Head of UNDP for Europe and Central Asia concludes visit to Japan, reaffirms joint commitment to supporting Ukraine’s recovery

February 22, 2024

Tokyo, 22 February 2024 – Ms. Ivana Živković, U.N. Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) and Director of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia, recently concluded a visit to Japan where she acknowledged and thanked the Japanese government’s strong support to UNDP, including on Ukraine’s recovery.

In Tokyo, ASG Živković joined the Japan-Ukraine Conference on the Promotion of Economic Growth and Reconstruction. Held on 19 February 2024, shortly before the two years mark of a war that has been causing significant damage to Ukraine’s economy, the Conference gathered government officials – including Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal – and representatives from private sector companies from both countries to discuss the recovery and reconstruction of war-torn Ukraine. 

At the conference, ASG Živković opened a panel discussion on improving the business environment in Ukraine and attended a special session on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) organized at the initiative of the Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, where three women representatives from Ukraine underlined the importance of the roles of women in wartime and their conviction that women play an important role in the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Private sector development and partnerships for Ukraine’s reconstruction were also high on the agenda of a special public event co-hosted by UNDP and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) on 20 February in a hybrid format in Tokyo and Kyiv.  Ms. Živković reiterated UNDP’s commitment to continue supporting Ukraine’s economic recovery, key to the reconstruction process of the country, and conveyed her appreciation of the crucial partnership with Japan: “With Japan’s steadfast involvement and engagement at all levels of society, we will continue supporting the people of Ukraine on a swift recovery pathway, helping foster innovative solutions at the community level, strengthening the social fabric and creating more robust foundations for withstanding and recovering from futures crises,” Ms. Živković said.

The event also saw the launch of a new UNDP study assessing the impact of the war on micro, medium and small enterprises (MSMEs) in Ukraine. According to the study findings, 82% of the enterprises that suspended their business activities at the beginning of 2022 have since managed to resume operations thanks to governmental and international assistance to stimulate small business activities. UNDP also launched its new offer to support the economic recovery of Ukraine, outlining strategic pathways for resilience, inclusivity, and long-term sustainability.

During her visit to Japan, Ms. Živković signed a Statement of Intent with Mr. Susumu Kataoka, President of JETRO, to cooperate on enhancing dialogue and facilitating business opportunities between Japan and Ukraine, providing networking opportunities for the private sector actors in the two countries, organizing joint communications and public advocacy activities and any other cooperative activities for projects: “Together, we can leverage this moment of reconstruction to create a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive economic landscape in Ukraine,” Ms. Živković said.

For more information please contact:

UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia – Laurence Lessire, laurence.lessire@undp.org 

UNDP Japan Representation Office – Yuko Yasuda, yuko.yasuda@undp.org

Note for editors:

Working with Japan, UNDP is providing crucial support to help the Ukrainian Government meet immediate citizen needs and plan a comprehensive, inclusive, and green recovery.

Key projects funded by Japan include explosive ordnance clearance and debris removal, human security, support for winterization and repair of energy infrastructure ensuring that around six million Ukrainians continued to have heat and power supply during the winter of 2022-2023.