Action Plan for Canada's Foreign Policy and Technical Assistance for Ukraine

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.


Here are some ideas for Canada to consider regarding its foreign policy towards Ukraine:

  • Reaffirm internationally its support for Ukraine and elaborate further in operational terms the special relationship between the two nations
  • Develop a multi-year action plan of bilateral support and multi-lateral engagement involving key international agencies including UN, NATO, WTO, G-8, G-20, IMF, World Bank, OCSE
  • Commission an independent report on the role of Ukraine in the peace and security of Eastern Europe and the world
  • Organize a visit by the President or Prime Minister of Ukraine to Canada, on the tenth anniversary of Ukraine's independence


    After ten years of technical assistance to Ukraine, much of it dedicated to issues surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, consideration should be given to

  • Enlarging the Technical Assistance Program to more aptly reflect the strategic importance of Ukraine globally, and the fact that Ukrainians have provided an immeasurable contribution to Canada for over a century
  • Developing, with Ukraine, a comprehensive overview of governance issues, priorities and department-by-department programs for bilateral undertakings with mentoring from a respected and well run democratic country like Canada
  • Enlarging exchange programs with multiple sectors at all levels
  • Establishing a world class policy/research centre on Ukrainian issues in Canada
  • Pursuing the Ukraine initiatives with other Western partners
  • Capitalizing on the large numbers of high tech experts in Ukraine and conversely, assisting Ukraine in embracing more vigorously the internet era


    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.