will also discuss measures to strengthen the social fabric in Ukraine and boost local and regional development.

Alongside the political recovery process, Switzerland is helping in the search for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. To this end, it is organising the Summit on Peace in Ukraine at the Bürgenstock resort on 15 and 16 June 2024, with the aim of initiating a peace process and developing practical solutions and steps towards such a process. Since February 2022, the Confederation has also been providing practical support to people affected by the war in Ukraine. This ranges from humanitarian aid, development cooperation projects and financial assistance – e.g. for repairing damaged energy infrastructure or restoring digital access to state-provided services – to the granting of protection status S in Switzerland to people from Ukraine seeking temporary protection, as well as the safeguarding and preservation of cultural assets. Switzerland's long-standing presence in Ukraine means that the Confederation can provide direct and effective support there and so offer added value.

One example of this is humanitarian demining. The Federal Council declared support for this a priority in 2023 and made CHF 100 million available for humanitarian mine action, half of it provided by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and half by the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS). Switzerland works closely on this issue with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) and organisations such as the FSD (Fondation suisse de déminage).

On 12 June 2024, Patricia Danzi, Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), will explain Switzerland's expertise in this area and the challenges in Ukraine at a URC2024 panel discussion on humanitarian mine action in Berlin. Switzerland will also host an international mine action conference in Lausanne in October 2024, underscoring the fact that the demining of civilian and agricultural areas is a key prerequisite for Ukraine's recovery.

The URC2024 in Berlin is also an opportunity for the Swiss delegation to attend the meeting of the G7/EU Multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform for Ukraine, which will take place on 10 June ahead of the URC. The aim of the platform, which Switzerland joined as an observer in April, is to coordinate the many recovery and reconstruction activities internationally.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs