“UWC at 50 and Beyond: The European Context” Conference in Lviv examines UWC priorities for future
On 28 August 2017 in Lviv, Ukraine, a one-day conference titled UWC at 50 and Beyond: The European Context was organized by the International Institute for Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations (IIECDR) and held at Lviv Polytechnic National University to mark the 50th anniversary of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC).
The conference, attended by over 400 guests from 40 countries, was organized in the framework of Ukrainian Diaspora Days held in Lviv, Ukraine, 27-29 August 2017 as part of a series designed to examine current priorities while charting a course for the future.
The opening ceremony which began with a prayer performed by the Orpheus Male Folk Choir of Lviv Polytechnic National University was chaired by IIECDR Director Iryna Kluchkovska. Welcoming remarks were delivered by UWC President Eugene Czolij, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro‑Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Pavlo Khobzey, Head of the Lviv Oblast State Administration Oleh Syniutka, Deputy Mayor of Lviv Andriy Moskalenko, Rector of Lviv Polytechnic National University Yuriy Bobalo, and father of Hero of Ukraine Ustym Holodniuk Volodymyr Holodniuk.
A blessing for successful proceedings was conferred by Bishop Peter Stasiuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Australia.
Keynote addresses were delivered by UWC President Eugene Czolij on the topic “Ukrainian World Congress and the Ukrainian diaspora in furthering the interests of the Ukrainian people: achievements and opportunities,” and Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze on the topic “Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine: The way forward in cooperation with the Ukrainian diaspora.”
The conference proceedings continued with four thematic sessions, the first of which was titled “Strengthening Ukrainian communities in shaping public opinion in countries of residence” and moderated by Jaroszlava Hartyanyi, UWC First Vice President and President of the European Congress of Ukrainians. The session analyzed the state of Ukrainian communities in Europe, the breadth of the new wave of emigration and its influence on magnifying the Ukrainian presence in Europe, and evaluated past work while defining prospects for future development. Panelists included: Larysa Dir, Director-General for Worldwide Ukrainians, Cultural and Humanitarian Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine; Oksana Yurynets, Chair of the Subcommittee on Regional and Transborder Cooperation between Ukraine and EU Member States of the European Integration Committee of the Parliament of Ukraine; Petro Tyma, President of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland; and Fr. Justin Boyko, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. They were joined by discussants Marika Tucka, President of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland, Przemysl Branch, and Vira Konyk, UWC Vice President and President of the Congress of Ukrainians in Estonia.
Session two addressed the issue “Ukrainian education as a factor in preserving national identity beyond Ukraine’s borders” and was moderated by Chair of the UWC International Educational Coordinating Council and Honorary Consul of Canada in Ukraine Oksana Wynnyckyj-Yusypovych. Speakers summarized the educational efforts of the Ukrainian diaspora as one of the most important factors in preserving the Ukrainian identity outside Ukraine and defined the path for its continued development in the context of modern realities while strengthening effective cooperation with Ukraine in the realm of education. Panelists included: Stefan Romaniw, UWC Secretary General and President of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations; Iryna Kluchkovska, IIECDR Director; Kateryna Horokhovska, member of the Institute for the Professional Development of Teachers; and Pavlo Khobzey, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.
Participants of the session also had the opportunity to warmly welcome and acknowledge the contribution of two individuals from Canada to the development of Ukrainian education in the diaspora – past presidents of the UWC International Coordinating Educational Council Nadia Luciw and Iroida Wynnyckyj.
The third session addressed “Furthering the image of the new Ukraine in the world” and was moderated by Chair of the UWC 50th Anniversary Committee Iryna Mycak. This session analyzed the forms and methods used by Ukrainian communities in Europe to disseminate factual information about Ukraine including reforms under the conditions of a disinformation war being waged by the Russian Federation.Panelists included Independent Strategic Communications Consultant Yaryna Kliuchkovska; Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych; and Deputy Director of the UWC Mission to Ukraine Volodymyr Kistianyk. Contributing to the panel as discussants were Director of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain Zenon Lastowecky and President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America Andrew Futey.
The fourth session moderated by UWC Third Vice President and Chair of the UWC International Human and Civil Rights Committee Peter Sztyk addressed the topic “Defence of human rights: Humanitarian challenges facing Ukraine.” The session highlighted the role of the UWC and its member organizations, particularly in Europe, in the struggle to protect human rights which are being violated as a result of the aggression of the Russian Federation and its occupation of Crimea. Panelists includedRefat Chubarov, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and President of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars; Valerii Patskan, First Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations, Chair of the Subcommittee on Relations with Ukrainians outside Ukraine; Paul Grod, UWC Vice President and President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress; and Oleksandra Matviychuk, Chairperson of the Center for Civil Liberties. Discussants included Halyna Masliuk, Chair of the UWC International Task Force to Stop Human Trafficking and President of the Association of the Ukrainian Diaspora in Greece “Ukrainian-Hellenic Thought”; Yuri Chopyk, Chair of the International Committee on Development of New Ukrainian Communities and President of the Ukrainian Community of Spain for Rights, Honour and Dignity of Ukrainians; and Serhii Vynnyk, Head of the “Siryi Klyn” Centre for Ukrainian Culture.
Summaries of the sessions and respective resolutions will be incorporated into the resolutions of the final conference scheduled for 10-11 November 2017 in Toronto, Canada – “UWC at 50 and Beyond: The Roadmap.”
“This UWC European conference was very successful and generated numerous ideas that will help shape the roadmap of the UWC for the future,” said UWC President Eugene Czolij.
The address of UWC President can be found HERE.
In the photo: Participants of the conference