On September 12, 2019 in the National institute for Strategic Studies a consultation meeting occurred between experts of the Institute and representatives of the International Human Rights NGO Freedom House Ukraine and Ukrainian Institute for Human Rights. The meeting was attended by Oleksandr Lytvynenko, Director of the NISS, Yulia Tyshchenko, Head of the Department of Ethnonational Research, Reintegration, and Development of Civil Society, Oksana Markeyeva, Head of the Department of Issues of Security Sector Development, Oksana Shcherba, Leading Specialist of the Department of External Communications, Yulia Kaplun-Volobueva, Chief Adviser of the Department of External Communications, Mattew Shaaf, Director of the Freedom House Ukraine, Yaropolk Brynykh, Program Officer of the Freedom House Ukraine, Valeria Lutkovska, Director of Ukrainian Institute for Human Rights, and Anastasia Lutkovska, representative of Ukrainian Institute for Human Rights.
During the meeting, the conversation concerned issues of reforms in Ukraine and improving interactions between civilian sector and agencies of defense and security sector of Ukraine. According to Mattew Shaaf, Director of the Freedom House Ukraine, at the present time there is an urgent need to enhance civilian oversight of activities performed by these agencies, as well as to establish productive structures of interactions between them and civilian activists for detection and reporting on existing issues as a matter of course. However, as Valeria Lutkovska remarked, in this case civilian oversight refers solely to strategic directions of activities performed by the agencies of defense and security sector, and in no way would it affect their actual operations.
Political changes in our country may foster constructive interactions between civilian sector and state agencies. For gaining this objective, civilian organizations should focus on the following activity directions:
- Strategic and legislative activity direction;
- Trainings and preparation of individual state agencies for productive cooperation with civilian sector.
During the meeting, the parties discussed existing issues and possible ways of their solution (for instance, conducting monitoring activities with engagement of civilian or expert councils, organization of the platform for dialogue between civilian activists and representatives of the agencies of defense and security sector of Ukraine, conducting trainings, legislative activity, and acquainting the common public with constitutionally legal tools of influence and oversight over action strategy of the agencies of defense and security sector of Ukraine). At the end of the meeting the parties agreed upon conducting trainings and conferences, as well as upon mutual cooperation between experts of the institutions represented, aimed at publication of analytical materials and expert investigations on above-mentioned issues.