Photo from UNIAN

The Ukrainian government has endorsed the Annual National Program (ANP) for 2020 under the auspices of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which is based on a methodology of measured results, focuses on human security, contains a monitoring mechanism for the implementation, and builds on the principles, structure and content of NATO membership plans of countries who were following the way toward joining the Alliance.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the relevant document at a meeting on Wednesday, February 5, with further submitting the act to be signed by the president of Ukraine, according to the government portal.

"Our government has included in its Action Program an ambitious goal: in five years Ukraine should achieve the criteria for joining NATO. What kind of Ukraine will we have when it achieves the level of NATO standards? It is a state for which the safety and well-being of the citizen are the focus. The state that is capable of defending its human-centric principles," said Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk.

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This year's document contains a number of innovations. For the first time, the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of the individual are put at the center of attention when planning the content of the program. This is such a human-centric approach to which the North Atlantic Alliance is committed.

In addition, the document was first developed with applying the international Results-Based Management (RBM) method. Such a methodology is used in the preparation of similar strategic documents in NATO member states, the World Bank, and the UN.

"We are speaking the same language with the Alliance. The Annual National Program for 2020 has been written in the NATO language, the language of concrete measurable results, and addresses specific problems in particular areas of reform, as well as focuses primarily on human security and well-being. This roadmap for Euro-Atlantic reforms reliably leads our country to high NATO standards," said Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Dmytro Kuleba.

It is critical that the ANP-2020 was being developed simultaneously with the 2020 State Budget, so all the measures envisaged in the program are financially supported. The creation of an independent external monitoring system for the implementation of the ANP is envisaged for the first time. As the list of reforms included in the program is rather broad and concerns bringing a number of areas of the country's activity in compliance with the Alliance's standards, monitoring the implementation of the program will become a kind of audit of the country in line with NATO criteria.

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The ANP envisages both security and defense sector reforms, as well as democratic transformations within the country. Among the top priority reforms are, in particular, bringing to compliance the entire defense force management system, strategic and operational (combat) management, communications, intelligence and surveillance with NATO standards and compatibility, introducing democratic civilian control, providing conditions for participation of Ukrainian enterprises in NATO multinational projects in the field of development and production of weapons and equipment, etc. Among others, inter alia, are a shaped market economy, a transparent tax system, effective scientific cooperation between Ukraine and countries-members of NATO and the EU, a counter-terrorism system that makes Ukraine a reliable partner in the international security system, the development of a system of national sustainability and protection of critical infrastructure, etc.

The Annual National Program is modeled as close as possible on the content and principles of the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) and has the same structure of five sections: I. Political and Economic issues; II. Defense/Military Issues; III. Resource issues; IV. Security issues; V. Legal issues.

The ANP is a key instrument for Ukraine's integration into NATO and a roadmap for reform aimed to translate Alliance standards and principles. It was elaborated by the Alliance in 2008, when during the Bucharest Summit, allies welcomed Ukraine to NATO membership. This year, the implementation of the ANP is aimed at achieving goal 17.2 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Action Program "Ukraine meets the principles and criteria necessary to acquire membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization."