UNDP and Ministry of Youth and Sports sign MoU to strengthen youth inclusion in decision-making processes and recovery

May 27, 2024
Photo: Serhii Minenko / UNDP in Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, 27 May 2024 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance collaboration on promoting inclusive and sustainable development, particularly focusing on youth inclusion in decision-making processes. This strategic partnership is intended to foster a more democratic, inclusive, and resilient civil society in Ukraine. 

Since February 2022, the ongoing war has had an unprecedented impact on young people and all of society in Ukraine. Ukrainian youth have been tremendously active in the emergency response, engaging as volunteers in their communities. The study entitled “The impact of the war on Youth in Ukraine” shows that 72 percent were ready to contribute to the recovery process, while only 1 percent stated that they were already contributing, showing the further need to unpack the recovery process and invest more in actions aiming to channel youth engagement in the recovery process – specifically at local level. 

For many years, UNDP Ukraine has been dedicated to engaging with the country's youth, fostering their empowerment and providing them with the tools and encouragement they need to actively contribute to their nation's development.  The partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine is intended to support collaborative efforts to develop and implement participatory, evidence-based youth policies and strategies, including the “Youth of Ukraine 2026-2030” State Target Social Programme. 

The MoU sets out a wide range of areas for cooperation, including: 

  • Promoting inclusive and sustainable development of civil society through the inclusion of youth in decision-making processes and the country's recovery. 
  • Facilitating the creation of favourable conditions for including young women and men in recovery processes, focusing on special interest groups, such as young veterans, people with disabilities, displaced individuals, and young parents. 
  • Collaborating on participatory, evidence-based youth policies and strategies, including the development of the State Target Social Programme “Youth of Ukraine 2026-2030”. 
  • Engaging young people, youth-led organizations, and other stakeholders in the policymaking process 
  • Promoting accessibility, inclusivity and diversity in all activities and programs, ensuring that vulnerable and underrepresented youth populations have equal access to information, opportunities and resources. 
  • Supporting the implementation of the National Youth Strategy until 2030 and aligning youth work standards with EU policies on democratic governance. 
  • Establishing mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating joint initiatives, conducting research, and sharing best practices to improve program effectiveness and sustainability. 
  • Supporting youth policy implementation infrastructure through joint initiatives such as the Youth Worker Programme and the “VidNOVA:UA” youth exchange programme. 

This MoU marks a significant step in empowering Ukrainian youth and fostering their active participation in the nation’s democratic processes and recovery efforts. 

Acting Minister for Youth and Sports of Ukraine Matvii Bidnyi, signing on behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, highlighted that the memorandum would significantly contribute to the further development of youth policy, and including young women and men in recovery efforts. 

“Today's signing is an example of how a youth initiative, supported by an international development partner, has been integrated into state policy and included in the state program 'Youth of Ukraine', said Matvii Bidnyi. 

UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine Jaco Cilliers said that this MoU signifies a strengthened partnership between UNDP Ukraine and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, emphasizing their joint commitment to promoting inclusive and sustainable development through involving young people in decision-making processes at all levels. 

“By further strengthening our collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, UNDP aims to leverage its expertise and resources to support Ukraine's recovery. Young people are the drivers of change and development, and we at UNDP consider it our priority to support their inclusion in decision-making processes for strengthening the country's resilience,” Mr Cilliers said after signing the MoU on behalf of UNDP Ukraine. 

Media enquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: yuliia.samus@undp.org