UPC and Honorable Council of Order of St. Panteleimon: United, we are stronger

2024-04-21 13:17:45

The Ukrainian Peace Council (UPC) continues to unite around itself and join other NGOs, achieving its statutory aims and upholding the principles of a just peace. The academic community, including leading universities, has already combined efforts, as evidenced by a memorandum signed with 14 UNESCO chairs, the National Academy of Educational Sciences and the Junior Academy of Sciences. Recently, the Honorable Council of the Order of St. Panteleimon, an award for professionalism and mercy, and the UPC Presidium held a joint meeting to sign a memorandum of cooperation as well.

The document was signed by Mykhailo Zgurovsky, Head of the Ukrainian Peace Council, and Vasyl Kniazevych, Head of the Honorable Council.

The Order of St. Panteleimon is the public, professional-oriented award and it is granted for humanistic and noble activities in the field of health care. It is also unofficially called Medical Oscar. In February 2024, the Honorable Council decided to conduct the competitive selection and award the Order of St. Panteleimon in three categories: civilian physicians, army doctors, foreign citizens and organizations/institutions, in recognition of their significant contribution to Ukrainian people's struggle for freedom and independence during russia’s military aggression.

According to the Executive Committee overseeing the award, the competitive selection is progressing well across all regions of Ukraine. Out of about 350 nominees, 50 have been shortlisted to date. Furthermore, it is emphasized that the project has transcended Ukraine’s borders, as 13 countries have joined it today, with an anticipated increase to 20 countries sometime soon.

Why the decision to combine efforts in several directions of activity?

"We work in parallel, yet we can act together, as there is really a great deal that unites us," said UPC Head Mykhailo Zgurovsky. "The object of our concern is a person, his/her mental and physical health, sustainable development of society, just peace, etc. Hence, our aim is to draw the two organizations together to enhance the efficiency of our activity. After analyzing the directions of activity, we recognized that we can achieve more by working together, we can strengthen horizontal ties between our organizations – by exchanging information, planning events, as joint participation in them will significantly increase their efficiency."

The two organizations will cooperate in several directions. Among them is the unification of public efforts to promote peace and harmony in Ukraine and abroad through cultural, educational, scientific and other activities. In addition, both organizations aim to promote the development and implementation of programs and projects to ensure an effective mechanism for environmental security as well as to solve environmental issues in the context of European integration, martial law and post-war reconstruction. A separate item of cooperation provides for organizing joint conferences, seminars, forums, roundtables, expert discussions and other events devoted to the issues of mutual interest, as well as facilitating the participation of representatives of the parties to the memorandum in scientific events, including international ones, hosted by the signatories.

In this context, Mykhailo Zgurovsky reminded that the International Ecology and Peace Forum would take place at the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in May. The forum is expected to address the issues related to the great damage caused to Ukraine’s environment and human health by russia's aggression, with a special focus on what to do with the mined territories spanning 170,000 square kilometers.

Another point of collaboration between the two organizations involves the rehabilitation of the wounded. "Currently, we are establishing a Center for Prosthetics and Rehabilitation at Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute," noted Mykhailo Zgurovsky. "The number of young people in Ukraine, who need prosthetics, is reaching 70,000. It also includes social rehabilitation, educational component, and retraining."

Vasyl Kniazevych believes that expanding cooperation and rewarding for professionalism and mercy will contribute to the achievement of common aims, including the extension and stimulation of cooperation with EU nations, international organizations and foundations, humanitarian and UN peacemaking organizations. Thanks to the Ukrainian Peace Council, a lot can be done internationally.

UPC Director Volodymyr Novokhatskii and Valeriy Tsybukh, UPC Deputy Head for International Relations, expressed good wishes to the new alliance. Oksana Bilozir, Deputy Chairperson of the Honorable Council, pointed out that every member of both organizations can do good deeds at this challenging time for the Ukrainian people. "United, we are stronger," she added. Finally, the meeting participants agreed to work out a joint action plan so that the memorandum could be translated into concrete steps.

The "Topic of the Day," an analytical report titled "Prospects for a continuation of the Russia-Ukraine war of attrition in view of the economic and human potential of the belligerents" from the World Data Center operating at Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, provoked insightful remarks and lively discussions among the attendees.


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