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Following the establishment of the new Ministry of Ukraine on Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, the Project “Strengthening the Human Rights Protection of Internally Displaced Persons” organized a High-Level Visit in Strasbourg on internal displacement in Ukraine. The visit took place on 24-25 May at the headquarters of the Council of Europe, with the aim of promoting constructive discussion on ongoing challenges and strategic vision for the national response to internal displacement. The discussions focused on the ways in which the Council of Europe and relevant stakeholders can support Ukraine.

Fostering Council of Europe cooperation with the newly established Ministry and other key national and regional partners is a key element.

The Ukrainian delegation consisted of the newly appointed Minister of Ukraine on Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, Mr. Vadym Chernysh, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ms. Iryna Gerashchenko, and the Chair of the Parliament Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities, and Interethnic Relations, Mr. Hryhoriy Nemyria. Among the members of the delegation were also the Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Valeriya Lutkovska, Members of Parliament, Ms. Iryna Lutsenko, Ms. Nataliia Veselova, and Mr. Sergyi Taruta, Mr. Andrii Kravchenko, Deputy Head of the Anti-Terrorist Centre, Security Service of Ukraine, Mr. Maksym Kononenko, Deputy to the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe, Mr. Andriy Baziv, First Secretary of the Department of International Organisations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Zhanna Lukianenko, Representative on Internally Displaced Persons of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Yuri Buznitskiy, Chief Adviser of the Secretariat of the Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations, Ms. Olga Lishyk, Deputy Head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration, Mr. Igor Stokoz, Deputy Head of the Donetsk Regional State Administration, Mr. Vitalii Lytvin, Adviser of the Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration, and Ms. Olena Vynogradova, Legal Expert, NGO Right to Protection.

During the intensive two-day program, the delegation exchanged views with the Deputy Secretary General, Ms. Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, during which the Deputy Secretary General underscored the Council of Europe’s commitment to helping Ukraine to improve the human rights situation of internally displaced persons. In the meeting with the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Nils Mužnieks followed up with the participants regarding issues raised during his preceding visits to Ukraine. The delegation also met with the Director for Human Rights, Mr. Christos Giakoumopoulos, the newly appointed Special Adviser of the Secretary General on Ukraine, Mr. Régis Brillat, the Director of Programmes, Ms. Verena Taylor, and representatives of the European Court of Human Rights, profile Committees of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, as well as the Department on Anti-Discrimination, and Department on Equality and Human Dignity.

All participants to the meetings highlighted their commitment to improving the human rights of internally displaced persons through coopeation with a view to achieving the main objectives of the project, in particular strengthening the national legislative framework on internally displaced persons and its successful implementation in practice.

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