Paul Grod elected President of the Ukrainian World Congress
On 28 November 2018, at a press briefing about the XI Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), an announcement was made on the newly-elected President and Board of Directors, who will lead the UWC for the next four years.
On 27 November 2018, the XI Ukrainian World Congress (UWC Congress) elected Paul Grod President of the UWC, and the UWC leadership, including the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. The UWC Congress also elected an Advisory Committee.
First Vice President is Stefan Romaniw, Second Vice President – Anna Kisil, and Third Vice President – Andrew Futey.
Paul Grod is an active leader of the Ukrainian community in Canada. For 10 years he has been President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – an organization that coordinates the work and represents the interests of one of the largest ethnocultural communities in Canada.
Paul Grod has consistently supported Ukraine during and after the Revolution of Dignity, realizing a series of trips to Ukraine together with former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada John Baird in support of Ukrainians in their struggle for a European future.
As a result of his strong community standing, he became one of 13 Canadians to be included on the sanctions list of Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, all of whom were banned from travelling to the Russian Federation.
Over the years of his activism, Paul Grod received numerous state awards from the Governments of Canada and Ukraine: he was awarded the Jubilee Medal of the President of Ukraine on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Independence of Ukraine and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. For three consecutive years he was named by Embassy Magazine and Hill Times. Power and Influence. as one of the top 100 people who most influence Canada’s global future.
Paul Grod is co-founder and President of the energy company Rodan Energy Solutions that delivers intelligent energy solutions to reduce energy consumption and enhance power system reliability for industry.
During his address to the briefing, Paul Grod elaborated upon his vision of the role of the diaspora in the life of Ukraine and the fundamental priorities of the newly-elected leadership of the Ukrainian World Congress:
➔ The global Ukrainian community is one of the most powerful diasporas in the world and is capable of furthering the issues of importance to Ukraine on the highest levels as a result of well coordinated activity;
➔ The diaspora must have strong communities, that will serve as the moral backbone for Ukraine and fight for the sovereignty of the Ukrainian state regardless of the makeup of the Ukrainian Government;
➔ The development of strong institutions must become one of the priorities of the UWC. The establishment of Ukrainian schools, churches, cultural centres, trade and professional representations, will help to prevent the loss of millions of Ukrainians outside Ukraine to assimilation;
➔ 60 million Ukrainians throughout the world today are closer than ever before. Understanding unity, which is not limited by state borders, is the foundation of the modern Ukrainian identity;
➔ The UWC condemns the military attack of the Russian Federation on Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait and demands the immediate release of Ukrainian sailors and ships, the strengthening of sanctions against the Russian Federation including its removal from the SWIFT international payments system and the rescinding of the Russian Federation’s invitation to the G20 Summit in Argentina on 30 November 2018.
About the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC)
The Ukrainian World Congress is the international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the interests of over 20 million Ukrainians. The UWC has a network of member organizations and ties with Ukrainians in 61 countries. Founded in 1967, the UWC was recognized in 2003 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organization with special consultative status and obtained in 2018 participatory status as an international non-governmental organization with the Council of Europe.
The purposes and objects of the UWC are to:
- promote the solidarity and represent the interests of the Ukrainian people throughout the world;
- foster and coordinate an international network of member organizations that support and promote the development of Ukrainian religious, linguistic, spiritual, historical, cultural, and social heritage;
- support the independence, territorial integrity, national identity and economic prosperity of Ukraine;
- strengthen the bonds of Ukrainian communities and Ukrainians in the diaspora with Ukraine, including government and civil society;
- secure the rights, status and interests of Ukrainians and Ukrainian communities, and to defend them wherever they are denied, violated or threatened;
- promote democracy and human rights around the world, including monitoring democratic processes such as elections and referendums; and
- cooperate with governments, nations, organizations, and individuals, to accomplish the above goals in the spirit of peace, freedom, equality and justice.
The UWC has a network of member organizations and ties with Ukrainians in 61 countries.
The UWC has a network of Ukrainian member organizations in the following countries: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Switzerland, United States of America and Uzbekistan.
The UWC also has associate member organizations in the following countries: Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
The UWC also maintains ties with Ukrainians in the following countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Chile, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, India, Ireland, Israel, Kyrgyz Republic, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Mozambique, Republic of South Africa, Thailand and Tunisia.
From 24-27 November 2018, the XI Ukrainian World Congress was held in Kyiv with the participation of 248 delegates from 26 countries – representatives of the numerous member organizations.
The key topics discussed by the delegates included:
– international support for Ukraine in the areas of economic development, defence, reforms and humanitarian aid;
– the role of the diaspora in furthering the positive image of Ukraine and Ukrainians in the world;
– furthering the consolidation of the global Ukrainian community;
– expanding the UWC network of organizations;
– strengthening the influence of Ukrainian communities in addressing issues of importance to Ukraine at the international level.
About the XI Ukrainian World Congress
The program of the XI Ukrainian World Congress (UWC Congress) began on 24 November 2018, Holodomor Memorial Day. Delegates along with the state leadership participated in the International Forum “Ukraine remembers – the world acknowledges” at the National Cultural-Art Museum Complex “Mystetskyi Arsenal”, and lit candles of remembrance at the National Museum “Holodomor Victims Memorial”.
The Official Opening Ceremony of the XI UWC Congress and Gala Banquet took place on 25 November 2018 at the Olimpiyskyi National Sports Complex. During the first working day of the UWC Congress, 26 November 2018, delegates heard reports from the leadership of the UWC and UWC member organizations for the period 2013-2018. On the second day, 27 November 2018, delegates worked in thematic sessions. The UWC Congress ended with the election of a new President and leadership of the UWC for the next four years.