United to pursue common priorities

2024-03-03 09:49:05

The Ukrainian Peace Council (UPC), the National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine (NAESU), the Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and 12 UNESCO chairs in Ukraine signed a memorandum of cooperation. This collaboration aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practices, organize joint events, and support research and innovation in education, science and culture. The signing ceremony took place at the NAESU during a meeting of the UPC Presidium.


The main task facing the Ukrainian Peace Council at the present stage is to formulate a policy aimed at achieving a sustainable, just peace in Ukraine on the strength of its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence in close cooperation and interaction with leading democratic nations and peacebuilding organizations worldwide. This was underscored in the speech by Mykhailo Zgurovsky, UPC Head and Rector of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. According to him, UNESCO is one of these organizations.


Throughout the years, UNESCO has established a total of 14 chairs at universities and research institutions across Ukraine. Unfortunately, as Mykhailo Zgurovsky pointed out, only 12 chairs are actually operating in the context of the war, and they have become the signatories to the memorandum.


Specifically, these chairs operate at Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the State Biotechnology University, the International Scientific and Technical University named after Academician Yury Bugai, the Institute for Problems of Cryobiology and Cryomedicine under the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the Kharkiv National Automobile and Highway University, the International Research and Training Center for Information Technologies and Systems under the National Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University, the Ivan Ziazun Institute of Pedagogical and Adult Education under NAESU, the National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, and the Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music.


The main directions of these chairs' activities encompass the preservation of cultural heritage; media and information literacy to foster dialogue, understanding and tolerance; the use of science and technology for peace-building and sustainable development; intercultural dialogue through cultural exchanges and festivals; the introduction of training programs, seminars and resources to resolve conflicts, achieve reconciliation and build up dialogue; as well as advocacy and development of policy to promote peace, intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity on national and international levels.

"These instruments and strategies of the UNESCO chairs in Ukraine largely align with the policy principles of the Ukrainian Peace Council, the National Academy of Educational Sciences and the Junior Academy of Sciences, which became the basis for the establishment of close cooperation between our organizations and our intentions to sign a memorandum of cooperation," Mykhailo Zgurovsky said.


“In the near future, plans are in hand to stage a series of systematic events in accordance with the duties as required by the rules of UNESCO, UPC, NAESU and the NAS especially ahead of the 80th anniversary of UNESCO, which the world public will celebrate in November 2025, and the 70th anniversary of Ukraine's joining this organization.


“And the first joint event was the International Scientific and Practical Conference titled ‘World Cultural Heritage in the Context of the New International Order.’ It was hosted by the UNESCO chair at the Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music in conjunction with the Ukrainian Peace Council and other co-organizers in December 2023.”

According to Mykhailo Zgurovsky, the common tasks of the signatories will be to exchange knowledge and best practices through conferences, round tables, seminars, trainings, internships, and charity concerts. These endeavors aim to encourage international cooperation in education, science, and culture; ensure equal access to quality education, preserve cultural heritage, promote the free flow of information and mutual understanding; support research and innovation in education, science, and culture; as well as to protect human rights in the realms of education and culture.


"Why is this work important today? We understand the morale of our society, and our activities should be directed towards supporting our society and a belief that Ukraine is invincible," emphasized Mr. Zgurovsky.


Moreover, the meeting considered several other important matters. UPC Deputy Head Valerii Tsybukh informed the Presidium members about arrangements for the International Ecology and Peace Forum initiated by the Ukrainian Peace Council. The forum is expected to take place this May at Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute with the aim of involving a wide public in solving vital environmental issues during the war and post-war periods in Ukraine and beyond, recognizing that ecology has no borders. The proposed topic is directly related to the UPC Action Program, and the environment, as far as is known, has a direct influence on the state of peace in the world.


The purpose of the Forum is to unite the wide public, scientists and educators, youth, and international colleagues, concentrating efforts on implementing important innovative projects to improve the environment. And there is a reliance on the competence of experts and participants in the All-Ukrainian Innovation Ecosystem "Sikorsky Challenge Ukraine", who have the 12-year experience to conduct innovative forums that directly influence the solution of environmental problems.


Valerii Tsybukh noted that this significant event conforms to the UPC's Action Program during the period of martial law in Ukraine. This Program is in line with Ukrainian government action plans unveiled recently at the ‘Ukraine. Year 2024’ summit. Furthermore, the Forum will contribute to the implementation of the eighth point of the Ukrainian Peace Formula – prevention of ecocide – and will focus on the problems of humanitarian demining, restoration of energy infrastructure, and environmental security, among others.


The Ukrainian Peace Council will also co-host the conference "Russia-Ukraine War. Prospects for the Preservation of Peace in Europe," scheduled for April, in partnership with the Universal Peace Federation.


Also, Valerii Tsybukh informed the participants in the meeting about the implementation of the UPC Action Program during martial law, reviewing initiatives and measures aimed to support the national policy and the Ukrainian Peace Formula. For the period under review, the UPC leadership participated in numerous scientific and practical conferences on international relations, UNESCO activities, cybersecurity, business and trade promotion. The great amount of humanitarian and volunteer work has been done, including involvement in the transfer of ambulances, medical equipment, and drones to the frontline. Mr. Tsybukh mentioned a meeting with representatives from Northwell Health, the U.S. large healthcare provider, which joined the prosthetics project.

Over a span of 12 months, the Ukrainian Peace Council made several statements on major events in Ukraine and the world, as well as in support of the Ukrainian Peace Formula. In addition, UPC submitted an application to the UN ECOSOC Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations to achieve consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. The application was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Mission of Ukraine to the UN and is slated for consideration either this summer or next winter. The meeting participants made favorable comments on the results of UPC's activities within the period under review.


The participants were also apprised of a letter from the NGO ‘Union of Women of Ukraine,’ proposing cooperation with UPC. It is envisaged that the cooperation will be translated into concrete initiatives in the near future.

The UPC Presidium endorsed the inclusion of two candidates in its Advisory Board, namely Myroslav Vantukh, People's Artist of Ukraine, CEO and Artistic Director of the Pavlo Virsky Ukrainian National Folk Dance Company, awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine; and Herman Makarenko, People's Artist of Ukraine, conductor of the Taras Shevchenko National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater of Ukraine, UNESCO Artist for Peace, head of the UNESCO chair at the Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music. The UPC Presidium awarded the Order of Peace 2nd Class to Mr. Makarenko on that day.




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