TORONTO – The president of the Ukrainian World Congress, Eugene Czolij, continued his working visits to European countries in late January and early February. On his agenda were stops at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France; the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg; as well as Turkey, which straddles Europe’s east and Asia’s west. On January 22-23, Mr. Czolij participated in the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg and met with high-ranking officials of the Council of Europe and heads and representatives of PACE member delegations, including Ukraine. During meetings the UWC President encouraged PACE member states to support the resolution of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons that PACE adopted on January 22 on the basis of the report “Humanitarian Consequences of the War in Ukraine,” which was prepared by a member of the Lithuanian delegation, Egidijus Vareikis. Mr. Czolij also highlighted the significant cost in 2017 to Ukraine of supporting the needs of the internally displaced persons and focused attention specifically on the fact that last year, in the framework of the Humanitarian Response Plan of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Ukraine received only 26 percent of the budgeted amount.
Freedom House has released its annual report on freedom around the globe, noting that 45 percent of the world’s countries are ranked as free, 30 percent as partly free and 25 percent as not free. Following are excerpts from the main essay by the president of Freedom House that introduces Freedom in the World 2018. Political rights and civil liberties around the world deteriorated to their lowest point in more than a decade in 2017, extending a period characterized by emboldened autocrats, beleaguered democracies and the United States’ withdrawal from its leadership role in the global struggle for human freedom. Democracy is in crisis. The values it embodies – particularly the right to choose leaders in free and fair elections, freedom of the press, and the rule of law – are under assault and in retreat globally. A quarter-century ago, at the end of the Cold War, it appeared that totalitarianism had at last been vanquished and liberal democracy had won the great ideological battle of the 20th century.
TORONTO – Continuing his visits to Ukrainian diaspora communities, Ukrainian World Congress President Eugene Czolij, visited Latvia on December 2-4, 2017, on the invitation of three UWC member organizations, the Union of Ukrainian Associations in Latvia, the Dnipro Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Society in Latvia and the Congress of Ukrainians in Latvia.
TORONTO – The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) held the final in a series of international conferences titled “UWC at 50 and Beyond: The Roadmap,” in Toronto on November 10-11, 2017. The conference summed up half a century of UWC activity and developed priorities for the future. Participating in the conference, held at The Old Mill, were religious and state high-ranking officials and diplomatic representatives from Ukraine and Canada, politicians, members of the leadership and representatives of UWC member organizations from Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, Greece, Estonia, Canada, the Russian Federation, the United States, Hungary and Switzerland. Also present were leaders of UWC partner organizations: the International Institute for Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations of Lviv Polytechnic National University and the Atlantic Council. The program coordinator and conference chair was Dr. Volodymyr Zaryckyj, who chairs the UWC International Scholarly Council.
TORONTO – Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij fulfilled a working visit to Kyiv on November 29-December 1, 2017, during which he discussed current Ukrainian issues and continued cooperation with high-ranking religious and state leaders of Ukraine, representatives of the international community, diplomats of various states and representatives of Ukrainian civil society.
TORONTO – Ukrainian World Congress President Eugene Czolij traveled on September 3-4, on the invitation of the Society of Ukrainian Culture in Moldova, on a working visit to Chisinau. During his meetings in the Moldovan capital, the UWC president expressed gratitude to Moldova’s governing authorities for their support of Ukraine, primarily on the restoration and preservation of its territorial integrity, and called for them to continue such support of Ukraine. Mr. Czolij particularly thanked Moldova for co-authoring U.N. General Assembly Resolution 68/262 on “Territorial integrity of Ukraine,” which was adopted on March 27, 2014. He also cited the participation of Moldovan armed forces in the military parade marking the 26th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence in Kyiv on August 24. Mr. Czolij also expressed gratitude to representatives of Moldovan governing authorities for hosting nearly 300 orphaned children of soldiers from Ukraine’s war-torn region at summer camps in Moldova.
TORONTO – In mid-September, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij traveled on working visits to Washington, where he met with high-ranking government officials and addressed a reception on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the independence of Ukraine, and to New York, where he addressed a strategic session on Ukraine of the Atlantic Council, attended the Atlantic Council’s Global Citizen Awards dinner and discussed current Ukrainian issues during meetings with high-ranking officials at the United Nations. During his meetings with officials in Washington on September 12, the UWC president called for the U.S. to continue demonstrating strong support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity by supplying military assistance to Ukraine and increasing sanctions against the Russian Federation so as to ensure that Ukraine overcomes Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. He had meetings at the Department of State and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In addition, Mr. Czolij raised the importance of providing Ukraine with a Marshall Plan-type program to enable it to deal with the devastation resulting from Russian aggression and continue with much-needed reforms. He also discussed a U.N. peacekeeping mission to eastern Ukraine and an OSCE monitoring mission in Crimea. The UWC president also met with the Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze and Ambassador to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly to discuss recent developments in Ukraine, the continued European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine and the upcoming UWC conferences in New York and Brussels.