UN political chief attends Ukrainian president’s inauguration, reiterates support for new government

9 June 2014

The top United Nations political official today concluded a visit to Ukraine where he reiterated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s commitment to supporting the country, and held meetings with senior Government and civil society representatives.

According to a UN spokesperson, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman represented Mr. Ban at the inauguration of President Petro Poroshenko on Saturday. The UN chief spoke by phone with Mr. Poroshenko a week ago, congratulating him “on having received a strong mandate from the people” to steer the country “towards security, greater prosperity and genuine democratic governance.”

In addition to meeting with the newly sworn-in President, Mr. Feltman held a series of bilateral meetings to discuss opportunities for a political process to put Ukraine on a path towards long-term stability, prosperity and peace.

Mr. Feltman emphasized “the importance of inclusive dialogue and reform to fulfil the hopes and expectations of all citizens of Ukraine.”

He also noted the responsibility of the international community to play a constructive role in Ukraine.

While in Kyiv, Mr. Feltman also met with Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier, and expressed the UN’s dismay that four OSCE monitors captured on 26 May have still not been released.

“It is unacceptable that staff of an international mission are being put in danger,” the UN spokesperson said.

Addressing the Security Council at the end of last month on behalf of Mr. Ban, Mr. Feltman conveyed the same message, appealing to everyone with influence to do everything possible to assist in the monitors’ release.

The Security Council briefing was held amidst increased fighting in eastern Ukraine. Mr. Ban has supported Mr. Poroshenko’s statement that he would immediately engage in dialogue and de-escalation with communities in that part of the country.


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