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Introduction

         Speaking about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in the system of executive authorities, its activity is directly or indirectly related to almost all aspects of life of Ukrainians. Therefore, all chapters of the Program of Actions of the new Government are somehow related to Ukraine’s interaction with the external world.

         Speaking about Faith as the basis of spiritual renascence of the people, we cannot but mention the formation of a new global image of Ukraine and its active foreign humanitarian policy.

         Justice means increased attention, including attention to the protection of rights and interests of Ukrainians abroad.

         Internal personal Harmony is impossible not only without harmony in relations between the human being and the state, but also without harmony in Ukraine’s international relations.

         The improvement of Life of each citizen of Ukraine is inseparably linked to the inflow of foreign investment and implementation of large-scale international projects.

         Ukrainians’ personal Security means their protection from both domestic and external threats.

         Finally, the World saw a changed Ukraine, and we can consolidate universal values of democracy, human rights, supremacy of law and freedom of media in our country.

         Hence, moving towards the people, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has established the following priorities of its activity for 2005:

          Task One: Ukrainian Diplomacy towards the People – MFA Renewal Program

          What does it mean?

         First of all, further systematic changes of the Ministry’s activity, enabling optimization of its work in accordance with the best European models.

         The network of diplomatic missions of our state abroad will be consistently and sensibly reformed. The goal of the reform is clear: Ukraine must be adequately represented in places where the state and its citizens have evident political, economic and humanitarian interests.

         The essence of daily work of Ukraine’s diplomatic service should be transparent and understandable for the Ukrainian society. Contacts with regions will be a leading component, and public awareness campaigns on the national foreign policy priorities will be held there regularly. Feedback with the Ukrainian diplomacy, which will be aware of real needs of the society and encourage interregional business and human contacts with foreign partners, will be ensured through MFA regional representative offices, the number of which will grow and functions broaden.

         We will encourage public sector’s interest in foreign policy through the Public Council of MFA and other fora; we will not leave out useful initiatives and ideas.

         The priority for us is to ensure real dialogue with the individual.

         Immediate steps will be taken to realize the basic principle: accessibility of consular/legal services. Ukrainian nationals will obtain a possibility to establish contacts with their embassy or consulate and to obtain timely and proper protection, support and assistance.

         Those diplomatic officers who discredit themselves by bribes, incompetence and disrespectful attitude towards fellow countrymen will be brought to responsibility.

         Starting this year, operative centers for rendering assistance to Ukrainian labor migrants will be created at the MFA, regions of our country and in countries where many Ukrainian nationals work.

         High skills of diplomatic officers and their attention to each Ukrainian national form the basis of people-oriented efficient diplomacy. The system of recruitment to diplomatic service will be as transparent as possible.

          What benefit will be reaped by the country and people from this?

         The Ukrainian nationals will be proud of the policy of their state at the international arena.

         They should be certain that the national foreign policy is connected to their lives, needs and values. That’s not an abstract matter, but a practical and real one.

         And the most important – each Ukrainian will know that the Ukrainian state will not step aside from him, but will immediately help and protect him in any part of the world.

         Task Two: Open the World for Ukrainians

         What does it mean?

Democratic Ukraine is profoundly changing the Ukrainians’ image abroad. The whole world became interested in us.

What prevents our broader communication? Strict visa regimes, primarily with most European countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will work actively to liberalize border crossing regime for Ukrainians.

The MFA will strive to implement the idea of creation of a Common Readmission Space of EU, Ukraine and Russia. This means the signing of agreements on readmission of illegal migrants, which should efficiently counter illegal migration to Ukraine and security threats, as well as become an important factor of regional stability.

The MFA will work on Ukraine’s accession to the European Agreement on the Youth Card, Agreement on the European Languages Centre, and the Bologna Process. That’s exactly the case when comparatively small budget funds are more than compensated by youth exchange and Ukraine’s accession to the European educational and scientific space.

