GLOBAL NETWORK OF UKRAINIANS TO PROMOTE UKRAINE'S INTERESTS WORLDWIDE
'The world gives Ukraine silver but Ukraine might give the world gold', Bohdan Havrylishin.
How to resist Kremlin’s propaganda in the world? How to use diaspora’s potential, capital, resources and contacts to support Ukraine on the stage of reforms and country’s international image formation? What must be done for the countries where Ukrainian communities live to know more about Ukraine: its culture, tourist potential, investment opportunities etc? All these questions were discussed by the participants of II Global Ukrainians Forum held in Kyiv Mohyla Business School on October, 31.
The Forum was organized by international non-profit organization Global Ukraine, a network of young, active and well-educated Ukrainian expat leaders who live in USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, EU, Asia and Arab countries.
'Maidan and the war showed a huge potential of new young Ukrainian leaders and movements abroad who can think over and suggest a sustainable strategy and new mechanisms for development of national and cultural diplomacy', - Violeta Moskalu, a founder of Global Ukraine Foundation and the Forum co-founder, mentioned. – 'Forum Global Ukrainians was initiated to start systematic and effective cooperation between communities and volunteers movements of Ukrainian diaspora worldwide'.
Among the Forum guests there were the representatives of Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada Committee of Future and Committee on Industrial Policy and Business; international funds, media and Ukrainian communities abroad. Each of them assumed the importance of global, systematic and objective informing the world community about Ukraine, both current events and their prospective, and the relevancy of one single communication platform where Ukrainian diaspora could share objective and useful information about Ukraine as well.
Artem Bidenko, Deputy Minister of Information Policy, shared the instruments the Ministry uses for effective coverage of Ukrainian events:
- multimedia platform of international broadcasting launched on October 1, 2015;
- upgraded version of Ukrinform information agency that is available in six languages now;
- UATV channel (new format);
- three satellites.
'We are negotiating with different embassies to get access in their cable network for our channel UATV. Moreover, the Ministry plans to launch 100millioniv.org portal to unite Ukrainians all over the world, he added.
Lada Roslytska, the Chief Strategic Communications of Ukraine Today, informed about the TV-channel intention to broadcast 2 minutes videos about Ukraine instead of commercial ads.
Kateryna Smahliy, the representative of Kennan Institute Kyiv Office, informed about the Ukrainian government's efforts to build objective Ukraine’s image in the world. Paricularly, she told about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine plans to create the Public Diplomacy Department that will consist of three offices, image, PR and culture. Six people will work for international Ukrainian image and its interest promotion in the world.
It should be mentioned here about one of the last initiatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, 'Cultural Diplomacy by MFA' FB-page launched on November 1, 2015.
Natalia Panchenko, the head of Euromaidan-Warsaw foundation, emphasized that it is very important to create favorable conditions for business in Ukraine and reduce the number of businessmen who leave Ukraine for better prospective abroad, 'Every medal has its reverse: we help Ukrainian businessmen to enter Polish market but no one can guarantee that in a year or two they will not think about moving to Poland and working there. Because in Poland they can be more business successful for a year. Therefore, we need to think what we can do to make our businessmen to stay in Ukraine'.
The representatives of Ukrainian communities in Beijing, Brussels, Queensland (Australia), Guadalajara (Mexico), the Netherlands joined the panel discussion on-line. Each of them told about activity of Ukrainian community and expressed a desire to join Global Ukrainians network.
The Forum participants learnt about:
- charity campaigns to support rehabilitation of Ukrainian militaries, and operational team East StratCom established within EU-institutions to fight Russian propaganda ('Ukrainians of Brussels group);
- engaging Ukrainian House of Beijing to translate news of IA 'Ukrinform' into Chinese;
- intention of Ukrainian radio station of Queensland to create new radio project and YouTube channel focusing on interviews with representatives of Australian diaspora;
- disclosure of manipulation from the side of Russian Federation, prevention publishing Ukrainian map without Crimea (Ukrainian community of the Netherlands).
Along with the cultural and business diplomacy, the Forum participants agreed on the necessity to transform (rather than reform) all spheres of life, promote economic development, improve investment climate and create favourable conditions so that Ukrainian expats wished to return to their motherland.
As a result the discussions Global Ukrainians network will focus its activity on the following four projects:
- Global Ukraine Promo, promoting Ukrainian contemporary culture (festivals, tours, film shows) and building a new image of Ukraine in general;
- Global Ukraine Business, promoting exports and attracting investments to support small and medium businesses in Ukraine;
- Global Ukraine Academy, involving global Ukrainians working in various higher educational institutions to establish new educational programs;
- Global Ukraine News, sharing objective information about Ukraine worldwide and fighting Russian propaganda.