Victor Yushchenko has taken part in a ceremony to open the Fourth World Forum of Ukrainians, which is being held in Kyiv on August 18-20, according to the President’s press-office.
The President presented a concept of cooperation with the Ukrainian diaspora, which had been worked out by Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry. He said he would sign the document as soon as it was discussed and described it as “the first step in the formulation of well-grounded and modern ways to develop the Ukrainian community worldwide, as well as their strategic goals and tasks.”
Mr. Yushchenko said the twenty-million-people Ukrainian diaspora in more than sixty countries of the world was a uniquely potent and large-scale phenomenon.
“We must be regarded by the world not as consumers but as donors of international processes and implementers of our own integral political, economic and cultural goals,” he said, adding he saw Kyiv as a center to coordinate Ukrainians worldwide. “We should never again unnaturally divide Ukrainians into those who live in Ukraine and those who reside abroad. Ukraine is where Ukrainians live and the Ukrainian language is spoken.”
The Head of State said he wanted to create an effective model of cooperation with Ukrainians living abroad, which should be funded and coordinated by Ukraine’s government. He said they were going to spend UAH 77 mln to support the diaspora.
Then the President explained what should be done to unite Ukrainians living in different corners of the world. First of all, it is vital to build a centralized global network to communicate with our compatriots and reinforce the Ukrainian World Coordinating Council as a key center of interaction of the diaspora, which should use modern information and management technologies.
Mr. Yushchenko also believes we should publish a multi-volume encyclopedia on Ukraine and a book of our achievements, and also collect Ukrainian archives, historic valuables and art treasures to bring them back home.
He urged those present to focus on objectives that demonstrate Ukraine’s unity and might and to convince the world community to recognize the 1932-33 man-made famine as genocide. “This is particularly important before the 75th anniversary of the tragedy,” he said.
The President also asked the government to support the world’s most important centers of the Ukrainian culture in Munich, New York, Paris, Sarcelles and other cities of the world.