World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations Holds AGM

On September 3 – 5, 2015, the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations (WFUWO) held their 2015 Annual General Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. Over 50 participants, including 20 official delegates from member organizations and guests from 12 countries, including Ukraine and Sweden, partook in reviewing the previous year, discussing current issues, and planning WFUWO’s way forward.

The official opening of the WFUWO 2015 AGM took place on the evening of September 3rd, in the Lidingo City Hall auditorium. WFUWO President Orysia Sushko welcomed those present, including the Ambassador of Ukraine in Sweden, the Honorable Ihor Sagach. Ambassador Sagach warmly welcomed WFUWO to Sweden, emphasizing the critical work of Ukrainian women around the world and their contribution to global peace. WFUWO President Orysia Sushko presented a figurine of St. Kniahynia Ol’ha to Ambassador Sagach, as a symbol of deep appreciation for his support of WFUWO, and recognition of his significant contribution to the development of positive relations between Ukraine and Sweden. The evening ended with an enjoyable tribute concert, “Rode Nash Krasnyj!”

On September 4th, WFUWO President Orysia Sushko presented a report of the previous year’s activities. Subsequently, WFUWO delegates from each of the 12 countries represented shared reports of their activities for the past year. Ukrainian women’s organizations around the world are directing most of their energies toward raising funds for the rehabilitation of soldiers wounded in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, support for families of those killed and wounded, the collection and distribution of humanitarian aid and protective equipment, as well as organizing and participating in demonstrations, and the active dissemination of truthful information about Ukraine.

The following day, a detailed report was presented outlining WFUWO’s activities at the UN in New York and Geneva. A panel discussion, entitled, “Tasks of WFUWO in the context of the current aggression in Ukraine: Opinions and proposals for strategic cooperation within WFUWO,” stimulated much constructive discussion among participants. The third and final day of the AGM included a roundtable on “Current issues of concern to women’s organizations in the diaspora and cooperation with Ukraine.” Concrete plans of action were established for further development.

Prior to the AGM, a WFUWO delegation met with representatives of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. WFUWO President Orysia Sushko presented a letter on behalf of Ukrainian women of the world, requesting the Minister’s assistance and intervention in the liberation of Ukrainian political prisoners Nadiya Savchenko, Oleh Sentsov, Oleksander Kolchenko and others illegally imprisoned in Russia. Other critical topics were also addressed, including gender equality in Ukraine.

During the course of the AGM, a WFUWO delegation visited the Embassy of Ukraine in Sweden. Ambassador Ihor Sagach explained the historical ties between Ukraine and Sweden, noting that Swedish media are not influenced by the pressure from Russian propaganda in their reporting about Ukraine. The ambassador acknowledged the critical role of the Ukrainian community in Sweden.

At the conclusion of the AGM, the delegates and participants expressed their gratitude to WFUWO President Orysia Sushko for her leadership. President Sushko expressed her gratitude to Zoriana Kiktso, president of the Association of Ukrainian Women in Scandinavia, and local members for their efforts in organizing the WFUWO 2015 AGM in Stockholm. President Sushko presented Zoriana Kiktso with a figurine of Saint Ol’ha, as a symbol of recognition for her leadership.