The Director of the Reform Office of the Cabinet of Ministers Says that the Toronto Principles should Become a Checklist for the Future Government and Parliament


Participants in the press conference, arranged by the Reanimation Package of Reforms Coalition on July 15, stressed that the vision document “Toronto Principles” was a roadmap for implementing changes, and it was designed not only to specify new reform areas, but also ensure sustainability of already existing achievements.

“Toronto Principles should be used as a checklist for the future Parliament and Government. If questionable decisions are made by politicians, the civil society should point out that they are not in line with the Toronto Principles,” Executive Director of the Reform Office of the Cabinet of Ministers Anton Yashchenko thinks. 

According to him, after a new administration is formed, there is a window of opportunity for implementing unpopular reforms; however a new Parliament and Government often spend a lot of time for development of action plans apart from ministerial appointments and other organizational work. By contrast, the Toronto Principles are a roadmap to necessary reforms. 

Moreover, Anton Yashchenko underlined that analysis of programmes of different political parties had been conducted by the Reform Office and its results showed that key priorities coincided for the most part. That is, Toronto Principles are a universal document that brings together various stakeholders to continue and speed up reforms in Ukraine.

“We hope that the President, new Parliament and Government will use the document in their work. There is no need in spending time for determining priorities. And this is particularly important and relevant in terms of high public expectations of changes,” the Director of the Office stressed.

This point was supported by Director of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation Iryna Bekeshkina. She drew attention to the fact that there was a very favourable period for implementing changes in Ukraine at that time.

“There were not so many situations in the history of Ukraine when the majority of people believed that the country moved in the right direction. They actually occurred only after the Orange Revolution (2005) and Euromaidan (2015). At present, 60% of the surveyed believe in success of reforms, and 34% are of the opinion that major problems soon will be resolved. In general, people also became more optimistic. They started attaching greater value on civil rights and freedoms,” she said.

However, she underlined that it was extremely important to continue and speed up implementation of changes.

 "The overall climate for implementing reforms is particularly favourable, however if reforms are not carried out quickly, people may lose faith. Reforms should consolidate the society,” the Director of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation said.

Conference participants were informed that the Toronto Principles had been supported by 90 non-governmental organizations and 70 business associations. 

“This document was prepared on an inclusive basis: the maximum number of non-governmental organizations (in particular regional ones), experts and business representatives were involved in its production,” Member of the Council of the Reanimation Package of Reforms Coalition and Director of CEDEM Taras Shevchenko said.

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