Why I care about Ukraine
Perhaps some of you have been watching the events in Ukraine of late. I certainly have, and have been dismayed by recent developments. From 2007 to 2012 I chaired the International Advisory Board of the Foundation for Effective Governance (FEG) based in Kyiv. The advisory board was constituted to guarantee the political independence of the Foundation because the funder was associated with the Party of the Regions. After making a five-year commitment of funding to the Foundation, the funder, Rinat Akhmetov, was fastidiously respectful of the independence of the Foundation’s activities. The term of the advisory board ended in December of 2012, and in fact, the foundation ceased operation in 2013.
I and the other members of the International Advisory Board, were proud of the work of the foundation with all three levels of government of the Ukraine. The mission of FEG was to promote economic reform and the Foundation engaged the services of leading international consultants and conducted its work according to international best practices. We worked with respected international organizations and sought to engender interest in Ukraine in Europe and North America.
The foundation undertook projects with a number of international partners that included the European Commission and the World Economic Forum, as well as major media outlets such as the Economist and the Financial Times. Those partners can attest to the fact that the Foundation for Effective Governance was never a vehicle for the Party of the Regions or any other political group.
When FEG was started at the end of 2007, Pres. Yushchenko was in office and we worked cooperatively with him and his office. We worked with a variety of parties at local and regional levels as well. The example set by the Foundation for Effective Governance was one of openness, transparency, and non-partisanship.
That this example has come to an end is a loss for Ukraine.
I and the members of the international advisory board brought our knowledge and perspectives from the fields of government, business, law, academia and the media to our roles of guiding the creation of the Foundation’s projects. Further, we sought to create interest in Ukraine’s activities and became goodwill ambassadors for the country.
Recent events in Ukraine cannot help but dismay anyone who hopes for a peaceful and democratic future for that country.
While I no longer have direct engagement in the region, I have encouraged my followers on social media to keep informed. The following are some of the articles that I have shared on social media.
I’m sure there are many more. Feel free to share them in the comments below.