Conference in Toronto examines 50 years of the UWC and develops priorities for the future
On 10-11 November 2017 at The Old Mill in Toronto, Canada, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) held the final in a series of international conferences titled “UWC at 50 and Beyond: The Roadmap”, which summed up one half of a century of UWC activity and developed certain priorities for the future.
Participating in the conference were religious and state high-ranking officials and diplomatic representatives from Ukraine and Canada, politicians, members of the leadership and representatives of UWC member organizations from Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, Greece, Estonia, Canada, Russian Federation, USA, Hungary, and Switzerland, and leaders of UWC partner organizations – International Institute for Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations of Lviv Polytechnic National University and Atlantic Council.
Program Coordinator and Conference Chair was Dr. Volodymyr Zaryckyj, Chair of the UWC International Scholarly Council.
On 10 November 2017, the keynote speech was delivered by UWC President Eugene Czolij on the topic: The Ukrainian World Congress and the Ukrainian diaspora in furthering the interests of the Ukrainian people: Achievements and Perspectives.
During Plenary Session I titled Reflecting on the highpoints of the Ukrainian diaspora during the last two generations speakers addressed topics related to creating a worldwide ‘Friends of Ukraine’ network, keeping the Ukrainian global community effectively organized, engaging international mass media on the subject of Ukraine, protecting human rights of Ukrainians globally, promoting academic study of Ukraine beyond its borders, assisting Ukrainians around the world (challenges in the humanitarian and social service spheres), teaching Ukrainians to appreciate and cultivate their heritage, and promoting the financial sustainability of the global Ukrainian community.
Moderator of this session was Andrew Futey, UWC Vice President and President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. Presentations were made by Michael Moravski, UWC Vice President and Former President of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations; Yuri Shymko, former UWC President; Stephan Bandera, Managing Director of Forum TV Canada; Andrij Dobriansky, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America Director of External Relations, who read a presentation prepared by Irena Jarosewich, former Editor-in-Chief of the weekly Svoboda
The featured speaker prior to the breakout sessions was James Bezan, Member of Parliament of Canada and Vice Chair of the Standing Committee on National Defence, who presented on the topic: Why a free, stable and prosperous Ukraine matters to the Euro-Atlantic Community.
In the framework of assessing the role and contribution of the UWC to the successes of the last two generations six breakout sessions examined the following topics: external relations (relationship building with governments, international agencies and non-governmental organizations); community development (cooperation within the 53-country UWC network); informational efforts (engaging mass media, social media globally and locally); human rights protection and humanitarian efforts (assisting Ukrainians worldwide); educating the next generation of Ukrainians around the world; and cooperative and financial endeavours.
Moderators of the breakout sessions were: Mykola Hryckowian, Washington Bureau Chief, Center for US Ukrainian Relations; Tamara Olexy, Chair of the UWC UN Affairs Council and Ukrainian Congress Committee of America Executive Director; Iryna Kluchkovska, Director of the International Institute for Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations; Peter Sztyk, UWC Third Vice President and Chair of the UWC International Human and Civil Rights Committee; Oksana Wynnyckyj-Yusypovych, Chair of the UWC International Educational Coordinating Council; and Taras Pidzamecky, CEO of Ukrainian Credit Union Limited and President of the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada.
First Day Concluding Featured Remarks were delivered by Canadian Senator Raynell Andreychuk, Chair of the Ukraine-NATO Parliamentary Council of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, on the topic Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine: A Way Forward with Assistance of the Global Ukrainian Community.
On 11 November 2017, Second Day Opening Featured Remarks were presented by Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Member of Parliament of Canada and Member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, addressing the topic Why a free, stable and prosperous Ukraine matters to Canada.
The second day of the conference coincided with Remembrance Day in Canada and participants joined a ceremony honoring the men and women who have sacrificed their lives fighting for peace and a brighter future, including during recent years in Ukraine. The ceremony was presided by Captain Andre Sochaniwsky CD, President of the Ukrainian War Veterans Association of Canada.
