The following points were developed by the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Federation (UCPBF) last year in anticipation of the 10th Anniversary of Independence of Ukraine. They were raised with government and Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) officials.
They continue to be relevant. The scandal implicating the President of Ukraine in the death of Hrehorij Gongadze makes it difficult, yet even more important, for Canada to support Ukraine while exerting pressure on its government to practice the rule of law and embrace reforms. Tough times in Ukraine require friends like Canada to stand close by and offer solutions.
ON FOREIGN POLICY MATTERS
Here are some ideas for Canada to consider regarding its foreign policy towards Ukraine:
ON TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE MATTERS
After ten years of technical assistance to Ukraine, much of it dedicated to issues surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, consideration should be given to
ON MATTERS OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Despite the difficulties encountered in this sector, Canada needs to renew its efforts in trade and investment. Develop a joint strategy identifying sectors, priorities and providing a plan for renewed economic efforts with a timetable.
GOVERNMENT departments and agencies involved with Ukraine, as well as groups funded by government to deliver technical assistance in Ukraine, should actively seek out Canadians of Ukrainian descent, with meritorious expertise and language skills, to become involved in the full range of the Canada/Ukraine initiatives. Cultural and linguistic know-how is critical to successful results.
"A strong Ukraine continues to be an important element in global peace and security. Canada and our friends need to give Ukraine a friendly hug on its birthday: because we care. And because we want Ukraine to be one of us a happy, prosperous, freedom-loving, people oriented democracy", said UCPBF's President Oksana Bashuk Hepburn.