Ukrainian official delegation’s performance during the critical February 25, 2013, EU-Ukraine summit in Brussels regrettably revealed the current Ukrainian political regime’s unpreparedness for real challenges.
Where and when could the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement be signed? In one of the blossoming EU cities, in either March, or April, or May 2013.
Just think for a minute how well Ukraine would blend into the rich variety of EU nations… It almost appears that EU member nations finally have the opportunity to truly embrace Ukraine, the homeland of Europe’s first written democratic Constitution of 1710 by Ukrainian Cossack Hetman Pylyp Orlyk.
Yet, somewhere along the way Ukraine risks losing this unique and timely chance. The contemporary politics requires application of tools crafted, or at least handled, contrary to the mindset of the current Ukrainian regime. As an alternative to this, Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program’s (hereinafter – CUPP) mission is to promote and understand advanced western democratic values and to contribute to the education of future leaders of Ukraine. These ideals became known to CUPP Alumni through 3 month long internships at the offices of the Members of the Canadian Parliament, a cradle of the world’s elite political concepts of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
Hence, CUPP Alumni call for the President of Ukraine, Parliament of Ukraine, other respective officials, and each and every citizen of Ukraine, to take the following immediate measures on our nation’s chosen road towards rule of law and EU democratic values, in keeping with the EU’s requirement for signing the Association Agreement, in its calling for determined action and tangible progress in human rights issues – by May 1, 2013 at the latest:
1. To reverse the judgment in Serhiy Vlasenko case removing his electoral mandate as Member of Ukraine’s Parliament, in order to allow his continuing career as a Member of Ukraine’s Parliament (Verkhovna Rada Ukrayiny).
2. The President of Ukraine – to sign the Act(s) on Amnesty on the release of the leaders of Ukrainian opposition parties Yuliya Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko, respectively. We further call for the above mentioned Act(s) to be duly and unconditionally enforced by the respective bodies of Ukraine. CUPP Alumni hereby refer to the above persons not because of political sympathies, but due to illegal selective substance of their respective persecution.
3. The Committee on Justice of Verkhovna Rada Ukrayiny – to expedite the deliberation process towards the reforms of judicial system and rule of law in Ukraine. Namely, (1) to introduce jury into the process within legislative framework of Ukraine; (2) to eliminate President of Ukraine from the list of subjects authorised to appoint the judges in Ukraine; (3) to introduce liability for facilitating corruption to the national and regional associations of advocates and lawyers of Ukraine.
4. The responsible Committees of the Verkhovna Rada Ukrayiny – to take into account the recommendations by the Venice Commission of 2012 and EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle as of February 25, 2013 as regards the amendments to election legislation of Ukraine.
5. For each and every lawyer of Ukraine – to preserve dignity and maintain an active professional position condemning any misuse of the judiciary for the political reasons. Provided that there is no professional (legal) ignorance to the issues, any further attempts to misuse the so called administrative resource will be impossible. Dear lawyers, it can take you only several hours of your professional time to draft a statement or a protest banner. However, by doing so you invest into your future as well as that of your own children. Lawyers are given opportunity to lead in the battle against corruption, and set public example for other like-minded civil society professional groupings to espouse, such as doctors, teachers, engineers, nurses, and others.
6. To implement the principles of transparency and accountability of the Government of Ukraine in respect to UEFA EURO 2012 Soccer Tournament. In particular, we call for the Prime-Minister of Ukraine and/or any other organ/body/agency authorised for EURO 2012 to initiate a procedure involving an independent audit company for the UEFA EURO 2012 Soccer Tournament operations, where the Ukrainian Government agencies were the subjects (including, but not limited to the National Agency on Euro 2012 etc.), to issue documents and complete transparent audit report on this multi-billion hryvnia event to counter allegations of corruption. We base our legitimate request on the article 1 of the Constitution of Ukraine, according to which “Ukraine is a […] democratic state”. Democratic standards as foreseen by our Constitution presuppose transparency and checks and balances between the bodies of such a state of law.
7. For each and every citizen of Ukraine – to actively address the Members of the Verkhovna Rada Ukrayiny representing either your constituency or the political party you personally supported, or the municipalities in matters they are obligated to help us manage our daily life. Each of us is entitled to such a right to oversee the process of deliberation, as well as to directly determine deadlines by which you expect the streets clean from snow, the water supply provided and maintained, the city centre roads repaired or the parks cleaned from waste. Let us be specific. Give the authorities the exact deadlines for meeting these basic human rights. Let us get united by signing collective statements. The bundle of sticks cannot be broken with one hand. Let us keep this in mind while working for ourselves, on a regular day to day basis, without restrictions and limitations.
Awakened to the shocking reality in Ukraine’s politics, after bringing the knowledge of what we as CUPP Alumni learned from Canadian governance, we call on modern provincial and national politicians to be accountable professional managers above all. Culturally speaking, we Ukrainians normally find out how something tastes before actually tasting it, and our authorities also fall within this category. Just as no one eats souring borshch, there is no obvious reason to continuously tolerate and suffer from ineffective (oftentimes to a brutal extent) people in power.
Changing life in Ukraine is simpler than we thought. Lasting change begins within each one of us, in our daily thoughts and actions. Together we can change the fate of our country.
Please join us in sharing the knowledge and raising awareness of human rights issues in Ukraine with your family, friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbours, students.
Please read an online article by 2012 CUPP intern in Winnipeg Free Press:
Please join us and all Ukrainians in being confident and persistent and vocal in protection of our inviolable human rights and condemn any human rights abuses, and to demand accountability from President Yanukovych’s regime and official representatives.
The EU, US, and Canadian governments should impose sanctions on the officials responsible for human rights violations, and should refuse to issue visas to those officials, and ban banking services by western financial institutions for officials and businesses connected to the regime.
CUPP alumni call on all Ukrainians living in Ukraine, the World Congress of Ukrainians, the Ukrainian Canadian diaspora organizations, and Ukrainian diaspora living around the world, to collectively and globally actively organize and join us wherever you may be for ‘Rise, Ukraine!’ demonstrations culminating on the occasion of the Days of Europe celebration in Kyiv on May 18, 2013.
Rise, Ukraine! Slava Ukrayini!
Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program Alumni
Mr. Viktor Yanukovych
Mr. Štefan Füle
Mr. Vitali Klitschko
Mr. Oleh Tyahnybok
Mr. Arseniy Yatsenyuk
The Hon. Stephen Harper
Mr. John F. Kerry
The Hon. John Baird
The Hon. Jason Kenney
Senator Raynell Andreychuk
Hon. Julian Fantino
Mr. Ted Opitz
Mr. James Bezan
H.E. Troy Lulashnyk
Mr. Paul Grod
Mr. Eugene Czolij