Ukrainian World Congress concludes Annual General Meeting in Berlin

#UWC news
September 9,2019 136

September 6-8, 2019, at Berlin City Hall in Germany, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) reviewed the past year’s work from November 2018 and developed an action plan for the year ahead. 

Participants of the AGM from over 20 countries gathered in Berlin to support the Ukrainian community in Germany, and to focus the attention of German high-ranking officials and civil society on current Ukrainian issues, including the importance of consolidating action in the war with Russian hybrid aggression and the recent release of Ukrainian political prisoners, whose return to Ukraine on September 7 was welcomed by delegates and guests of the AGM. 

During the official opening of the AGM, the UWC recognized German politician, former Member of European Parliament Rebecca Harms, for her support of Ukraine. She was awarded the UWC’s highest honour – St. Volodymyr the Great Medal. The UWC also expressed gratitude with Certificates of Acknowledgement to representatives of German civil society, specifically, Barbara Stamm, former President of the Landtag of Bavaria, initiator of the Bavarian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and good friend of Ukraine (Würzburg), Edigna Kellermann, Chair of Edigna-Puch community organization (Puch), and Maria Melnik, President of the Rhein-Neckar German-Ukrainian Society (Heidelberg), and members of the Ukrainian community in Germany, including Ludmila Mlosch, President of the Central Union of Ukrainians in Germany, and Rostyslav Sukennyk, President of the Association of Ukrainian Organizations in Germany, for assisting with the organization of the AGM in Germany.      

Over three days participants of the AGM had the opportunity to hear reports from UWC President Paul Grod and the UWC leadership, and to discuss topical issues for Ukrainians in the diaspora during six round tables: “Development, coordination and structuring of Ukrainian communities in the world”, “Means of cooperation between Ukraine and the diaspora under new circumstances. Defending the interests of Ukraine globally – on the path to the EU and NATO”, “Shaping the self-identification of Ukrainian youth in the diaspora”, “Substantial extension of the rights of Ukrainians living outside Ukraine – creating favourable conditions for their return and strengthening relations with Ukraine”, “Unifying role of Ukrainian churches and the importance of their recognition in ecumenical structures”, “UWC strategy for international recognition of the Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people.” 

During the meeting delegates resolutely condemned the Russian Federation for its hybrid war against Ukraine and illegal imprisonment of Ukrainian political prisoners, and called upon the international community to continue supporting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, significantly strengthen sanctions against the Russian Federation for violating the international order, and to increase lethal weapons and military support to Ukraine. The UWC AGM welcomed Ukraine’s strategic course toward European and Euro-Atlantic integration and called upon the European Union and NATO to expedite Ukraine’s full membership. 

“The UWC AGM strongly condemned the decision of the Russian Federation to declare the UWC an unwanted organization and resolved to take the issue to relevant international courts,” stated UWC President Paul Grod. “UWC AGM participants call upon the President, Government and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to protect and develop the Ukrainian language, traditions, culture and history as the foundation for uniting and developing the Ukrainian state and the global Ukrainian community.” 

In the framework of the AGM, the UWC leadership met with leaders of the Association of Ukrainian Organizations in Germany and Central Union of Ukrainians in Germany to discuss effective means of cooperation and strengthening community unity and influence on German governing structures on issues of common interest.