Conference in Lugano: "Civil society must be more involved"
The Platform of Swiss Human Rights NGOs have sent an open letter to the Federal Council asking to be more involved in the upcoming Conference on Ukrainian Reform (URC2022), which is scheduled to take place on the 4 and 5th of July in Lugano.
The Platform includes 90 human rights NGOs and sees the first International Conference on Ukraine since the beginning of Russian aggression "as an opportunity to put the emphasis in reconstruction and reform planning, promoting peace, human rights and the Rule of Law."
Discussions on war and rebuilding in Ukraine, nonetheless, should not be led solely by governments behind closed doors. "Active involvement of civil society organizations is necessary," said Matthias Hui, coordinator of the Platform, cited in a note.
"Only by listening to the populations that are directly affected and taking into account their human rights will it be feasible to develop a sustainable reconstruction outlook," argues Hui. While military means can only provide a sense of security in the short term, to have lasting effects a real security policy must be based on the universal and systematic application of human rights, the fight against poverty and climate change, and the preservation of natural resources.
Several Platform member NGOs work with partner organizations in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus providing aid on the ground and actively working to limit the impact of war. These organizations, the Platform of Swiss Human Rights NGOs concluded, are prepared to contribute to the Lugano conference.