Ukrainian World Tribune

  • Post Category:Issue XX

Stanislav Lazebnyk
Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine

DOI https://doi.org/10.37837/2707-7683-2019-13

Abstract. The article refers to the World Congress of Free Ukrainians (WCFU), founded in New York in November 1967. The WCFU united 150 Ukrainian public, political and faith-based organizations. The elected Presidium of the Congress established special committees, which began to work on the coordination of Ukrainian organizations in the West regarding the provision of assistance to Ukrainian refugees and communities in the Americas, Western Europe and Australia, protection of human rights and of political prisoners of Ukrainian descent in the USSR, development of Ukrainian education and culture in the expatriate environment, etc.
The WCFU opened its information office at the UN, which brought to the attention of diplomats from different countries the facts about the struggle of the Congress for an independent Ukraine, information about Ukrainian political prisoners, the russification process in Ukraine and Holodomor of 1932–1933. Owing to this effective influence, Canada, with its powerful and numerous Ukrainian community, was the first in the Western world to recognize the independence of Ukraine. In 1991, the WCFU organized a mass demonstration in front of the White House in Washington for the recognition of the young Ukrainian state.
In December of the same year, the Congress, together with the Ukrainian World Foundation, announced the creation of the Ukrainian Reconstruction Fund. Since then, this organization has gradually become one of the consistent lobbyists of Ukraine’s national interests in the world. Having changed its name to the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), it is constantly engaged in the establishment of a positive international image of Ukraine, promotion of its rich historical heritage as well as compelling changes in its society. At the same time, in the circles of this international association there is a certain disappointment with the social and economic situation in Ukraine and lack of real results in the fight against corruption. However, the UWC seeks to contribute to the further development of the historical homeland. Today UWC has an extensive network of constituent organizations and maintains relations with Ukrainian communities in 61 countries.
Keywords: WCFU, Ukrainian World Congress, New York, Canada, historical homeland.

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