UWC leadership outlines priorities during meetings with key stakeholders in Ukraine
On 29 January 2019 the leadership of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) concluded three days of planning meetings in Kyiv with key stakeholders including leaders of the Ukrainian Churches, high-ranking state officials and representatives of academia in Ukraine.
The UWC delegation headed by President Paul Grod included First Vice President Stefan Romaniw, Second Vice President Anna Kisil, Vice President for Eastern Europe Vira Konyk, Vice President for Western Europe Pavlo Sadokha and Director of the UWC Mission in Ukraine Serhiy Kasyanchuk.
During the meeting with Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine His Beatitude Epifaniy, Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn Yevstratiy and First Prorector of the Kyiv Theological Academy Prot. Oleksandr Trofimliuk, Paul Grod extended greetings on the behalf of the UWC on the occasion of the historic unification of Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the granting of a Tomos of autocephaly. Discussions focused on multiple areas of cooperation including ensuring international recognition and jurisdiction for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine as well as strengthening ties between the Church and the global Ukrainian community.
The development of Ukrainian communities, particularly in Europe, and joint participation in international social and humanitarian projects were issues examined during a meeting with Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk. At the conclusion of the meeting, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk presented UWC President Paul Grod with a commemorative medal marking the 1000th anniversary of St. Sofia in Kyiv.
The meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin, Deputy Minister Vasyl Bodnar and Director of the Department for Ukrainians worldwide and humanitarian cooperation Larisa Dir covered a range of issues related to the large outflow of migrant workers and students from Ukraine, the need for changes to the laws relating to Ukrainians living and studying abroad, as well as the development of new mechanisms for cooperation between the UWC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including the strengthening of cooperation of diplomatic representations with Ukrainian communities around the world.
The UWC delegation met with Acting Minister of Health Ulana Suprun to discuss further support for her team’s reform efforts and countering her opponents efforts to reverse the course of the significant reforms she has achieved to date.
During their meeting with Rostyslav Pavlenko, Chair of Ukraine’s Strategic Research Institute, the UWC team focused on areas of cooperation on key international issues, including a strategy to cancel the North Stream 2 pipeline project by Russia.
During their meeting with the Chair of Verkhovna Rada’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Hanna Hopko, the UWC team discussed strategies for building support for key initiatives for which Ukraine is advocating around the world.
Meeting with Director of the International Institute for Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations Iryna Kluchkovska, and Assistant Directors Andriy Yatsiv and Oksana Piatkovska, the UWC delegation developed plans for supporting Ukrainian education and cultural activities around the world and schooling in the diaspora, popularization of cultural assets of the Ukrainian diaspora, development of appropriate online portals on Ukrainian themes and the organization of congresses and forums of the Ukrainian diaspora.
A meeting with former First Lady of Ukraine and member of the newly-established UWC Advisory Council Kateryna Yushchenko addressed the future development and work of the UWC, and the role of the Council.
While in Ukraine, the UWC delegation also met with Ambassador of Canada in Ukraine Roman Waschuk to discuss broad political issues related to Ukraine’s international cooperation with G7 countries including Canada.
On 29 January 2019, representatives of the UWC leadership joined the state commemoration marking the anniversary of the battle of Kruty and lay flowers at the Memorial Cross to honour the memory of the fallen Heroes.
“The meetings in Ukraine were constructive and successful,” stated Ukrainian World Congress President Paul Grod. “They offered an opportunity to develop key directions for cooperation in 2019 with the goal of furthering mutual interests and issues of relevance to Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora.”
In the photo: Meeting of UWC Delegation with Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epifaniy
From left: S. Kasyanchuk, Archbishop Yevstratiy Zoria, P. Sadokha, A. Kisil, His Beatitude Epifaniy, P. Grod, V. Konyk, S. Romaniw and Prot. Trofimliuk