Projects

2019 CUSUR CALENDAR
 
Upcoming Events 2019
US-UA Security Dialogue X
Washington, DC
February 28, 2019
 
UA HES Special Event:
Sobornist' at 100
Ukrainian Museum
May 4, 2019   
 
US-UA BNS Special Event
Washington DC
May 23, 2019
 
US-UA WG Yearly Summit VI
Washington, DC
June 13, 2019

US-UA Energy Dialogue VI
Kyiv, Ukraine
August 29, 2019 
 
UA HES Special Event:
UA-AM Community at 125
Princeton Club/NY
September 21, 2019 
 
UA QUEST RT XX
Washington, DC
October 10, 2019
 
UA HES Forum VII:
LT-PL-UA Relations
Chicago
November 9, 2019   
 

Read more...
 
CUSUR 2016 - Project I
US-UA “Working Group” Initiative

The US-Ukraine “Working Group” Initiative was launched in 2007 in order to secure an array of experts in "areas of interest” for CUSUR and its various forums/proceedings; at the same time, it was hoped that the ‘experts’ might agree to write a series of ‘occasional papers’ to identify “major issues” impacting on US-Ukrainian relations.
Read more...
 
CUSUR 2017 - Project II
Publication Efforts

Recognizing the urgent need to set up proper channels for the maximum circulation of the information/analysis CUSUR possessed or had at its disposal, the Center long focused on having ‘a publication presence’ of some form or another.
Read more...
 
CUSUR 2018 - Project III
DC Occasional Briefings Series

CUSUR did not turn its attention to having a DC presence until summer 2012. Borrowing space when the need arose (particularly for various forum steering committees meetings) from the American Foreign Policy Council, its longest abiding partner, seemed to suffice; an Acela ride from the Center’s NY office did the rest. If there was a concern, it was to open an office in Kyiv.
Read more...
 
Baltic-Black-Caspian: Building a "Community of Democratic Choice"
Source: The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #669, Article 7

Ukraine's Historical Encounters II
Ukraine-Visegrad Relations

From the Baltic to the Black to the Caspian Building a "Community of Democratic Choice"

Oleh Shamshur

Feature remarks by Dr. Oleh Shamshur Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States delivered at "UA Historical Encounters Series Forum II", Wednesday, March 1st 2006.

Not so long ago we, in Ukraine, celebrated the first anniversary of the Orange revolution. This would be an opportune occasion to take stock of what has been achieved or not achieved during the period that was so intense and rich in political developments.

It turned out that it takes not only courage, but hard everyday work to transform a post-Soviet quasi-democracy into a modern and successful state. Strengthening and developing democracy is a hard job which has to be done in all directions—economic, political and diplomatic.

It should be remembered that the challenges were formidable and no home-made or universal recipes were available. Only a year ago, some people referred to the revolution as "UKRAINIAN EXPERIMENT", posing a lot of questions:

Will the so-called Western model of democracy take roots in Ukrainian ground? Will new Ukrainian leadership be able to ensure pursuit of democratic reforms or the process will bog down in the post-Soviet realities? Will Ukraine be able to sustain economic growth?

Will Ukraine set an example to its neighbors, including their ability to define their way of development independently, in accordance with their national interests and without external interference? The questionnaire can be furthered.

I believe that we can already say that we can give a positive answer to the greater part of the questions: democracy is on the rise, the process of reform could suffer setbacks but it cannot be defeated.

We still have a long list of things "to do", but the list of achievements in establishing a new political system is already looking very respectable:

  1. We managed to destroy the foundations of the autocratic system of corruption
  2. We ensured the freedom of expression and freedom of political choice
  3. The state powers have become open for control and responsive to criticism
  4. The system of oligarchic control over economy has been shattered and devoid of the state support
  5. Equally shattered has been the system of endemic corruption, including the impact upon economy of the most dangerous shadow schemes
  6. The spread of poverty has noticeably diminished
  7. Economic development has been robust

On the democracy side, one might say that the front line of the global development of state management and modern democratic institutions traverses Ukraine. We hope that Ukraine—together with our Georgian friends—might play an important role in setting a course for the formation and development of the new democracies.

Relevance of the success of Ukraine and Georgia in good governance by far exceeds its domestic dimension having direct positive bearing upon the processes unfolding in their close neighborhood. Conscious of that matter, our two countries put forward the initiative of the COMMUNITY OF DEMOCRATIC CHOICE (CDC).

It was based upon our common understanding of the necessity to strengthen democracy, respect of human rights and rule of law in the region in order to ensure its sustainable, stable and democratic development.

We see CDC as a community of democratic countries in the huge region between three seas—Baltic, Black and Caspian. We see it as a community of nations, which consider human freedoms as the highest value and the ultimate yardstick to measure success of the statehood.

The Borzhomi Statement of Presidents Yushchenko and Saakashvili reflects their willingness and readiness to send a very clear political signal to all countries of the region: we are your friends, we are ready to support you in developing democracy and we will be glad if you, in turn, can support us on this way.

This initiative is not about political ambitions or export of revolutions. Our ambition is to make of the CDC a "powerful instrument of making our region free of all remaining dividing lines, human rights violations and frozen conflicts".

