NEW YORK, – September 19-24. The delegation of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) engaged in advocacy for Ukraine while joining the UN General Assembly during the high-level week. Recognized by the UN Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organization with a special consultative status, the UWC held a number of meetings with world politicians, human rights non-governmental organizations, diplomats and opinion leaders.
A result of numerous discussions was was the call for the creation of an International War Crimes Tribunal of Russia that was voiced by the President of the UWC, Paul Grod.
At a meeting with Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs, the President of the UWC Paul Grod discussed ways in which Ukrainian diaspora can help Ukraine attract support outside the Euro-Atlantic region – in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Effective mechanisms for the creation of the INTERNATIONAL WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL OF RUSSIA were also discussed during the meeting.
"European support is quite strong now," Paul Grod emphasized in a comment to Politico from the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. At the same time, the President of the UWC drew attention to the support of Ukraine outside the Euro-Atlantic region – in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where Russia is currently active. Therefore, the global Ukrainian diaspora, in particular Ukrainian organizations and communities, will focus on helping Ukraine attract support in these regions.
During the high-level week, the President of the UWC also appealed to the UN General Assembly to deprive Russia of its right of veto in the UN Security Council.
"Many people say that it is impossible, but as we have seen over the past six months, what many people have said was impossible has happened. Therefore, we must further advance this issue. In Africa, Asia, South America – the voices of these countries are extremely important," Paul Grod commented on the situation in an interview with Vitaly Portnikov for the Espreso.tv channel.
The UWC delegation participated in meetings, roundtables and side discussions hosted by the Atlantic Council focused on Ukraine’s importance to Latin American countries.
President Grod was able to discuss Latin American engagement with Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei (who recently visited Ukraine) and Foreign Minister Mario Búcaro as well as with Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The Executive Director of the UWC Sonya Soutus discussed the war in Ukraine, its new geopolitical location and security landscape at a high-level meeting organized by the Nizami Ganjavi International Center.
Kateryna Yushchenko, First Lady of Ukraine 2005-2010, UWC Advisory Advisory Council Co-Chair and Nataliya Yaresko, Minister of Finance of Ukraine 2014-2016, UWC Advisory Advisory Council member also spoke during the panel discussion.
During the high-level week, the Ukrainian World Congress delegation met with Agnes Calamar, Secretary General of Amnesty International (AI). UWC representatives expressed the concern felt by Ukrainian communities around the world and in Ukraine after the August 4 AI report.
The conversation with Ms. Calamar highlighted the implications of this report and how it is being used by Russia as a tool to justify its war crimes.
Among other things, the UWC delegation joined a round table dedicated to international politics, with the participation of high-ranking officials and leaders working to promote democratic values in the world. UWC President Paul Grod took part in a discussion about the challenges facing the world’s democracies. The leader of the Belarusian opposition, Svitlana Tykhanovska, also spoke at the event.
The Clinton Global Initiative – one of the most innovative philanthropic projects in the world – included the discussion of ways in which the world can support Ukraine.
The crucial event of the high-level week was a meeting with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which hosteda discussion about the importance of documenting Russian war crimes, protecting journalists in war zones, and protecting free press.
Together with Ukraine's First Lady, the Prime Minister and diplomats, the delegates from the UWC visited the “Russian War Crimes House” exhibition. According to Paul Grod, these photographic pieces of evidence leave no doubt about the need to create a tribunal for Russian crimes.
Paul Grod with Nataliya Pavlenko, Head of The Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (UNWLA)
UWC President Paul Grod & Kathy Nalywayko, President, Ukrainian Institute of America