A series of open lectures was held at the National University “Lvivska Polytechnica” within the framework of the “Reinvent Respect” communication campaign. The events were organized by the International Center for Policy Studies (ICPS) with the participation of authoritative leaders and UNDP Tolerance Envoys in Ukraine.
During the discussion, Ukrainian writer Mariana Savka emphasized on the importance of being open to others, showing signs of tolerance. “We are all very different. Our main mission is to soften people's desire to impose their will on others, as well as open up to them. Smiling at each other every day is a good practice, because there are so many things that daily torture us. The people next to us are just the sources of our mood and a happy being”, says Savka.
According to the writer Lyubok Deresh, in Ukraine, there are now many dividing lines, around which a society is split. This also applies to linguistic issues, geographic conflicts, national and religious disputes. “Within each of us there is some kind of hostility, something that we constantly carry in ourselves. All of these can turn against us. I personally feel sorry that people become hostages of this, narrowing the perception of the world. For me personally, the future is where people are ready to share their goodwill, opening to others, "- said Deresh.
The United Nations Development Program communication campaign “Reinvent respect” aims to reduce the polarization of public opinion and strengthen dialogue among various social groups, promoting respect, tolerance and mutual understanding.
The Supervisory Board of the International Center for Policy Studies conducted a summing-up meeting
On December 28, the Supervisory Board of the International Center for Policy Studies conducted a summing-up meeting on finalizing this year's work and identifying strategic priorities for the future. During the welcoming remarks Victor Mashtabey, the Supervisory Board Chairman, noted the importance of holding Supervisory Board meetings in order to plan the efficient and coordinated work of the Center. Respectively, within the framework of the meeting was presented an overall ICPS report for 2017, during which 10 projects were implemented, 83 public events organized, which geographically covered 24 regions of Ukraine. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, member of the Supervisory Board Oleksandr Chalyi noted on the need for a clear position of the organization and key areas of activity, which would allow ICPS to take a decent place among the leading think tanks in Ukraine. The idea of creating a regional network for the spread of ideas as well as activities on the region level was also announced. Not of a less importance is the creation of a new fundraising strategy for the implementation of new projects. Strategic priorities are defined in the following: Strategic Priority No. 1 - Developing the institutional capacity of ICPS Enhancing Organizational Capacity Strengthening institutional sustainability External communications Strategic Priority No. 2 - Foreign Policy, Security and Peacebuilding Peaceful settlement European integration Strategic Priority No. 3 - Reforms implementation and “digitalization” of Ukraine Strategic priority №4 - Protection of human/civil rights and freedoms Strategic Priority No. 5 - Sustainable Economic Development Supervisory Board Member, Doctor of Historical Sciences Igor Zaloba suggested one of the possible vectors of the ICPS work to identify options for possible cooperation with active youth in the regions for the replication of successful cases. In its turn, Denis Prymaygi initiated a proposal to create new formats for ICPS analytical products, which would increase the number of those interested as well as potential stakeholders. Also, Supervisory Board members scheduled to hold a general ICPS meeting in April.
Concept of tolerance in the consciousness of the indigenous people of Crimea: parallels between the past and present
On December 11, 2017 at the Kherson State University was held a lecture by a well-known historian, publicist, TV presenter and UNDP Tolerance Envoy in Ukraine Gulnara Abdulayeva, within the communication campaign “Reinvent respect”. According to Gulnara Abuululaeva, in its broader sense, the concept of “tolerance“ means tolerance to the thoughts and actions of others, the ability to treat them understandingly. Gulnara said that tolerance is a rare personal feature, which means respect to the convictions of others. “Historically it became so that we are united with those, who share our beliefs, or with those, who speak the same language or share the same culture. At the same time, we are inclined to treat the others as “strangers” – those, who differ from us on biological, cultural or political levels. Despite the fact that the term and concept of tolerance appeared relatively recently, in the historical context, it has deep roots”, says Gulnara Abdulayeva. The event was organized by the International Center for Policy Studies (ICPS) with the support of the United Nations Development Program in Ukraine within the framework of Communication Campaign “Reinvent respect” to promote tolerance in society.
Mariana Savka: reading-performance “I Know, You Are Different”
On December 1, 2017, in the framework of communication campaign “Reinvent respect” on promotion of tolerance and mutual understanding in the community, famous writer and UNDP Tolerance Envoy Mariana Savka held a reading-performence, “I Know, You Are Different”, which took place in Odessa. During the event, Mariana Savka spoke about her own creative work, her publishing activity, the project “12 incredible women” and the importance of a proactive social position. The text of Mariana Savka "I Know, You Are Different" is her own attempt to communicate with those, who society characterizes as different. “These texts are of a universal value. Each of the stories is about the real person who is next to us. And I am not sure whether they can be called others. For others – we all, each of us, with its unique experience, challenges, victories and personal traumas. We do not live in the heavenly valley; it is not easy for us. So let's strive for good-neighborly relations, respect each other, and then our existence will beсome a little easier”, -said Savka. Especially for this project, a well-known artist from Riga, the master of the sand show Tetyana Gavrilenko created a video with her own sand animation. The United Nations Development Program project “Reinvent respect” aims to reduce the polarization of public opinion and strengthen dialogue among various social groups, promoting respect, tolerance and mutual understanding.
