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We need solidarity not only in the face of the enemy.
We need solidarity in planning of the recovery.
British spiritual leaders came together with Ukrainian activists and experts to call for a green, just and citizens-led recovery of Ukraine.
“Destruction of Nova Khakovka dam shows that war does lasting damage to the environment: social environment, psychological environment, but also physical environment. All of that should remind us that there can be no sustainable peace, stability and security without physical stability. And this means we have to think about ownership of facilities as well as government policies on energy, land etc.” – said Sir Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury alongside Ukrainian and Polish climate activists at a press conference in front of Chatham House organised by Europe, a Patient Association during the Ukrainian Recovery Conference in London.
“Recovery has to be lead by the Ukrainian people, not by fossil fuel companies that are only looking for profit in Ukraine” – added Wiktoria Jędroszkowiak, a Polish climate justice activist from “Wschód” (East) Initiative “Energy security is an existential issue not only for Ukraine but for whole of Europe. We need concrete investments in the form of grants lead by ordinary Ukrainian citizens who are protecting European sovereignty” – said Victoria Ball, a British-Ukrainian climate justice activist from Friday For Future.
“Ukraine has tremendous social capital it has build since the first invasion in 2014, on local and national level – going beyond Ukraine. When we are talking about recovery of Ukraine first of all we should approach these local initiatives and ask them what are the needs. What is important is to acknowledge their organisational capacity and simplify the procedure of receiving the grant money.” – said Sofia Melnyk, an activist and a DP living in London.
“We talk a lot about resilience of Ukrainian society. But we should remember that society is resilient, but each human being is fragile. During the war we should not forget about who are contributing to this resilience: care workers, teachers, railway workers and all those who are fighting not only in the fields, but also in the cities and villages of Ukraine. After the war is crucial to remember that there is no economic development without social capital. And social reproduction should not be taken for granted, We have to nurture the potential of Ukrainian society with policies which will help Ukrainians to prosper after the war. This will help us to build society which has solidarity not only in the face of the enemy, but also for each other – after we win this war.” – said Nataliia Lomonosova, Area Coordinator for Social Policies at Ukrainian think tank Cedos.
“We need to rebuild a new Ukraine – not rebuild the old unjust and oligarchic structures which have proven to be dysfunctional, as we could see in the case of urban planning, dominated by the interests of big developers to the detriment of citizens. Fighting corruption is necessary, but it is not enough to bring Ukrainian society together after the war. We need a positive programme based on social solidarity rooted in actual networks of mutual support including religious communities at the grassroots level which has proven so successful during the war” – said Ruslan Khalikov, sociologist and leader of “Religion on fire” research project
“We need to rebuild the country in a sustainable, fair and inclusive way – by establishing new clean industries and boosting renewables development in the framework of the European Green Deal. Therefore, Ukraine’s reconstruction should be fossil free. This means in practice reconstruction of Ukraine should be creating thousands of well-paid green jobs and delivering new infrastructure, markets and a business environment that works for everyone, especially small and medium size businesses. International investors and institutions should direct their support into green and inclusive reconstruction, and not into dirty oil and gas projects or resource grabs. This is a challange of generational scale. If Ukrainian recovery fails due to a backlash caused by lack of social justice in its implementation – we will have more wars in Europe.” – says Oleh Savytskyi, Campaigns Manager of Razom We Stand.
“I’m here as an ally and a witness with the same passionate idealistic but also very granted Ukrainian thinkers of social and environmental justice looking ahead out of tragedy of this appalling aggression into how Ukraine can be rebuild. The importance of the green rebuilding is the model not just for Ukraine but for the whole Europe.” – summed up Jonathan Wittenberg, rabbi of North London Synagogue who visited Kyiv in February as a member of international delegation of religious leaders organised by Europe, a Patient Association, a pan-European expert and advocacy initiative based in Warsaw.
”Decision-makers in London have include the expertise of the Ukrainian civil society leaders calling for a green, just and transparent recovery, if the recovery is to succeed. Stability of Europe depends on that.” – summaried Dr Mateusz Piotrowski, President of Europe, a Patient Association.