UWC President Eugene Czolij concluded visit to France
18-21 November 2017, on the invitation of the UWC member organization Representative Committee of the Ukrainian Community in France, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij fulfilled a working visit to Paris and Senlis, France, where he discussed current Ukrainian issues during meetings with high-ranking government officials and Ukrainian communities, and participated in commemorations honoring the memory of victims of the Holodomor of 1932-33 and marking the 50th anniversary of the UWC.
During meetings with high-ranking government officials the UWC President thanked France for supporting Ukraine in the defence of its territorial integrity from Russian aggression, especially for its role in the Normandy format negotiations. Eugene Czolij highlighted the importance of joint action by the international community in combatting the hybrid war of the Russian Federation which poses a serious threat for Ukraine, and for peace and security in the entire European region. The UWC President particularly called for the strengthening and continuation of existing sanctions against the Russian Federation. He also urged France to support the deployment of an OSCE observer mission to the illegally occupied Crimea and a UN peacekeeping mission to Eastern Ukraine, both territories of which are suffering the consequences of the ongoing Russian aggression. Eugene Czolij encouraged France to adopt a Magnitsky Law for gross violations of human rights. To assist Ukraine in overcoming the destructive consequences of the military actions of the Russian Federation, the UWC President called for support on providing Ukraine with economic assistance modelled on the Marshall Plan. Eugene Czolij also stressed the need to protect the human and civil rights of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars on the territories currently under control of the Russian Federation, including those of Ukrainian journalist of the UKRINFORM news agency in France, Roman Sushchenko. In addition, the UWC President drew attention to today’s important reforms in Ukraine, including concrete measures to reduce corruption. He also discussed the new Law of Ukraine “On Education.” Finally, Eugene Czolij called upon France to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-33 a genocide of the Ukrainian people.
On 18 November 2017, together with President of the Representative Committee of the Ukrainian Community in France Tarass Horiszny, the UWC President laid flowers at the memorial plaque in memory of victims of the Holodomor and at the monument to Anna Yaroslavna, Queen of France.
Eugene Czolij also attended Divine Liturgy at Holy Martyrs Borys and Hlib Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church celebrated by Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and Bishop Borys Gudziak, Bishop of St. Volodymyr the Great Eparchy in Paris for Ukrainian Greek Catholics in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
On this day, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UWC, a roundtable was held during which the UWC President delivered a keynote address on the main priorities of the UWC with respect to supporting the interests of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Remarks were also heard from Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintzadze, Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh, Bishop Borys Gudziak and President of the Representative Committee of the Ukrainian Community in France Tarass Horiszny. Participants of the roundtable also had the opportunity to view the documentary film “50 years of the Ukrainian World Congress” and discuss future cooperation.
To conclude the day the UWC President attended vespers at Holy Martyrs Borys and Hlib Church.
On 19 November 2017 Eugene Colij participated in a wreath laying ceremony for the victims of the Holodomor at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Eternal Flame near the Arc de Triomphe.
On this day he attended an ecumenical memorial service at Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral under the patronage of Cardinal André XXIII of the Roman Catholic Church in memory of victims of the Holodomor, fallen Heroes of the Revolution of Dignity and the war in Eastern Ukraine. The Requiem Mass was celebrated by Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh, Bishop Borys Gudziak, Bishop Monseigneur Denis Jachiet and Fr. Ivan Radevytch on behalf of Bishop Danyil Zelinsky of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
During his visit to France, the UWC President was accompanied by President of the Representative Committee of the Ukrainian Community in France Tarass Horiszny, First Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine in France Serhii Shablii and Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych.
“This trip enabled me to join the Ukrainian community in France in remembering the victims of the Holodomor, and to constructively discuss with French high-ranking officials issues that are important for both Ukraine and France,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
More information on commemorative events in Senlis is available on the web site of the Informational Resource of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Please read the address of the President of the Representative Committee of the Ukrainian Community in France Tarass Horiszny HERE.
List of individuals with whom the UWC President met:
Bouyx Bertrand, Member of the National Assembly of France, Member of the French Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and the Armed Forces
Brun Xavier, Diplomatic Advisor to the President of the National Assembly of France
De Canson Hubert, Diplomatic Advisor to the President of the Senate of France
De Gonneville Etienne, Strategic Affairs Advisor on Ukraine, Diplomatic Cell of the Presidency of France
De Lacoste Nicolas, Deputy Director for Continental Europe at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France
Del Picchia Robert, Vice-President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and the Armed Forces at the Senate of France
Bishop Dziurakh Bohdan, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Church
Bishop Gudziak Borys, Eparch of the Eparchy of St. Volodymyr the Great in Paris for Ukrainian Greek Catholics in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland
Marchisio Stephen, Technical Advisor on Strategic Affairs, Diplomatic Department at the Office of the Prime Minister of France
Shamshur Oleh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to France
In the photo: Wreath-laying ceremony for the victims of the Holodomor at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Eternal Flame at the Arc de Triomphe