“Modern Ukrainian Diplomatic Service: A Hundred-Year-Long Road.” This is the full name of the international conference which gathered Ukrainian diplomats and foreign ministers of various years.
The first day of the event was marked with the opening of an archive exhibit “Ukrainian Diplomacy in 1917-24: Rise of National Traditions.” For the next two days roundtable discussions are slated, in particular, on the themes of historical experience and the modern state of Ukraine’s diplomacy, as well as around the figure of Mykhailo Hrushevsky and the UNR foreign policy.
The centennial anniversary of Ukraine’s diplomacy is to take place on December 22. It was on that day, December 22, 1917, that the Chairman of the General Secretariat of the UNR Volodymyr Vynnychenko and his Secretary General for Foreign Affairs Oleksandr Shulhyn signed the Draft Bill on the Setting of the General Secretariat for Foreign Affairs. Now the date is used to mark the Day of Ukraine’s Diplomatic Service.
“It is a very important event, as it allows to remember the beginnings of the contemporary Ukrainian diplomacy and analyze both its successes and the past moments when it failed to fulfill the foreign policy challenges which the Ukrainian State faced,” said the guest of the conference, minister of foreign affairs of Ukraine in 2003-05 and 2010-12, vice prime minister of Ukraine (2012-14) Kostiantyn HRYSHCHENKO in his commentary to The Day. “The conference agenda is very busy, with lots of presentations and reports.”
“I guess we need a more systemic approach to the research into the history of Ukrainian diplomacy. This event allows to boost such activities,” emphasized our interlocutor. “As far as the Ukrainian diplomatic school goes, even back in the times of the UkrSSR Ukrainian diplomats were highly educated professionals. They did not have the opportunity to work on many topics, but Ukraine’s participation in the UN and specialized institutions allowed Ukraine, at the moment when it regained its independence, to have the basis to train the new generation of Ukrainian diplomats. Those who started in 1992-94, from the minister to his deputies, today are leaders of Ukrainian diplomacy. As far as professional qualifications are concerned, they are quite high, but there are a lot of questions concerning the current organization of diplomatic service, self-rigorousness, and systemic approach to work. Let us hope that they will be gradually solved.”