Sep 21, 2012

Sponsor: NED

Ukraine’s 2013 Chairmanship of the OSCE: The Role of Civil Society

a panel discussion featuring

Oleh Rybachuk, New Citizen Civic Campaign
Yevhen Hlibovytsky, The Nestor Group
Oleksandr Sushko, the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation.

About the Event

At a time when its democratic transition is backsliding and parliamentary elections are pending, Ukraine is preparing to assume the OSCE chairmanship in January 2013. In an address to the OSCE Permanent Council, Foreign Minister Gryshchenko stressed his government’s commitment to strengthening the organization and promoting its values. Outlining an agenda that focused heavily on security priorities, he also emphasized that Ukraine would devote special attention to the human dimension, including promoting freedom of speech, tolerance, gender equality and other human rights issues. The agenda notably indicated that there would be a special emphasis on promoting NGO participation in realizing OSCE objectives in this area. At the same time, the chairmanship will offer NGOs a unique opportunity to monitor the country’s compliance with international democratic norms and human rights standards.

In the aftermath of the parliamentary elections, the 2013 Chairmanship will offer civil society the chance to draw both domestic and international attention to Ukraine’s increasing democratic deficit. Oleh Rybachuk from the New Citizen Civic Campaign, Yevhen Hlibovytsky of The Nestor Group, and Oleksandr Sushko, from the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation provided greater insight on these issues.

About the Speakers

Oleh Rybachuk is a civil society activist and politician who specializes in issues related to Euro-Atlantic integration. Within the third sector, he has helped to launch the New Citizen Civic Campaign and CHESNO Civic Movement, and is a co-founder of the NGO “Center UA”. Oleh has also held numerous political appointments, including Chief of Staff to President Yushchenko.

Yevhen Hlibovytsky is a member of The Nestor Group, a multidisciplinary team of experts that is developing a vision for Ukraine 2025. He heads up a think tank which studies values and their impact on developments in the former Soviet States. Yevhen has worked as a journalist and has been active in the freedom of speech movement. Since 2006, he has been engaged by the office of OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media as an expert in the countries of the former USSR.

Oleksandr Sushko works with the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, a Kyiv-based NGO that promotes the idea of European and Euro-Atlantic integration within Ukrainian society. The Institute is currently overseeing a program that will monitor Ukraine’s 2013 OSCE chairmanship.