UWC supports criticism of Language Bill by OSCE High Commissioner Knut Vollebaek
August 2, 2012
UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS SUPPORTS CRITICISM OF LANGUAGE BILL BY OSCE HIGH COMMISSIONER KNUT VOLLEBAEK
The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) has expressed its support for comments made by Knut Vollebaek, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) High Commissioner on National Minorities, during his most recent trip to Ukraine, regarding the Draft Law on the Principles of State Language Policy.
On July 26, 2012, the OSCE High Commissioner affirmed that “The disproportionate favouring of the Russian language, while also removing most incentives for learning or using Ukrainian in large parts of the country, could potentially undermine Ukraine’s very cohesion”.
In meetings with Members of Parliament, the High Commissioner also expressed concern at the manner in which the law was adopted. He particularly referred to the parliamentary majority’s refusal to consider any of the more than 2,000 amendments put forward.
The UWC encourages the OSCE High Commissioner to continue monitoring the situation and publicly sharing his views on this issue, which is of paramount importance to the future of a fragile Ukraine.
The UWC also appeals to President Viktor Yanukovych to refrain from signing this Draft Law on the language issue.
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.