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Year-End Address of the Ukrainian World Congress President

#UWC news
December 31,2013 175
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31 December 2013

 

Year-End Address of the Ukrainian World Congress President

 

Dear Ukrainians!
 

As 2013 comes to an end and we welcome the new year, I wish to thank the Board of Directors of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) and its 33 member organizations for their cooperation, as well as Ukrainian communities in 14 additional countries for supporting our work.
 

I am also very grateful to all who, throughout the year, have helped strengthen the positions of the UWC worldwide with their dedicated work and financial support.
 

Allow me to summarize the results of our work over the past  year and highlight some key events.
 

As the international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora, the UWC currently represents the interests of over 20 million Ukrainians and for the 46th year is working to consolidate the global Ukrainian community and develop community life, while defending the human and national rights of Ukrainians wherever they may reside.
 

The main focus of the work of the UWC today is supporting the aspirations of the Ukrainian people to live in a democratic, independent and European country, which I raised with high-ranking government officials in 26 countries that are home to the Ukrainian diaspora.
 

Since Ukraine’s governing authorities turned away from signing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, the UWC along with its member organizations continues to steadfastly support the aspirations of the Ukrainian people for democratization and Euro-integration, as evidenced by the widespread protests on EuroMaidans in Ukraine.
 

Thus, during the Third Summit of the Eastern Partnership on 28 November 2013 in the Lithuanian Parliament in Vilnius, I called upon the Chairpersons of the Committees on Foreign Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union to respond positively to the clear desire of the Ukrainian people to join the European Union.
 

To strengthen Ukraine’s democratization process the UWC organized the largest observation mission for this year’s repeat Parliamentary elections in five single-mandate electoral districts in Ukraine on 15 December 2013 which consisted of 155 observers from 16 countries.
 

The UWC also contributes to the development of organized community life for Ukrainians around the world. With this goal, over the past five years I visited Ukrainian communities in 32 countries.
 

With the obstacles being created by governing authorities in Russia to the development of its Ukrainian minority, the UWC helped to revive organized community life, ensured the participation of its community leaders in the X Ukrainian World Congress and welcomed in 2013 five Ukrainian national organizations from Russia into UWC’s membership.
 

Moreover, in July 2013, the UWC presented the problems of the Ukrainian migrant workers during a thematic Parliamentary hearing of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
 

At the request of the Christian Association of Ukrainians in Italy, in November 2013, I sent a letter on behalf of the UWC to the Prime Minister of Italy, regarding the enforcement of fines on minibuses from Ukraine, that are the sole connection for migrant workers in Italy with their relatives in Ukraine.
 

In addition, we supported UWC’s Conference of Ukrainian Youth Organizations in organizing a youth forum “Ternopil-2013” in August in Ukraine and a seminar for the Ukrainian youth in the diaspora in April 2013 in Romania.
 

The UWC also provided financial aid to its member organizations in need for important projects.
 

With these and similar actions we demonstrate that behind local Ukrainian communities stands the global Ukrainian community, and that the UWC is a force capable of defending the interests of the Ukrainian diaspora.
 

Commemorating in 2013 the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor, the UWC together with its member organizations continues to raise international awareness of this genocide of the Ukrainian nation. An example of this work was this year’s project titled Sharing the Story: for 80 days leading up to International Holodomor Memorial Day on 23 November 2013 the video testimonies of 80 Holodomor survivors were shared online with viewers worldwide. This project was realized in partnership with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in cooperation with the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre.
 

On 20-22 August 2013 in Lviv, the X Ukrainian World Congress was held successfully with the participation of over 500 delegates and guests from 30 countries. The three-day congress discussed issues relevant to the global Ukrainian community, defined UWC’s focus for the subsequent five-year term and elected a new UWC leadership.
 

The great challenges being faced by the UWC today require, as never before, the unity of Ukrainians worldwide, dedication to our common goal and considerable financial support.
 

To support our major projects, the UWC President’s Club was established and membership is open to any individual or organization that donates $1,000 or more in a given year for the needs of the UWC.
 

Therefore, I call upon you to make a personal contribution for the strengthening the Ukrainian diaspora and Ukraine as a truly democratic and European state with your volunteerism, as well as your financial generosity.
 

May God bless you and our entire nation with prosperity, good health, peace, understanding and a brighter future.
 

Sincerely,
 

UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS

 

Eugene Czolij

President

 

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