- Dr. David Donat Cattin, Secretary-General, Parliamentarians for Global Action;
- Mr. Ali Ehsassi, MP (Canada), Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and other Crimes against Humanity; Chair of PGA Canada National Group and PGA Board Member;
- Ms. Anita Vandenbeld, Member of Parliament of Canada, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development;
- Ms. Yevheniya Kravchuk, MP, PGA member, Deputy Head of the Servant of the People caucus in the Verkhovna Rada, Deputy Chair of the Rada’s Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy;
- Ms. Ivanna Klympush-Tsintzadze, MP, Chair of Rada’s Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the European Union, Former Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine (2016 – 2019);
- Ms. Maryna Bardina, PGA member, Deputy Chair of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation, Chair of the Subcommittee on Ukraine’s Compliance with International Commitments in the Field of Human Rights and Gender Policy;
- Ms. Kasthuri Patto, MP (Malaysia), President of PGA.
The event was organized on May 12, the 78th day of the full-scale war waged by the Russian Federation against Ukraine. The purpose of the event was to convey information about the endless war crimes against the people of Ukraine, the current situation, and the position of the Agency for Legislative Initiative and Ukrainian parliamentarians to the world community firsthand.
Therefore, in the context of its activities and taking into account the constitutionally defined role of the Parliament (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine) in matters of war and peace, territorial change, and ratification of international agreements, the Agency for Legislative Initiative in partnership with the Parliamentary Centre (Canada) within the project “Parliamentary Accountability of the Security Sector of Ukraine” (PASS Ukraine), which is implemented with the support of the Ministry of International Affairs of Canada (Global Affairs Canada), the Peace and Stability Program (PSOPs) together with the international network – Parliamentarians for “Global Action” (PGA) organized and involved Ukrainian, Canadian and other parliamentarians from member countries (PGA) to discuss developments, the work and role of Ukrainian parliamentarians, prospects for countering future threats, and the needs and options for international support during the war.
International Network – Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) – a platform that brings together parliamentarians from around the world, as well as many other platforms already in use, plays a role in shaping the only right, the only possible attitude to Russia as an aggressor country, a country that has no place in the modern world, and which must be disposed of to save not only what has already been achieved by world civilization, but also all living things.
Parliamentarians, who are increasingly at risk, now play a key role in bringing together allies and friends from around the world into a common united front: the pursuit of peace, justice, and accountability, and the defense of democracy, its principles, and institutions. To this end, the event was attended by Ukrainian parliamentarians, two of whom are members of the PGA – Yevheniya Kravchuk and Maryna Bardina together with Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze told their foreign colleagues about what difficulties they currently face in their work, what are the future plans and what is the key assistance is now needed, both in Ukraine as a whole and in Parliament in particular.
Ukrainian MPs stressed the need for further urgent military and financial assistance to Ukraine, as well as the imposition of additional sanctions against the Russian economy. They also touched on the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Ukraine, noting that destruction and casualties are unthinkable for those who observe peace and security from afar, and stressed that the Russian invasion harms, in particular, Ukrainian women, noting that sexual violence is one the of war crimes committed by Russian soldiers.
Svitlana Matviienko, Executive Director, Agency for Legislative Initiatives, informed and reminded all participants about what is happening at this time in our country:
For 78 days now, Ukrainians have been waging a full-scale war with Russia. It is not just 78 days of struggle, it is 78 days of horror, constant crimes, murder of civilians, children, deportation, rape, kidnapping, and torture. Today, CNN released another video of the killing of civilians. Russian soldiers shot two men in the back who shared cigarettes with them. Unfortunately, this is not the first video and probably not the last.
The struggle that Ukraine is waging is difficult. Ukrainians are fighting not only for our country. Ukraine is a place where international law and international order have been violated most brutally. This violation was committed by a member of the UN Security Council, a state that must be the guarantor of world order and international law. Ukraine is a place where the fate of the future world order is being decided. Ukrainians are now proving that justice and order are more important than the right of the stronger. If Ukraine is left without the help of the world and Russia wins, it will be a clear signal to other states that in the 21st century, unprovoked and unjustified war is still a relevant tool.
That is why Ukraine needs help in this struggle. Children killed by the Russians no longer need baby food, which comes in the form of humanitarian aid – these are the exact right words of our first lady. First of all, Ukraine needs weapons, because only with weapons can Ukrainians liberate cities where refugees will return, only weapons can prevent crimes against humanity, such as crimes in Mariupol, Irpin, and Bucha.
We are grateful to all international partners for their help. Representatives of the Canadian Parliament are present here. Parliamentary Centre. And we are grateful to Canada for its help. We are grateful for the weapons, we are grateful for the sanctions. We are grateful that Justin Trudeau personally came to Kyiv, showing solidarity with the Ukrainian people
Although Ukraine needs weapons first and foremost, there are other important areas. This is a question of sanctions against Russia, this is a question of imposing a trade embargo against Russia, imposing an embargo on trade in energy, oil, and gas. Oil-producing countries must increase production, thus compensating for oil coming from Russia.
Spreading information and telling the world what is happening in Ukraine is extremely important, especially for countries that still lack an understanding of Russia’s role in the biggest war in 80 years.
To this end, Ukrainian parliamentarians can use the communication and organizational capabilities of the PGA network, which will allow direct contact with parliamentarians from countries whose international position is still unclear in terms of combating unjustified armed aggression by Russia. During this event, parliamentarians have already managed to talk to representatives of Malaysia and Brazil. And we are convinced that the results of our joint work should intensify the pro-Ukrainian discourse among the decision-makers of those countries that still do not have a clear position, which in turn will accelerate our victory in this war.