Ukraine President Assures ADL of Commitment to Counter Anti-Semitism
Kiev, Ukraine, November 14, 2007 … Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko assured a visiting delegation of Anti-Defamation League (ADL) leaders that he and his administration are firmly committed to finding effective means to prevent acts and expressions of anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Ukraine, and to vigorously investigate and prosecute perpetrators of such hate crimes. Working through the national Security Service, ADL experts will provide training on hate crimes to Ukraine's law enforcement agencies, as it does in the United States and in several countries.
The delegation of ADL senior national leadership, headed by Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, were in Kiev for meetings with government officials and representatives of the Ukraine Jewish community. The delegation met with senior officials in the Yushchenko administration, the First Deputy Foreign Minister, and the new Chief of the Department Combating Xenophobia and Anti-Semitism within the national Security Service.
The major subject of discussion focused on the recent alarming levels of anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Ukraine and the response from governmental leaders and civil society. While noting that the government has made progress in reducing the impact of anti-Semitic material originating from the campus of MAUP (the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management), ADL leaders urged the government to do more to further marginalize MAUP.
Mr. Lewy and Mr. Foxman issued the following statement:
We received strong assurances from President Yushchenko that he and his administration are firmly committed to finding effective means to prevent acts and expressions of anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Ukraine and to vigorously investigate and prosecute perpetrators of such hate crimes. We welcome the establishment of a new inter-ministerial committee under the direction of the national Security Service that is charged with the responsibility for centralizing and focusing the resources of the Ukraine government on fighting these hate crimes.
In our meeting with representatives of the national Security Service we heard in detail the plans underway to address the problems of hate crimes in Ukraine, particularly those motivated by anti-Semitism, and we were pleased that our offer to cooperate with the Security Service was accepted. ADL will be providing training to members of the Ukraine law enforcement community.
In partnership with the Jewish Community of Ukraine, ADL will help adapt its A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute® peer-training program for high school students.
We are pleased with the willingness of the Ukraine government and Jewish community to work with ADL to find ways to combat hatred, bigotry, xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Ukraine.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.