Ukraine should become the actor in responding to crises in the world, and for this purpose, our state plans to create the Ukrainian International Aid Agency. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the Conference of Ambassadors of Ukraine "War and New Horizons in the World" in Kyiv.
In his speech, the Head of State stated that this year it was possible to achieve historic results. In particular, a powerful global coalition was created around Ukraine and the protection of international security, vital defense, financial, sanction, humanitarian and other necessary support was obtained.
"143 countries of the world – more than ever before – supported our territorial integrity and condemned Russian aggression," the President said.
In particular, according to him, the grain export initiative and the Grain from Ukraine humanitarian initiative put Ukraine in the same line with those who really guarantee global security for the whole world.
"And next year, we will increase this, I believe, very important activity of ours. Special attention is paid to those regions and continents where our interests are so far represented less than we need for the good of Ukraine and our protection against Russian aggression. In particular, this is Africa," Zelenskyy said.
As the President emphasized, ten countries have already been determined where new embassies of Ukraine in Africa will be opened. The concept of the "Ukraine - Africa" trading house was also developed with the opening of its representative offices in the capitals of the most promising countries of the African continent. Along with new embassies and trading houses, our state plans to achieve representation in thirty African countries.
"We need such a tool that will enable our state to respond to crisis situations in the world. Our presence should be felt by absolutely everyone, everyone should be interested in our help. To this end, we are preparing the creation of the Ukrainian International Aid Agency, which will expand the geography of our influence and form additional lines of cooperation with partners," the Head of State said.
In particular, according to him, Ukraine can share its experience in the field of food safety, digitalization, cyber security, etc.
"We have the experience that can strengthen our partners and give Ukraine new friends in the world," Zelenskyy said.
To support the work of Ukrainian diplomats, the President of Ukraine tasked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare ambitious draft amendments to the Law of Ukraine on the Diplomatic Service.
"The system of work of embassies must be updated. For embassies to be able to work truly as a team, the approach to the formation of the embassy team must be changed. The ambassador is responsible for the result, and therefore the ambassador needs to influence the formation of the embassy team. It will be done," Zelenskyy said.
Also, according to the Head of State, the world should know about the needs of Ukraine and Ukrainians, and this should involve not only politicians, but also businesses, the media environment, and the public sector. According to him, this is critically necessary both for the reconstruction of Ukraine and for increasing pressure on Russia over war and terror.
"Our embassies and our state should be heard and seen in the countries of your direct work. In particular, one of your tasks, in addition to the general task of popularizing Ukraine, should be the organization of visits of those who can actually become and are newsmakers in the country of your stay," he said, noting that it is necessary to create political events of strategic importance.
The head of state also outlined the priority areas of Ukrainian diplomats' work for the coming year.
In particular, representatives of the diplomatic corps should focus on the beginning of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU and preparations for the planned NATO summit.
"Each of you will be presented with our updated defense and security needs for our army. You must constantly work to satisfy them," the President said.
In addition, as the Head of State said, diplomats should pay attention to Ukraine's needs in the recovery of the energy sector after the Russian strikes. Diplomats should also work on filling the agreements with specific content within the framework of the implementation of the Fast Recovery Plan.
The President said that next year it is necessary to ensure the adoption of new strong sanctions packages against Russia. In addition, it is necessary to help find and block Russian assets that are connected not only to representatives of the aggressor state but also to Russian business that supports the war.
Diplomats should also support Ukrainians in their countries of residence, and satisfy the needs of Ukrainian identity, the cultural, educational, informational, and social needs of our citizens.
"The implementation of all the tasks I mentioned today is not only a specific work plan for the next year. We must understand: this is our victory. These are the elements of this victory. When we implement a specific task, we accelerate victory for Ukraine, accelerate victory for our people. The most important task for all of us is victory in this war. We must, and we will get it!" Zelenskyy said.