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Swiss conference to highlight decentralised and democratic Ukraine

The Ukraine Recovery Conference in the southern city of Lugano could help boost Switzerland's image abroad but local residents have criticised the heightened security measures. © Keystone - Ats/Ti-press

The participants of the international conference in Switzerland on the reconstruction of Ukraine have reportedly agreed the principles of reforms.

This content was published on July 3, 2022 - 13:00
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The NZZ am Sonntag newspaper reported that the planned final declaration of the Ukraine Recovery ConferenceExternal link in the city of Lugano, would guarantee Ukraine the leading role in the reconstruction and the country would commit itself to continue to fight corruption.

The newspaper also said the declaration to be adopted on Tuesday would stress the importance of democratic participation, more decentralisation as well as human rights and gender equality.

World Bank vice-president Anna Bjerde is quoted as saying that the agreement on the principles is crucial for the success of a complex reconstruction process with a large number of international and private stakeholders involved, according to the NZZ am Sonntag.

The World Bank is expected to be a key participant of the two-day Lugano meeting, which gets underway on Monday with representatives from 40 countries and 18 international organisations.

Swiss image

Other prominent guests include Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission. Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to address the conference in a video call.

Nicolas Bideau, director of the Swiss foreign ministry’s unit in charge of promoting Switzerland’s image abroad, welcomed the conference in Lugano was an opportunity to further boost the country’s reputation.

“We convey the image of a country that is able to act with foresight and vision,” Bideau is quoted in the Le Matin Dimanche newspaper.

It is an opportunity to explain Switzerland’s foreign policy, its neutrality and sanctions regime, the director of Presence Switzerland said.

EU relations

The SonntagsZeitung newspaper says Swiss President Ignazio Cassis will meet von der Leyen on the sidelines of the Lugano conference.

The Swiss foreign ministry reportedly confirmed the planned meeting but refused to give further details.

Observers say the talks are likely to focus on ways to unblock strained relations between Switzerland and the 27-nation bloc following the Swiss government’s refusal last year to agree a deal for a consolidation of bilateral ties with the European Union.

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