The Ukrainian World Congress celebrates the anniversary of the Congress of Freedom – the first mass manifestation of Ukrainian unity in the church, public, and political spheres of life abroad. The meeting took place these days 56 years ago in New York. More than a thousand delegates from 17 countries of the world took part in the Congress. Those present decided to create the World Congress of Free Ukrainians (WCFU), later renamed the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) after the declaration of Ukraine’s independence.
“In the awakened spirituality and conscience of a free Ukrainian, the World Congress of Free Ukrainians sets a program: Ukraine must be Ukrainian; the tenderest strings of our feelings must be Ukrainian; the young Ukrainian generation must be Ukrainian; We must prepare a future for Ukraine that is happier and more dignified than all its brightest historical days so far…” Father Prelate Vasyl Kushnir, later elected as the first President of the World Congress of Free Ukrainians, said, opening the first Congress of the World Congress of Free Ukrainians in New York.
UWC (WCFU) was created on the basis of the Pan-American Ukrainian Conference (PAUC), active after the Second World War, to which all Ukrainian regional headquarters of North and South America belonged. The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) – New York, USA; the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) – Winnipeg (Manitoba), Canada; Ukrainian National Central Representation of Argentina – Buenos Aires, Argentina; Ukrainian-Brazilian Central Representation – Curitiba (Paraná state), Brazil; Coordination Centre of Ukrainian Public Central Regional Institutions (CCUPCRI) – London, the United Kingdom (today the European Congress of Ukrainians; as well as the Union of Ukrainian Organizations – Melbourne (Victoria), Australia – those Ukrainian National Central Representations became the founders and main members of the WCFU.
From its foundation to the present day, the Congress is the highest legislative body of the UWC, which meets once every five years.
This year, on October 22, 2023, the XII Congress of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) took place. More than 300 delegates and guests from 30 countries participated in the event, held in a hybrid format.
During the Congress, three main areas of work of the Ukrainian World Congress were determined: victory over the Russian aggressor, reconstruction of Ukraine, and a strong Ukrainian world.
The UWC compiled a comprehensive overview of its endeavors from 2019 to 2023, highlighting its resilience in navigating challenges confronting global Ukrainians, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Russian disinformation campaigns, and the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022. As part of this effort, the UWC produced the “Supporting Ukraine in Challenging Times” film, encapsulating its responses to these adversities.
In the film, the UWC Vice-Presidents Stefan Romaniw, Andriy Futey, Jorge Danylyshyn, Vitório Sorotiuk, Nataliya Poshyvaylo-Towler, Pavlo Sadokha describe how they met the news about the first missiles over Kyiv.
Petro Rewko, the Chair of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB), and Miroslaw Skórka, the head of the Union of Ukrainians in Poland, speak about the support of newly arrived Ukrainians at the highest level. Oksana Levytska, Chair of the UWC International Educational Coordinating Council, describes that Ukrainian schooling is developing in the world despite everything. Yevheniy Semenov from the UAE talks about the real technological leap in the development of this direction.
The leaders of Ukrainian communities, Halyna Masliuk(Greece), Vira Konyk (Estonia), Oles Horodetskyy (Italy), and Yuriy Chopyk (Spain), comment on the fight against the “Russkiy mir” (“the Russian world”) ideology.
Paul Grod, the President of the Ukrainian World Congress, and Alexandra Chyczij, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, discuss advocating Ukraine’s interests at the highest level.
Together with the UWC President Paul Grod, Andrew Potichnyj, Director of the #UniteWithUkraine initiative, discusses how this powerful initiative aimed at supporting Ukrainian defenders was born. Paul Grod also emphasizes the importance of energy security and talks about the Energize Ukraine initiative.
The famous actor and dubbing director Pavlo Skorokhodko voiced the film in Ukrainian.
You can watch the full version of the film at the link: