UWC Conference of Ukrainian Youth Organizations holds Ukrainian Diaspora Youth Forum “Lviv-2012”
September 7, 2012
UWC CONFERENCE OF UKRAINIAN YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS
HOLDS UKRAINIAN DIASPORA YOUTH FORUM “LVIV-2012”
On August 26-September 1, 2012, 40 young leaders from 19 countries participated in the Ukrainian Diaspora Youth Forum “Lviv-2012” organized by the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) Conference of Ukrainian Youth Organizations in cooperation with thе Ukrainian youth organizations Molodyi Narodnyi Rukh (Young People’s Movement), Molodizhnyi Natsionalistychnyi Kongres (Young Nationalist Congress) and Batkivschyna Moloda (Young Fatherland), and the Lviv regional and municipal councils. The event was sponsored by the UWC and the Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Charitable Foundation.
The official opening of the Forum, including the conference titled “Тhriving diaspora youth – a thriving Ukraine”, was held in the Lviv regional council’s meeting hall with the participation of the chair of the UWC Conference of Ukrainian Youth Organizations, Miroslav Hochak, the UWC Vice President and President of the European Conference of Ukrainians (ECU), Jaroszlava Hartyanyi, the UWC Secretary General, Stefan Romaniw, Profesor Bohdan Hawrylyshyn, the head of the Lviv regional council, Oleh Pankevych, the deputy leader of the central election headquarters of the, Mykhailo Livinskyi, young leaders from the diaspora, as well as elected officials representing the Lviv regional and municipal councils.
Forum participants discussed a range of important issues, specifically those relating to the development of youth structures, the realization of joint projects, cultural and educational activities, the improvement of relations between youth in the diaspora and Ukraine, and partnering with international foundations. The delegates noted the lack of support throughout the past year from the Ukrainian state for the development of relations with Ukrainian diaspora youth and they resolved to request that the governing authorities create and implement a multi-faceted program titled “Diaspora youth” together with a web portal for Ukrainian youth.
The youth from the diaspora and Ukraine jointly condemned the activities of the governing authorities related to the language issue and the curtailing of democratic and euro-integration processes, and focused attention on the pressures being exerted on Ukrainian community organizations in Russia. The Forum participants also declared their indignation over political repressions in Ukraine and called for the release from prison of opposition leaders Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuri Lutsenko, guaranteeing them the right to participate in political life and the parliamentary election on October 28, 2012.
A resolution of the Forum supported the initiative to organize an international observer mission under the slogan “Diaspora youth for fair elections in Ukraine”. A delegation is currently being organized numbering at least 200 individuals.
During the Forum, youth had the opportunity to meet with the UWC Vice President and President of the ECU, Jaroszlava Hartyanyi, the UWC Secretary General, Stefan Romaniw, elected representatives of the Lviv regional and municipal councils, representatives of the Lviv regional administration and leaders of community youth organizations. Participants discussed potential opportunities and methods for the cooperation of youth with state and civic organizations, and developed a series of projects for implementation in 2013. The program also included meetings with Ukrainian Member of Parliament from the All-Ukrainian Union Batkivschyna Stepan Kurpil, leader of the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda Oleh Tiahnybok and prominent athletes from the Lviv region.
The young Ukrainians laid wreaths to the monument of renowned Ukrainian poet Ivan Franko and unfurled the largest Ukrainian flag measuring 40 x 60 metres to mark the 156th anniversary of his birth.
In addition to official events, Forum participants enjoyed a spiritual-cultural program, including excursions in Lviv, to Shevchenko Grove and the museum honoring renowned Ukrainian singer from the diaspora Kvitka Cisyk. The Forum concluded with a concert performed by cultural ensembles from the diaspora and Ukraine.
The UWC is the international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the interests of over 20 million Ukrainians. The UWC has member organizations in 32 countries and ties with Ukrainians in 15 additional countries. Founded in 1967 as a non-profit corporation, the UWC was recognized in 2003 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with special consultative status.