Plenary Session II addressed A Vision for the Ukrainian Diaspora for the Next Two Generations. Participants heard presentations on divining ways to make the ‘Friends of Ukraine’ network ever larger; defining ways to make the Ukrainian diaspora institutionally ever stronger; pondering the means to increase the presence of ‘Institutes of Ukrainian Studies’ at the world’s premier universities; contemplating the means to expand and strengthen global informational efforts; seeking ways to increase the weight of human rights protection efforts; searching for ways to expand the scope of UWC’s humanitarian and social services work; learning Ukrainian in a digital age; and imagining state of the art cooperative and financial endeavours.
Moderator of this session was Alexandra Chyczij, Vice President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. Presentation were delivered by Glen Howard, President of the Jamestown Foundation; Paul Grod, UWC Vice President and Ukrainian Canadian Congress President; Marko Stech, Director of Press and Publications, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies; Herman Pirchner, President of the American Foreign Policy Council; David Kramer, former US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour; Andrij Waskowycz, President of Caritas Ukraine; Ulana Plawuszczak Pidzamecky, member of the UNF National Ridna Shkola Initiatives Committee; Ariel Cohen, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council; and Viktor Kryvenko, People’s Deputy of Ukraine.
Featured Speaker of the second plenary was Phillip Karber, President of the Potomac Foundation, who spoke on the topic Securing Ukraine’s Future: A way forward in the assistance of the global Ukrainian community.
From the perspective Divining the key issues that will shape UWC’s work during the next two generations, six breakout sessions revisited the topics external relations (relationship building with governments, international agencies and non-governmental organizations); community development (cooperation within the 53-country UWC network); informational efforts (engaging mass media, social media globally and locally); human rights protection and humanitarian efforts (assisting Ukrainians around worldwide); educating the next generation of Ukrainians around the world; and cooperative and financial endeavours.
Breakout session moderators were Marc Shwec, Former President of Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Toronto Branch; Tamara Olexy, Chair of the UWC UN Affairs Council and Ukrainian Congress Committee of America Executive Director; Iryna Kluchkovska, Director, International Institute for Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations; Peter Sztyk, UWC Third Vice President and Chair of the UWC International Human and Civil Rights Committee; Oksana Wynnyckyj-Yusypovych, Chair of the UWC International Educational Coordinating Council; and Taras Pidzamecky, CEO of Ukrainian Credit Union Limited and President of the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada.
Participating in the breakout sessions as lead discussants over the two days in addition to the plenary presenters were Orysia Sushko, UWC Second Vice President and President of the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations; Petro Rewko, President, Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain;Valeriy Semenenko, UWC Vice President; Vira Konyk, UWC Vice President and President of the Congress of Ukrainians in Estonia; Ihor Mychalchyshyn, CEO, Ukrainian Canadian Congress; Jurij Klufas, Producer, Kontakt TV; Serhiy Kasyanchuk, Director of the UWC Mission to Ukraine; Orest Zakydalsky, Senior Policy Advisor, Ukrainian Canadian Congress; Victor Hetmanczuk, UWC Director of Humanitarian Initiatives; Marta Baziuk, Christina Yurchuk and Anastasia Leshchyshyn, Ukrainian Political Prisoners Project; Halyna Masliuk, Chair, UWC International Task Force to Stop Human Traffickingand Association of the Ukrainian Diaspora in Greece “Ukrainian Hellenic Thought”
Based on the deliberations of the breakout sessions Plenary Session III included a presentation of recommendations for UWC’s next 50 years in the priority areas, and closing remarks by UWC President Eugene Czolij who summed up the work of the conference noting the important contribution of its participants to developing a roadmap for the UWC.
In addition, during the two-day conference participants had the opportunity to visit an exhibit of the Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society that has also produced a commemorative UWC postage stamp issued in November 2017.
“The two-day international conference “UWC at 50 and Beyond: The Roadmap”, was very successful in the development of a Ukrainian World Congress roadmap for the future”, stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
The keynote speech of UWC President can be found HERE.
In the photo: Participants of the conference