The MFA will activate negotiations in order to reinforce legal protection of Ukrainian labor migrants and simplify employment procedures for our fellow citizens abroad, as is already the case in Greece, Portugal and Spain.

What benefit will be reaped by the country and people from this?

         Due to these steps, Ukrainian citizens will be able to actively participate in the realization of Ukraine’s European policy. This will become an effective tool for spreading European values and standards among Ukrainians and popularization of new democratic Ukraine among other Europeans.

         Ukrainian diplomas will be recognized in Europe. The Ukrainians will be able to obtain decent conditions at the European labor market and will be included into the EU legal field.

         The Passport of Citizen of Ukraine should become a source of pride and respect worldwide, and its owner should be surely protected in any part of the world.

         Task Three: The Borders of Ukraine: Transparent for People and Business, Closed for Criminals

         What does it mean?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be an active conductor of the policy of the highest possible simplification of the border control procedures for travelers and carriers. This will provide for the favorable regime of border crossing by the citizens of Ukraine, handling of the domestic goods, realization of the transit potential of our state, attraction of the international tourism to Ukraine.

         At the same time, the transparency of borders must not affect the security of our citizens. The borders must be closed for the terrorist threats, criminality, drug and human traffic. 

         Just taking into account this fact and keeping in mind the security of the neighbor countries, the MFA shall endeavor to accomplish the processes of legal formalization of the state border along its perimeter.

         Wide implication of the international financial and technical aid for building up of the boundary infrastructure shall remain the fundamental factor.

What benefit will be reaped by the country and people from this?

The state borders, secured by the international law, are an integral part of the state security of Ukraine.

         Delimitated and demarcated borders shall become a reliable barrier in the way of illegal migrants and dealers, terrorists and international criminals. At the same time, they shall in no way restrict the right of the law abiding citizens and business circles of Ukraine and all its neighbours to continue visiting their relatives or doing business. The civilized borders shall become a visiting card of Ukraine for the foreign visitors.

         Task Four: European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Means First of All Democratic Values and Standards

         What does it mean?

European and Euro-Atlantic integration is the basis of the foreign policy of Ukraine.

The basis for the Euro-integration must be formed by the Ukraine-EU action plan, which shall adequately conform to the present-day realities of our relations with the EU, and shall contain the tasks, which accomplishment shall lead Ukraine out to the qualitatively new level of relations with this organization. The MFA shall continue its active political and diplomatic work in order to provide for the achievement of the particular, phased results in the negotiation process with the EU.

The embodiment of such goals as granting Ukraine the status of the market economy state, completion of negotiations on joining the WTO and the beginning of work on creation of the free trade area between Ukraine and the EU shall become the current indicators of the progress in the above activities.

Ukrainian diplomacy shall concentrate on establishing the qualitatively new, dynamic and mutually beneficial relations with Brussels, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome and all other European capitals interested in strengthening of the all-European political, economic, cultural and security areas.

Among priorities shall be the work aimed at involvement of the advisory and financial assistance on the part of the EU for introduction of the European standards in the Ukrainian legislation.

The absolute diplomatic assistance shall be given to the implementation of the joint economic projects with the EU.

A special position of importance in our work shall be occupied by political and diplomatic support to the cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the safety sphere, including peacekeeping activities and settling conflicts still existing in our region.

In this context, the Ukrainian diplomatic service shall take care of the development of close cooperation of the state with the North-Atlantic Alliance. This will provide for the systemic work both on the political and security levels.

In cooperation with NATO we shall concentrate the primary attention on implementation of the practical projects. Our goal is to assist in implication of the experience, potential and resources to our interaction in the sphere of remaking of the armed forces, response to the emergency situations, renovation of the military facilities, fighting terrorism and elimination of arms and ammunition.

What benefit will be reaped by the country and people from this?

The success on the path to the European and Euro-Atlantic integration means the European standards of welfare, social guaranties, medical care, ecology, labor legislation as well as security and stability.

The European integration also means new opportunities to deepen cooperation with our neighbors, first and foremost with the Russian Federation.        The success of Ukraine on this path shall result in the new benefits and positive matters for all our regional partners.

