UWC President Meets Government Officials and Ukrainians in Slovenia
On April 2-4, 2012, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij travelled to Slovenia to meet with government officials, Ukrainians and the Ambassador of Ukraine.
During meetings with the Director General of the Directorate for Bilateral Political Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Marjan Cencen, and the Foreign Policy Advisor, Gasper Dovzan, the UWC President focused on the issues of Ukraine’s Euro-integration and democratization. Eugene Czolij emphasized the importance of the October 2012 Parliamentary elections in Ukraine and the need for the immediate release of prominent opposition leaders Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuri Lutsenko to enable their participation in these elections. To ensure a more honest and transparent electoral process in Ukraine, the UWC President also encouraged Slovenia to organize an international observer mission.
With Ukraine’s Ambassador to Slovenia, Mykola Kyrychenko, the UWC President discussed the importance of assisting local Ukrainian organizations with the promotion of their activities.
The UWC President learned more about Ukrainians living in Slovenia during meetings with the President and Vice President of the Union of Ukrainians in Slovenia Berehynia, Galina Malovsek and Inna Demchenko, and representatives of the Association of Ukrainians Karpaty, President Evgen Petryshyn, Secretary Andrij Hevka and Executive member Slavko Figurek. Discussions revolved around the main community initiatives and projects, including commissioning busts of poet Taras Shevchenko and Josip Abram, who translated the Kobzar into Slovenian, by the Association of Ukrainians Karpaty. Participants also discussed strengthening community life in Slovenia and the community’s continued cooperation with the UWC.
Joined by the representatives of both community organizations the UWC President laid a wreath at the Taras Shevchenko monument in Štanjel.
The UWC President also travelled to the city of Žalec, where he met Deputy Mayor, Marko Laznik, and was assured that the Union of Ukrainians in Slovenia Berehynia would be provided with rent-free office space for their activities. Eugene Czolij also visited a primary and lower secondary school in Slovenia, where he attended a concert in honour of Taras Shevchenko, and viewed the artwork of local students participating in a contest for the best artistic interpretation of the Taras Shevchenko poems Son (Dream) and Vechir (Evening). This project was the initiative of the Union of Ukrainians in Slovenia Berehynia with the support of the school’s Director, Tatjana Žgank Meža.
The UWC is an 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 14 additional countries. Founded in 1967 as a non-profit corporation, the UWC was recognized in 2003 as a non-governmental organization (NGO) by the United Nations Economic and Social Council with special consultative status.