This initiative is about a political emphasis which has not been strong enough within the post-Soviet environment: the emphasis on democracy as an overreaching goal, as the tradition in this region was to focus on economy and to tailor democracy in line with historic traditions and geopolitical specificity of each particular country.

By launching CDC, Ukraine wants to indicate its disagreement with skeptics saying: economic prosperity first and democracy second. We disagree with those saying: without necessary historic experience democracy is doomed to failure. It's never too late and never too early to embark upon democratic way. And there can no geopolitical causes that might justify rendering fundamental freedoms unimportant or marginal, relegating them into the category of a nuisances.

Practical implementation of the CDC envisages holding of the regular for a of the leaders of the Baltic-Black-Caspian Sea area leaders who share the vision of a new Europe and democratic objectives in order to transform this region into the area of democracy, stability and security, fully integrate it into Europe and democratic euro-Atlantic community.

To note: Ukraine doesn't seek to invent its own, custom-made model of democracy or economic development. We just want to cover the same path that brought success and prosperity to the Central Eastern European countries in the last decade. The key to success is determination in the pursuit of democratic values and market economy.

CDC is to provide its participants with largely informal and regular opportunity to discuss political developments in their countries and the region from the viewpoint of human rights and genuine democracy. Here every country of the region has its own record, own achievements and own problems. CDC will give a possibility to share and discuss them promoting inter alia the best practices.

The first CDC Forum took place in Kyiv on 30 November–2 December2004. It was of principal importance that it was organized at two levels. The Official forum had been preceded by the Civic forum attended by the representatives of over 150 NGOs.

As for the leadership forum, it included leaders of and high-ranking representatives from 23 countries and 9 international organizations. The Final Declaration has stated the readiness of the participating countries to develop CDC upon the agreed principles and defined the sequence of the follow-up events (Vilnius, May 2006 and Tbilisi, Autumn 2006).

We are grateful to the United States for supporting CDC concept, and expect that we can continue our interaction in promoting democracy and freedom within this framework.

We also believe that EU whose member-states are among the founding members of the CDC, and with whom we share same democratic values and common social objectives will show keen interest and will take an active part in the CDC activities. It might be that the CDC message will become for EU and its partners a sort of the new idea, the new breath, the new message to bring over, the new horizon to reach.

Having said that, I would like to stress that CDC is an absolutely open-ended group of like-minded countries and NGO partners. CDC is not an initiative directed against any third party (invitations to Kyiv were sent to everyone, with one exception, and this exception was not Russia). We do not intend to judge or criticize. By definition, CDC is a forum of cooperation for dialogue.

We intend to discuss and help those who wish to be helped. To quote from the Final Declaration: far-reaching mission of the CDC is to serve to unite all of the countries of the region in their common efforts to strengthen our regional cooperation, promote democracy and protect human rights.

We do hope that CDC and Ukraine as one of its initiators can play an important role by contributing to bringing different parts of Europe together on the basis of the balance of freedoms and democratic ideals rather than usual balance of powers. This is our humble ambition.

In conclusion, let me reiterate that for Ukraine, its President and the team of reformers last year has been extremely difficult and challenging. However, it was not a year lost. Rather, it was a year when very important and sometimes painful lessons were learned.

Now many eyes are focused on Victor Yushchenko. Trust me: he has come from last years turbulences stronger than ever. He has stamina, he has faith, and he has a vision for his country.

A part of this vision is that Ukraine must serve as a positive example for others and be an active player in the region, active promoter of democracy. He and Ukraine need your continued support and partnership.


NOTE: The second part of UA HES Forum II was held at Columbia University on March 2, 2006, under the title: Visegrad-Ukraine/A Multi-Relational Perspective. Ambassador Shamshur presented at the Columbia U. symposium as well. A Post-script: A video-transcript of the event is available on the website of Columbia University's East Central European Center.

 

Past Highlight Events

RT XVII Items of Note
Highlights from Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood RT XVII: Ukraine & Religious Freedom, held in Washington, DC on Oct. 27, 2016
 
UA HES SE: UA 25th B-Day
Highlights from UA HES Special Event: 'Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Modern Ukrainian State', held at the NY Princeton Club on Sept. 17, 2016
 
US-UA WG YS IV Highlights
Highlights from US-UA WG Yearly Summit IV: Providing Ukraine with an Annual Report Card, held at the University Club in Washington, DC on June 16, 2016
 
US-UA SD VII Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Security Dialogue VII held on February 25, 2016 in Washington DC
 
UA HES SE: WW2 Legacy
Highlights from the UA Historical Encounters Special Event: 'Contested Ground': The Legacy of WW2 in Eastern Europe, held in Edmonton on October 23-24, 2015
 
Holodomor SE Highlights
Highlights from the UA Historical Encounters Special Event: Taking Measure of the Holodomor, held at the Princeton Club of NY on November 5-6, 2013
 
US-UA SD III Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Security Dialogue III held on May 19, 2012 in Chicago, IL

  • Former UA Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko's keynote
 
UEAF Forum VI Highlights
Highlights from UEAF Forum VI, held in Ottawa, Canada on March 7-8, 2012
 
RT XII Items of Note
Highlights from Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood RT XII: PL-UA & TR-UA, held in Washington, DC on Oct 19–20, 2011
 
US-UA ED III Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Energy Dialogue III, held in Washington DC
on April 15-16, 2008
 
© 2019 CUSUR—Center for US Ukrainian Relations