Ukraine Reform Conference is an annual international event dedicated to expert discussion of reform progress in Ukraine. Launched by the government in 2017, it has been bringing together Ukrainian government officials, civil society and business representatives and international partners to discuss Ukraine’s reform progress and priorities for already a third year in a row. 

Reform success depends on many factors, one of which is the meaningful cooperation of all stakeholders. Accordingly, an effective tool was needed to provide for:

  • active engagement and synchronized collaboration of our country’s donors;
  • direct communication among Ukraine, its donors and partners; 
  • systematic efforts to support and implement reforms in Ukraine.  

Another task is to counter the challenges facing Ukraine. 

First, it is the powerful Russian propaganda abroad. The Ukraine Reform Conference is an ideal platform to counteract the information warfare of the aggressor country. 

Secondly, it is the fierce competition among countries in the global information arena. The conference gathers hundreds of key international players to get a direct insight into the state of affairs in our country.

Lastly, it is the promotion of Ukraine’s positive image, a process which is continuous and fundamental.

Setting up a platform to bring together all Ukrainian reform stakeholders, draw an annual summary of reforms, exchange experience and recommendations, and discuss further priority steps and prospects.

The RDO came up with the Ukraine Reform Conference – an annual international meeting held in one of Ukraine’s partner countries. The Ukraine Reform Conference brings together high-ranking delegations from the EU member states, NATO, G7 and other countries, as well as representatives from the civil society, private sector and think tanks.

Each year the scale of the conference is impressive (more than 300 participants) thanks to close cooperation among the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, exterior ministry of the host country, and representatives of the donor and international community.

The RDO experts develop the conference plan and program and agree them with all participants. They also coordinate the work in Ukraine, provide for effective interaction among the conference participants and take on a significant communication role.

The Ukraine Reforms Conference aims to discuss key reform outcomes and priorities, and to achieve a number of objectives, i.e.:

  • present key reform outcomes internationally;
  • involve the international community in Ukraine’s reform process;
  • facilitate investment in Ukraine;
  • highlight the Ukrainian Government’s priorities for the year ahead. 

The Ukraine Reform Conference helps address a range of important issues.

First, it is a unique opportunity to gather dozens of foreign ministers of developed countries and heads of international institutions to discuss the issues of importance for Ukraine, and make a day of it.

Secondly, the conference is not a platform to report on successes. Discussion panels are usually held under the Chatham House Rule, which means a frank conversation behind closed doors with no media involved. This means a genuine dialogue to discuss challenges and threats to find solutions together.

Thirdly, the conference is attended by government officials, parliamentarians, heads of international institutions, members of the private sector and civil society, and delegations from the EU member states, NATO, and G7. This is a good chance to get a balanced, holistic and firsthand account of the situation.

Lastly, it is an opportunity for Ukrainian policymakers to hold a series of bilateral meetings both with senior officials of the host country and other distinguished guests of the event. In addition, foreign delegates have been increasingly using the Ukraine Reform Conference as a platform for multilateral diplomacy. 

The Ukraine Reforms Conference was successfully held in such recognized centers of political life as London (2017) and Copenhagen (2018), Toronto (2019). The 2021 Ukraine Reforms Conference was hospitably hosted by Vilnius. The URC 2022 was held on Lugano (Switzerland). 

Initially, the conference in Lugano had been planned as the 5th Ukraine Reform Conference – an annual high-level political event. It would have been in continuation of four previous editions of the conference that allowed Ukraine to highlight its reforms progress and discuss the next reform priorities. Against the backdrop of the full-scale Russian war against Ukraine since 24 February, 2022, Ukraine and Switzerland have jointly decided to proceed with the organization of the conference, but to refocus the priorities on a topic that is more relevant to Ukraine in the current situation - the Conference became Ukraine Recovery Conference. 

For the first time in the conference’s history, the 2019 Ukraine Reform Conference was held in an interactive format. In addition to speeches of top-ranking government officials and panel discussions attended by leading international experts, the participants had a chance to see Ukraine’s business and investment potential and take a look at the products of Ukrainian creative industries at a unique Ukraine House platform.

For more details about the previous conferences, please follow this link.

Related links:

Ukraine is a Failed State or Reliable Partner

Toronto Ukraine Reform Conference Co-Chairs’ Statement

Canada stands with the people of Ukraine and supports efforts for a secure, sovereign and prosperous future