President Victor Yushchenko and the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper signed a Joint Statement, promoting development of ties between Ukraine and Canada, according to the President`s press-office.
The statement reads as follows:
The Special Partnership between Canada and Ukraine, codified by joint declarations in 1994 and 2001, continues to flourish in a spirit of openness and mutual understanding, reflected in Canada-Ukraine growing and multifaceted cooperation on political, economic, security and humanitarian issues of common concern.
Strong and dynamic relations between Canada and Ukraine are founded on special historical and cultural ties, enriched and fostered by the community in Canada of more than one million Canadians of Ukrainian heritage. Today this foundation is being built upon by all Canadians and Ukrainians who share common interests and values such as support for democracy, freedom, rule of law, protection of human rights, and cooperation to ensure stability and prosperity in the world.
Canada welcomes the fundamental democratic transformations, including development of civil society and independent media and the opening of the economy, that have taken place in Ukraine since it gained independence. In this regard Canada is proud to have been the first Western nation to recognize independent Ukraine on December 2, 1991, and will continue to support the right of Ukrainians to choose freely their own destiny in domestic and foreign policies.
Canada and Ukraine are committed to developing and expanding their Special Partnership through an active program of high-level visits, ongoing dialogue and intensified cooperation in key areas of common interest.
Both countries will further productive cooperation within the framework of the UN, OSCE, NATO-Ukraine Commission and other international organizations. Ukraine and Canada confirm their intention to continue and deepen cooperation with respect to the elections to the UN bodies and other international organizations.
Canada and Ukraine are committed to protect the common values of Euro-Atlantic community, promoting peace and security within the region and around the Globe as well as to prevent the creation of new dividing lines in the Euro-Atlantic area.
Canada and Ukraine will develop their cooperation in international peace operations. Ukraine intends to further provide assistance with air transportation services for Canada`s military contingent in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Canada commends Ukraine`s deployment of its military medical personnel to the International Security Assistance Force and would welcome any additional contribution Ukraine may decide to make, especially to increase ISAF`s air-lift capabilities.
Ukraine highly appreciates Canada`s constant support for its Euro-Atlantic foreign policy course, including at the April 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit. Canada supports Ukraine`s aspirations to join NATO and will work with Ukraine and NATO Allies to make these aspirations a reality. Both countries welcome the declaration of NATO leaders at the Bucharest Summit that Ukraine will become a member of NATO. They look forward to working closely together during the period of intensive engagement between NATO and Ukraine as decided by Leaders in Bucharest. Canada and Ukraine share the goal that NATO Foreign Ministers, when they meet in December 2008, will positively assess progress and offer Ukraine a NATO Membership Action Plan. To this end, Ukraine has undertaken to make renewed public diplomacy efforts to inform its people about NATO-Ukraine cooperation and the Alliance. Canada welcomes these efforts and looks forward to assisting Ukraine in raising awareness about NATO`s mandate and new tasks in the post-Cold War environment.
Canada and Ukraine will further their fruitful cooperation under the framework of the Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.
Canada and Ukraine are committed to cooperating both bilaterally and in multilateral fora to counter international terrorism and terrorist financing, as well as international organized crime, including human trafficking, trafficking in illicit arms and drugs, and corruption.
Canada and Ukraine will continue to cooperate to address the climate change and global warming including in the UN and at other international forums. Both countries are committed to work together in order to meet the internationally agreed approach outlined in the "Bali Roadmap".
Canada and Ukraine reiterate their commitments to continue to cooperate in addressing the consequences of the Chornobyl catastrophe, making the shelter site safe for the population and the environment. The Parties welcome the signing in 2007 of international contracts for the construction of the new safe confinement at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and for the safe storage of spent nuclear fuel, and invite other donors to contribute to the successful and timely implementation of these projects and the entire Shelter Implementation Plan at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant as well.
Canada will continue to support Ukraine`s efforts to improve governance and to integrate into the global economy. This assistance will be channeled through the Canadian International Development Agency, which since 1991 has been supporting the work of Ukraine on important institutional, legal and administrative reforms, relying on the provision of expert advice from Canadian organizations. The partnerships and mutual trust established between Canadian and Ukrainian organizations have laid the foundation for continued cooperation as Ukraine embarks on further democratic reforms, such as steps to enhance transparency, improve the public sector, the business environment, and the competitiveness of Ukrainian companies.
Canada and Ukraine note the success of the first Canada-Ukraine Business Summit held in Dnipropetrovsk and Kyiv on March 12-14, 2008 as a sign of expanding bilateral trade, investment, science and technology cooperation opportunities, particularly in the energy, aerospace, agriculture, construction and infrastructure sectors. Canada and Ukraine undertake to pursue the follow-up necessary to realize this promising potential, and in this regard look forward to the Business Forum to be held in Toronto on May 28, 2008. Canada welcomes Ukraine`s accession to the World Trade Organization, which opens further opportunities for expanding Ukraine-Canada cooperation in the trade and economic sphere.
Both countries confirm their interest in further developing interregional cooperation and strengthening the ties between Canadian provinces and territories and Ukrainian oblasts, which facilitates cooperation between our peoples and respective business communities. In the same spirit, Canada and Ukraine will work to continue promoting interpersonal ties through cultural, educational and professional exchanges, particularly for our countries` youth.
Ukraine and Canada intend to develop their bilateral relations in the consular sphere and recognize the value of facilitating people-to-people contacts.
Canada supports Ukraine`s efforts aimed at achieving international recognition of the Great Famine (Holodomor) of 1932-33 in Ukraine and commemorates the 75th anniversary of that tragedy. The cruel actions and policies of the totalitarian Stalinist regime caused the death of millions of Ukrainians. International recognition of the Great Famine (Holodomor) will honour the memory of the victims and recommit the international community to ensuring such a tragedy never happens again.
Ukraine aims to expand its diplomatic presence in Canada, particularly in the Western provinces. To this end, it intends to open a Consulate-General of Ukraine in Edmonton, Alberta. Canada welcomes this move as positive reflection of growing bilateral ties between the two countries.