№ 2 (18) - February, 2005

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UWC EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETS

The UWC Executive Board met on Saturday, February 5, 2005 at its Toronto headquarters. In addition to hearing reports from Executive Committee members, the following matters were taken up:

-         the recently concluded presidential elections in Ukraine and the participation in that process by the Diaspora, in particular in terms of voter turnout abroad and international monitoring;

-         future activity of UWC councils and commissions in effectuating the UWC’s global mission;

-         the venue of the next UWC Board of Directors’ meeting;

-         participation of the UWC in the Ukrainian World Coordinating Council(UWCC) and the IV Forum scheduled for August 2005;

-         issues of denaturalization and deportation involving Ukrainians, particularly in the United States and Canada;

-         financial issues – providing for UWC’s financial stability; organizational visits to Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay as well as Slovakia.

The following action was taken:

-         to convene a joint session of the UWC and World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations (WFUWO) delegations to the United Nations in New York to deliberate joint strategy and cooperation;

-         to modernize the UWC’s Toronto office equipment;

-         to pursue the Prof. Hrycak- UPA controversy through the World Scholarly Council;

-         to schedule a formal visit from the UWC to Patriarch Lubomyr of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Metropolitan Constantine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America, the Primate to be designated by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada and Pastor Iwaskiw of the Ukrainian Evangelical churches;

-         to intensify efforts at reactivating the Council on Cultural Affairs;

-         to publish a compendium of educational institutions and Ukrainian studies in the Diaspora, to provide English language material for use by Ukraine’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs and diplomatic missions and to coordinate scholarly publications globally through alternate channels rather than self-publishing;

-         to hold a social service round table during the upcoming Board of Directors meeting;

-         to put together a directory of Ukrainian language schools in the Diaspora;

-         to hold the next Board of Directors meeting in Kharkiv on the eve of the IV Forum;

-         to delegate UWC Secretary General to the February 2005 UWCC meeting in Kyiv to outline our participation and delineate our expectations in connection with the IV Forum, in particular, minimal intrusion from the government side;

-         to arrange meetings for a UWC delegation in August in Ukraine with Ukraine’s President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister for humanitarian affairs and social policy,  Minister for education, Minister for cultural affairs, Minister for foreign affairs and  Chair of Parliament;

-         to deal with denaturalization and deportation matters on an individual and personal level;

-         to re-establish an  Endowment Fund committee consisting of Jurij Darewych, Askold S. Lozynskyj, Eugene Czolij, Maksym Maslej, Stach Haba, Oksana Wynnyckyj and Olga Danylak with each member of the committee contributing at least 1,000 $CAN and personally soliciting relatives, friends and acquaintances;

-         to schedule the UWC’s presidents trip to Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay for this spring and a visit to Slovakia this summer.

 

UWC HOLDS ELECTION 2004 ROUNDTABLE IN TORONTO: RECOGNIZES EFFORTS OF THE UKRAINIAN CONGRESS COMMITTEE OF AMERICA AND THE CANADIAN UKRAINIAN CONGRESS  

Following its Executive Board meeting, on Saturday, February 5, 2005, the UWC held a round table discussion for the Toronto Ukrainian community entitled: Presidential Elections in Ukraine: Diaspora Participation – What’s next. The discussion was moderated by the UWC Secretary General and featured observations by the UWC President and First Vice President as well as the President of the UCCA, Michael Sawkiw, Jr. and President of the UCC, Orysia Sushko. Both the UCCA and the UCC were recognized for outstanding contributions aiding the democratic electoral process in Ukraine. Some significant statistics on this subject: the Diaspora fielded some 2600 international observers with the largest contingent from the United States – 859, followed by Romania – 680, Moldova – 354 and Canada – 326. Even very distant Australia fielded 20 international observers from its Diaspora. Voter participation in the last election tripled over that in 2002. Some 103,000 Ukrainian citizens abroad participated with the largest turnout 23,389 in Moldova and 11,859 in the United States. Of the Moldova voters 92% voted for Yanukovich and of the U.S. voters 98% voted for Yushchenko. In total 59.52% of the Diaspora voters went for Yushchenko and 38.50 for Yanukovich. The Moldova example is striking since there were eight polling precincts in Moldova, but seven additional were opened in Transdniester through the joint efforts of Ukraine’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Central Election Commission (CEC). Interestingly, in all of Canada there were only two polling stations with Toronto being the furthest west. The voter turnout in Canada was larger than in the past, but nevertheless very low, only 3,261. While Canada is huge, Transdniester, at its widest point is 20 kilometers. However, given the anticipated vote for Yanukovich, Ukraine’s MFA and the CEC chaired for two rounds by Sergei Kivalov and Yuri Danylevsky, charged with the “zakordonnyj okruh,” opened additional polling precincts in Transdniester and limited voter lists in the United States, Canada, Italy etc. to enable only minimal participation. Both Kivalov and Danylevsky were not еlected following the November 21 runoff but the number and location of polling precincts remained fixed. Thus voter participation in the western part of the Diaspora could have been ten times greater, but that would have meant an even larger number for Yushchenko.     

On the subject of what to expect next, the consensus was that the “orange revolution” was tremendous, but the implementation of its ideals must be pursued intensely yet deliberately. The thrust of what can be expected was stated by President Yushchenko in his inaugural address and Prime Minister Tymoshenko in her presentation to the Verkhovna Rada: a transparent, moral, anti-corruption agenda with the focus on European integration.

 

UWC BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO MEET IN KHARKIV IN AUGUST

     As noted above the UWC Board of Directors will convene in Kharkiv most likely on August 18-19, 2005. The proposed venue is intended to allow for eastern and western participation as well as to commence a decade long commemoration of repressions perpetrated against the Ukrainian people beginning with the trial in Kharkiv 1929-30 of  the Association for the Liberation of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Youth Association, followed by the “shattered rebirth”, the Great Famine and the period referred to as Yezhovschyna. The UWC feels that the national awakening of Eastern Ukraine depends largely on Kharkiv as the center of Ukrainian intellectual development in the Soviet era. Details will be provided in subsequent newsletters.  

 

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