On July 10, 2020, the International Institute of Education, Culture and Diaspora Relations, Lviv Polytechnic National University, held an online meeting «Why is cultural diplomacy important? The experience of Ukrainians in France» with Victoria Dellinger, co-founder of the Center Anne de Kyiv in France.
The participants of the event were also: Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy Saint-Volodymyr the Great of Paris of the Ukrainians for France, Benelux and Switzerland of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Professor Yurii Bobalo, Rector of Lviv Polytechnic National University, Danylo Yarema, Consul of France in Lviv, Oksana Yurynets, People’s Deputy of Ukraine of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the VIII convocation, Professor at Lviv Polytechnic, member of the NGO National Interests Advocacy Network ANTS, Mariia Kupriianova, Executive Director at the Ukrainian World Congress and Iryna Kliuchkovska, Director of IECDR as well as representatives of Ukrainian communities abroad, academic staff and students. The meeting was moderated by Andrii Yatsiv, Deputy Director of IECDR.
The key topic of discussion was the cultural diplomacy and experience of the Center Anne de Kyiv in France. The institution is located in the medieval town of Sanlis, near Paris, and, despite its short existence, managed to become a leading Ukrainian cultural center in Europe.
The meeting was opened by Yurii Bobalo, Rector of Lviv Polytechnic National University, who noted that the establishment of the Center Anne de Kyiv in France, a unique place based on values and with a clear mission to promote European Ukraine to the European community, is, without exaggeration, a new page in the modern history of our country. According to Yurii Bobalo, communication with Victoria Dellinger and leaders of Ukrainian origin abroad, in the framework of meetings systematically organized by IECDR, is a very valuable experience for Lviv Polytechnicians and all those involved in these events.
The main guest of the event was Victoria Dellinger, co-founder of the Center Anne de Kyiv in France, an expert on international relations, communications, partnerships and development, a public and cultural activist of Ukrainian origin who lives in Paris and works at UNESCO headquarters.
Oksana Yurynets, People’s Deputy of Ukraine of the VIII convocation, Professor at Lviv Polytechnic, drew attention of the participants to the importance of interaction of state institutions with Ukrainian cultural institutions in the world, which implement principles of cultural and public diplomacy. According to Oksana Yurynets, these tools significantly strengthen Ukraine on the information front.
Mariia Kupriianova, Executive Director of the UWC, noted that IECDR is today a trendsetter of topical and interesting discussions. She presented to meeting participants the Ukrainians World Congress projects on public and cultural diplomacy. According to Mz. Kupriianova, the UWC today serves as a global network of Ukrainian cultural diplomacy that opens Ukraine to the world, and unites the Ukrainians and friends of Ukraine around common values. According to Mariia Kupriianova, today it is non-governmental organizations and civil society that play a key role in building cultural diplomacy, as exemplified by the Center Anne de Kyiv.
Iryna Kliuchkovska, Director of IECDR and initiator of the event, stressed that today cultural diplomacy is a multi-vector, multidisciplinary form of activity that involves large-scale cultural exchange between ordinary people and complements foreign policy.
Despite the limited event regulations, a number of important and topical issues, raised by the participants in Zoom and Facebook, were discussed at the meeting. In particular, one of the key topics was the involvement of state and business institutions as stakeholders and patrons of Ukrainian cultural institutions abroad and in Ukraine.