Towards a Cities of Solidarity Initiative in Ukraine 20 July 2016

On 20 July 2016, UNHCR will recognize the strong commitment, and the spirit of solidarity, which the City of Mariupol and the Mariupol community and has extended to internally displaced people (IDPs) over the past two years.                                                                          

Mariupol, like many other large cities in Eastern Ukraine, has received a large number of IDPs since the onset of conflict in March 2014.  To date, more than 100,000 people have been displaced to Mariupol. At the onset of the conflict, the engagement by local authorities, volunteer and community based initiatives, and the support by business, media, and faith-based organizations has been remarkable. Today, for many IDPs, the length of time in displacement has passed one year.  Survival in displacement has been particularly challenging for persons with specific needs, including older persons at risk, women at risk, single parents with dependents, and members of minority groups.        

The Forum in Mariupol will bring together internally displaced population, host community, authorities, central government, diplomatic representations, international organizations, civil society, the media, faith-based institutions, business associations, and academia. During the keynote moment of the event, a Framework for Cooperation will be signed between UNHCR, and Mariupol Municipal authorities, in support of shared protection objectives. 

Plenary discussions will be held to analyze jointly the main challenges to the protection of IDPs and other persons in need of national protection today in Mariupol and Ukraine in general, and to identify courses of action to assist the country in the search for appropriate durable solutions, including areas, such as education, housing, livelihood, employment, and health.

During the event, an integration committee will also be launched, consisting of selected members of the host population, internally displaced persons, international and civil society, business and faith community officials, and international organizations. This committee will be co-chaired by authorities and the internally displaced population.

Also during the event,a cultural programme will be organized by the citizens of Mariupol at the theater hall, including musical performances. In addition, a market place will be set up, where local, national and international organizations will be invited to demonstrate their work to the residents and victors.   

Mariupol will be the venue for the first City of Solidarity launch. Other locations targeted for consideration, where best practices in IDP Protection and response are already occurring.

Contacts:

For any questions related to logistics/transportation, please kindly contact Oleksandr Ochkovskyi,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and kindly copy Anatoli Shcherbyna, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For questions in regard to the participation of Embassies/Ambassadors, please kindly contact Bettina Schulte, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For media queries, kindly contact Nina Sorokopud, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

If you are interested in joining the market place and panels, please kindly contact Iryna Bystrytska, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.