UWC in 2023: Year in Review

#UWC news
December 29,2023 975
UWC in 2023: Year in Review

Advocacy activities

In 2023, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) launched robust advocacy efforts aimed at garnering increased global support for Ukraine and facilitating its accession into the European Union and NATO. To advance these goals, the UWC’s leadership orchestrated a series of high-level dialogues involving influential political and civic figures.

In March, UWC President Paul Grod met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during a joint session of Canada’s parliament in Ottawa. The purpose of their meeting was to deliberate on commencing negotiations between Ukraine and the EU regarding Ukraine’s potential membership in the European Union.

In April, Paul Grod joined the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) delegation, headed by its President, Alexandra Chyczij, in a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. Discussions during the meeting revolved around Ukraine’s aspirations concerning accession to the EU and NATO.

Провід СКУ зустрівся з Прем’єр-міністром України Денисом Шмигалем

In June, in support of the global advocacy campaign #UkraineInNATO, Paul Grod held a series of meetings with international partners, politicians, and diplomats. Notably, the UWC President met with UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on the sidelines of the Ukraine Recovery Conference.

In July, the UWC President held a meeting with Pål Jonson, Minister of Defense of Sweden, on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius. “We discussed the future of the Sweden-Ukraine security framework and continued support for Ukraine’s Armed Forces,” Paul Grod said.

Президент СКУ зустрівся з міністром оборони Швеції

Paul Grod also met with the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Ingrid Šimonite, the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, Ben Wallace, and the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksiy Reznikov (2021-2023).

In July, Paul Grod met with the President of Moldova, Maia Sandu – they discussed regional stability and Moldova’s role in supporting it, as well as the Ukrainian diaspora in Moldova.

Президент СКУ зустрівся з президенткою Молдови

On the sidelines of the Crimea Platform summit in October, the UWC President met with Roberts Zīle, Vice President of the European Parliament, Raymonde Gagné, Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of Canada, as well as Markéta Pekarová Adamová, Speaker of the Lower House of the Czech Parliament.

The UWC participated in the annual Halifax International Security Forum held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, from November 17 to 19. On the sidelines of the conference, Paul Grod met with Canada’s Minister of Defence, Bill Blair; Estonia’s Minister of Defence, Hanno Pevkur; Lithuania’s Minister of National Defence, Arvydas Anušauskas, Alicia Kearns, MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, UK House of Commons, as well as Taras Zalusky, Chief of Staff at Minister of Defense of Canada.

During these meetings, the UWC leadership centered discussions on the war in Ukraine, highlighting the imperative of global assistance in safeguarding sovereignty and defending the Ukrainian populace against Russian aggression. Throughout the year 2023, the President of the UWC undertook working trips to Hungary, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Romania, Italy, France, Moldova, Germany, the United Kingdom, the USA, and visited Ukraine multiple times. 

Support for Ukraine in Latin America

In January, the UWC and the Ukrainian-Brazilian Central Representation (UBCR) addressed the newly-elected President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, with an appeal to increase Brazil’s political and diplomatic support of Ukraine in 2023. 

In response, the President of Brazil, for the first time since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, condemned Russia’s genocidal aggression and occupation of Ukrainian territory.

During the UN General Assembly vote on February 23, 2023, Brazil supported the resolution based on President Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula.

With the participation of UBCR President Vitório Sorotiuk, the Brazil-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group was formed in the Brazilian Senate.

#365 DAYS STRONG in the 9-YEAR WAR campaign

On February 24-26, global Ukrainian communities and organizations in 62 countries and over 350 cities, local residents and communities, diplomats, government leaders, and political figures united in a powerful wave supporting Ukraine.

До роковин повномасштабної війни українці та друзі України провели заходи в 62-х країнах світуPeaceful pro-Ukrainian demonstrations, prayers, and cultural events took place in ​Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Great Britain, Armenia, Greece, Georgia, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, India, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Paraguay, South Africa, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, the United States of America, Thailand, Tunisia, Hungary, Finland, France, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, and Japan. 

#BoycottRussianSport campaign

In March, the UWC launched an international advocacy campaign against the IOC Executive Committee’s intentions to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris – #BoycottRussianSport.

As the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, kept pushing for bringing Russian and Belarus athletes back to the Olympic Games, the Ukrainian World Congress consistently called people around the world to resist the IOC’s plan to allow athletes from the aggressor country and its satellite to participate in the Paris 2024 Games.