This is quite a realistic goal, the positive results of which attainment shall be tangible for every citizen of Ukraine. 

         Task Five: Foreign-Economic Activity is a Guarantee of the Prosperity of the State, its Energy Security, and the Creation of New Workplaces

          What does it mean?

         Under conditions of market economy the mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to assist Ukrainian producers to establish contact with foreign partners and to facilitate the inflow of foreign funds into our state.

         The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will render system assistance to the development and strengthening of the national production potential through ensuring both positive image and the investment appeal of Ukraine.

         Diplomats will take part in organizing specialized international conferences, in particular in the investment forum "Ukrainian Davos," in promoting national know-how and services to new markets, first of all in the spheres of aircraft building and shipbuilding, space exploration, information technique.

         Because of considerable dependence of Ukraine on one source of energy resources supply the diversification of ways and sources of supplying them to Ukraine should be a priority. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will facilitate tackling this issue through the support to be rendered to Ukrainian specialized companies in their work in markets of both countries of Persian Gulf and Africa and those of other regions.

          What benefit will be reaped by the country and people from this?

         This activity will have direct impact on the increase in the volumes of domestic production and strengthening the competitiveness of the national economy in word markets, the filling of state budget. It will facilitate both settling pressing problems, in particular by creating additional workplaces, and improving living standards of the people.

          Task Six: Ukrainian Culture in the World. Entering the World Civilization Space

          What does it mean?

         Ukrainian culture should become recognizable in the world.

         Ukrainian artists and academics can rely on our assistance and help for the sake of participation in international fora and moves.

         We will be concerned about overcoming the present isolation of Ukrainian intellectual and creative elite from the basic networks and channels of communication, modern civilization processes.

         We are ready to assist the participation of representatives of education, science, culture, the mass media of Ukraine in international non-governmental organizations.

         The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be concerned about the participation of Ukrainian citizens in international years and world campaigns to be declared by international organizations. The declaration of Kyiv as "European region of 2005" is a special opportunity.

         The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will facilitate both the creation of organization principles and the beginning of activities of information and cultural centers of Ukraine.

         The participation of Ukraine in the activity of UNESCO will be more purposeful. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will facilitate both the establishment of the Foundation for Support to Activities of the National Commission on UNESCO and inclusion of the Ukrainian projects "Trypillia Civilization" and "Establishment of Artek International Child Center" in UNESCO program.

         Within the framework of specific foreign-policy popularization moves the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will propagandize, abroad, the best achievements of the cultural heritage of Ukraine.

         We intend to assist in searching new forms of foreign support to the renewal, in Ukraine, of cultural centers of universal importance, remarkable architectural monuments and historic places.

         The work associated with the restitution of Ukrainian cultural values, first of all those which are of exceptional value for Ukraine, will be a priority.

         We intend to begin the work associated with systemizing and searching, abroad, Ukrainian files, museum collection and artistic works. The Ukrainian state should know and properly care for the preservation, in the world, of all evidences of the presence of Ukrainian culture.

         Our presence in the world is inseparably linked with the life of foreign Ukrainians, i. e. Ukrainian diaspora. We have the moral obligation to protect national needs and rights of everybody who considers himself to be a member of  Ukrainian community. Consequently, we will pay our attention to the concentration of efforts of the whole Ukrainian community for the purpose of rendering assistance to those who need it above all, both to the West and to the East from Ukraine.

          What benefit will be reaped by the country and people from this?

         These measures should strengthen the cultural dimension of the foreign policy of Ukraine, disseminate information about modern Ukraine and its spiritual wealth. Consequently, attention to Ukraine and Ukrainians will increase in the world. Let us learn to respect ourselves, and we will be respected by others.

          Concluding remarks

         The fulfillment of the above mentioned priorities depends not only on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but also on other ministries and offices of Ukraine as well as on our foreign partners.

         But it is unambiguous that there will be progress and specific results. And these will be noted by citizens of Ukraine.