UWC President Meets With Ukrainians in France
May 11, 2012
UWC PRESIDENT MEETS WITH UKRAINIANS IN FRANCE
On May 6, 2012, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij joined celebrations marking the day in the honour of the Queen of France, Anna of Kyiv, in the city of Senlis. The event was organized on the initiative of St. Volodymyr the Great Cathedral in Paris by the Representative Committee for Ukrainians in France and the Twinning Committee for Senlis and the Pechers’k District of Kyiv.
This year’s commemoration of the daughter of Yaroslav Mudryi – France’s Queen Anna of Kyiv – attracted a great number of Ukrainians, as well as representatives of the municipal council and local community. French students performed the French and Ukrainian national anthems, as well as the Ukrainian song Podolyanochka.
Greetings honouring the French Queen of Ukrainian descent were delivered by the Vice President of the Twinning Committee, Anna Canter, Senlis city councillor, Madame Gorss-Cailloux, Ukraine’s Ambassador in France, Oleksandr Kupchyshyn, and the President of the Representative Committee for Ukrainians in France, Natalia Pasternak, who also focused attention in her address on the imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko.
In his address, UWC President, Eugene Czolij, highlighted the millennial history of dynastic ties between the two nations and called upon French leaders to urge Ukrainian authorities to cease the current authoritarian form of governance and to respect fundamental human rights and freedoms.
On this day, the UWC President participated in Divine Liturgy at St. Vincent Abbey, laid wreaths at the monument to Anna of Kyiv and at a memorial plaque honouring victims of the Holodomor. During a community gathering, he emphasized the importance of Ukraine’s Euro-integration, the urgency for Ukraine’s authorities to revert to democratic governance, and the need for a large UWC observer mission during the Parliamentary elections in Ukraine.
The UWC President discussed community issues with Natalia Pasternak, and together, they met with Anna and Jean-Christophe Canter, former Senlis mayor, to look into continued cooperation.
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.