On tolerance in the language of art, physics and botany
On November 16, on the occasion of the International Tolerance Day, a famous Ukrainian artist Alevtina Kakhidze held a lecture «On tolerance in the language of art, physics and botany», which took place in Slavyansk in the framework of communication campaign “Reinvent respect” with the support of UN Development Program in Ukraine. According to the UNDP Tolerance Envoy in Ukraine Alevtina Kakhidze, in her works through art, she tries to reveal the notion of mutual respect to each other. “In the animal world there is a concept of murder, there are also quite aggressive species in the plant world, but at the same time it is a very vivid metaphor that helps us to distinguish certain parallels both in political and social lives. It was through the botany that I spoke about the notion of tolerance in a society”, - said Kakhidze. During the lecture, the artist also drew attention to the laws of stable and unstable systems in modern physics, among which striking parallels with modern political conflicts can be found. There was also a joint work of the artist Alevtina Kakhidze with the participants of the 7th floor Theater. During the class, the children created scenery for the performance “Prince and Predator” by Mark Twain. The events are dedicated to the International Tolerance Day and are the part of the ICPS communication campaign on promotion of tolerance and mutual understanding in the community with the assistance of the UNDP in Ukraine, the Swedish Embassy and the Swiss Embassy in Ukraine.
Culture as a war for consciousness, or how to nurture a sense of tolerance
On October 29, in the framework of the 3rd All-Ukrainian Festival “Zaporizhia Book Toloka“ was held a lecture “Culture as a War for Consciousness” during the presentation of the anniversary novel “Devastation” by the famous writer and UNDP Tolerance Envoy in Ukraine Lyubko Deresh. The writer noted that human fear and anger arise, in particular, due to the lack of respect. “In Ukraine, the prevailing approach is that tolerance is understood as the need to tolerate, and not to respect others. The discussion of own thoughts, which differ from the thoughts of others, in a narrow circle of mutual respect helps to reduce the degree of tension in society”, - notes Deresh.
The draft law on Donbas reintegration: pros and cons
On October 4, 2017, the text of the draft law “On the peculiarities of state policy on ensuring Ukraine’s state sovereignty over temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions” became available in an open access. The document (known as the draft law on Donbas reintegration) which was presented on the initiative of the President of Ukraine, aims to improve the legal regulation of the situation in eastern part of Ukraine, but does not provide a set of necessary actions for achieving this goal. “Pros and cons” of the draft law “Pros”: First, the draft law, if approved by the Verkhovna Rada, will be the first document, which at the legislative level recognizes the non-controlled areas in Eastern Ukraine as temporarily occupied territories, Russia is designated as an aggressor state with regard to the situation in Donbass, and pro-Russian militants are equated to the pro-Kremlin “puppets”. Second, the draft law on Donbas reintegration eliminates legal contradictions, in particular by allowing to abolish the ATO regime and transferring management in the front lines from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) to the Joint Operational Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Third, the draft law defines that state policy on ensuring Ukraine’s state sovereignty over temporarily occupied territories should be based on political and diplomatic means. “Cons” of the draft law: First, despite the defined objective, the draft law does not provide specific mechanisms for the restoration of state sovereignty over temporarily occupied territories. Second, the draft law does not take into account the human dimension, particularly the mechanisms for ensuring the rights and freedoms of citizens residing in non-controlled areas, such as retirement benefits, social security, administrative services etc. Consequently, serious problems can arise for Ukrainian citizens residing on these territories. Third, the preamble of this draft law refers to the evidences of Russia's aggression in Eastern Ukraine (based on the UN General Assembly resolution “Definition of Aggression”, which is a non-binding document), but ignores the undeniable facts of Russia’s aggression in Crimea. The reference to the annexation of Crimea and the inclusion of the Crimean “components” could help Ukraine achieve international recognition of Russia as an aggressor state. Four, the draft law contains a "sliding" reference to the Minsk agreements (the state authorities of Ukraine “ensure the priority of implementing the security provisions” of the Minsk agreements). Consequence, the question arises whether there is a legal contradiction in this document: the Minsk agreements recognize particular areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as a conflicting party while this draft law designates Russia as a conflicting party. Generally, the main point in the Donbas reintegration draft law is that it rather resolves operational tasks, but does not contain effective mechanisms for achieving goals of the draft law themselves, in particular the liberation of DPR/LPR-controlled territories and the protection of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of people, who have suffered from the armed conflict.