At a networking event, Veteran Development Centres unite to create long-term veteran reintegration strategies

The event was organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine, with support from the EU, the Government of the Netherlands, and UNDP

June 3, 2024
Photo credit: Danylo Pavlov / UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 3 June 2024 — A two-day networking event for specialists from Veteran Development Centres, organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, the European Union (EU), and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, took place in Kyiv.

The event convened experts from Veteran Development Centres across Ukraine to define their role in the long-term reintegration of Ukrainian veterans at national, regional, and local levels. The discussions focused on community-level reintegration, identifying the needs, opportunities, and challenges faced by the Veteran Development Centres at this level, and developing a unified vision for their role within the broader veteran reintegration ecosystem.

The participants devised an operational plan for the Network of Veteran Development Centres and presented their ideas for enhancing reintegration in Ukraine. The most promising projects received funding from UNDP in Ukraine and its partners for implementation.

Representatives from relevant line ministries, including the Ministry of Social Policy, the Ministry of Economy, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, also participated in the expert discussions.

Maksym Kushnir, Deputy Minister of Veteran Affairs of Ukraine, emphasized that implementing an effective system for the transition from military service to civilian life is a crucial task for the ministry. “We must create all possible opportunities for the successful reintegration of veterans by combining the efforts of all key players – the state, business, and society,” Kushnir said. “Veteran Development Centres are a key element of this chain because they provide opportunities for veterans to obtain the knowledge they need, advance their professional adaptation, and increase their competitiveness in the labour market,” added Mr Kushnir.

Stefan Schleuning, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, noted that the EU welcomes the establishment of Veteran Development Centres throughout the country and expressed interest in supporting them in the long term. “Together with our international and national partners, we are working diligently to create favourable conditions in communities so that Ukrainian veterans do not encounter barriers when returning to civilian life,” Mr Schleuning said.

Esselien van Eerten, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, highlighted an importance to support for veteran reintegration at community level. “We strive to create conditions where veterans can easily integrate and effectively realize their potential in civilian life, and Veteran Development Centres play a key role in this process,” the Deputy Head of Mission emphasized.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Ukraine Christophoros Politis emphasized that the rehabilitation and reintegration of veterans are essential to the recovery process and their dignified return to civilian life. “Creating this ecosystem today, with the Veteran Development Centres, is crucial for us at UNDP,” Politis said. “Inclusivity, reintegration, and rehabilitation should be guaranteed rights for veterans, not privileges they have to request. These services should be provided as fundamental public services.”


The Veteran Development Centres are a pilot project of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine, established within higher education institutions. Currently, there are 14 such centres across various regions of Ukraine.

The primary goal of the project is to ensure the reintegration of veterans into civilian life, enhance their professional competence and mobility in the labour market, and create conditions for their employment, particularly through the development of entrepreneurial initiatives. These centres also train specialists who support war veterans and demobilized men and women.

The network meeting for Veteran Development Centres was organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine in partnership with UNDP in Ukraine, with financial support from the European Union under the “EU4Recovery – Empowering Communities in Ukraine” project, and from the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Media enquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail:

Veteran Development Centres unite to create long-term veteran reintegration strategies