“We are confident that the Olympic Games should not be used for whitewashing Russia’s genocidal war in Ukraine, for concealing its crimes against humanity, or for promoting the tolerance of war and destruction,” reads a letter signed by UWC First Vice President Stefan Romaniw and Chair of the UWC World Sport Committee Renata Roman to the President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach.

Ukraine in NATO campaign

Unprecedented public support accompanied the NATO summit in Vilnius. In response to the call of the Ukrainian World Congress, Ukrainian diaspora representatives from several countries took to the streets to support Ukraine on its way to the Alliance. In the capital of Lithuania, UWC President Paul Grod and Regional Vice President Vira Konyk held a traditional meeting with the Ukrainian community focused on support for Ukraine in the most difficult times in its modern history.

Unite with Ukraine 

A significant focus of the Unite with Ukraine initiative revolves around acquiring military vehicles. In the year 2023, the UWC secured a total of 57 armored and tracked Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), in addition to restoring seventy-one GAZ-66 all-wheel-drive military cargo-hauling trucks and two MT-LB Amphibious Armored Personnel Carriers. Due to Unite with Ukraine’s efforts, the UWC has been recognized as one of the top 3 NGOs contributing armored vehicles to support Ukrainian Defenders. Presently, the pressing requirement is for FPV drones. Join the Santa’s Birds campaign to invest in Ukraine’s independence today.

UWC and Canada’s Robotics Centre supply drones for Ukraine’s border guards

XII Congress 

On October 22, 2023, during the XІI Congress of the UWC, the President and Board of Directors were re-elected to lead the Ukrainian World Congress for the next four years. Paul Grod was re-elected as the UWC President. The Chairman of the XII Congress was the past UWC President Eugene Czolij.

The XII Congress of the UWC was held in a hybrid format, with over 300 delegates and guests from 34 countries in attendance. During the meeting, UWC President Paul Grod and the UWC leadership reported on their five-year tenure.

XІI Конґрес СКУ обрав президента та нову Раду директорів

Energize Ukraine 

The Ukrainian World Congress, in collaboration with the Energy Act for Ukraine Foundation, has completed the installation of a hybrid solar station for a school in Chernihiv as part of its Energize Ukraine initiative.

This hybrid solar system will enable 1562 students to study even during possible blackouts and blackouts. It will satisfy 20% of the school’s annual energy needs, which will ensure six hours of full operation during blackouts. Establishing resilient microgrids in schools is one of the main priorities of the Energize Ukraine initiative.

Ukrainian doctors’ training in Brazil

Our highest commitment lies in securing top-tier tactical medical supplies, a crucial factor in preserving lives. The Unite with Ukraine initiative stands dedicated to backing Ukrainian Defenders by maintaining a steadfast focus on supporting tactical medicine. A prime illustration of this commitment is the Independence Lifeline fundraiser, orchestrated by the UWC and endorsed by Saint Javelin, which successfully raised $103,121. These funds are directed towards procuring high-quality tactical medical resources for Ukrainian Defenders and paramedics.

The Ukrainian World Congress and Unite with Ukraine initiated a training program for Ukrainian physicians in São Paulo, Brazil. The medical practitioners completed an intensive training program at the prestigious Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital, which, for the seventh year in a row, has been a recognized leader among medical institutions in Brazil and is considered the best clinic in Latin America.

90th anniversary of the Holodomor genocide

In November, the UWC leadership was on an official visit to Ukraine to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor genocide and to introduce the newly elected UWC leadership to the highest levels of Ukraine’s political leaders.

During the visit, the UWC leadership met with Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ruslan Stefanchuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, Oksen Lisovyi, Mustafa Nayyem, Head of the Agency for the Restoration and Development of Infrastructure of Ukraine, representatives of all factions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (the parliament).

On November 25, 2023, the UWC initiated a global campaign, urging the international community to unite in commemorating the victims of the 1932-1933 Holodomor, a genocide that inflicted profound scars on Ukraine. The call aimed to honor the memory of those affected by this tragic event, recognizing the resilience of the Ukrainian people who, despite enduring significant hardship, remained resolute in their pursuit of dignity and freedom.

Thank you for being with us during these challenging 365 days. Our priorities remain unchanged from last year. Three main areas of work of the Ukrainian World Congress are victory, rebuilding Ukraine, and a strong Ukrainian world.

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