The Permanent Mission of Ukraine hosted a meeting on occasion of the 82nd anniversary of the Holodomor famine in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The famine was an effort by the dictator Joseph Stalin to eliminate the Ukrainian independence movement, and it resulted in the deaths of 7-10 million people, which was nearly a quarter of Ukraine’s rural population. 25,000 people died per day, and 3 million children were senselessly murdered. The Soviet regime established unreachable grain quotas, confiscated foodstuffs, and closed Ukraine’s borders with no food and no chance to escape. Therefore, the famine is considered to be a genocide, which the UN defines as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”.
The meeting was also held to honor the recent resolution passed by the UN, which marks December 9 as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of This Crime. The speaker was Mr. Yuriy Sergeyev, who said that like the Holodomor genocide, food insecurity continues to be employed and used as political weapons. However, he explained that politically induced famines cannot occur in societies with democratic regimes, and thus, the simple solution is democracy. In addition, he stated that international societies like the UN have a responsibility to secure the protection of literacy, education, development, human rights, and freedom. Mr. Sergeyev noted that the meeting was also held to keep the memory of those who died during the genocide, and make sure that the world will understand the magnitude of the genocide to ensure an atrocity like this will never happen again. After the speaker, students from the Self-Reliance School of Ukrainian Studies recited poems and sang songs.
Meeting: Special event on “Combating Food Insecurity: Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine” (on the occasion of the eighty-second anniversary of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine) (organized by the Permanent Mission of Ukraine)
Date/Location: Wednesday December 9, 2015, 13:15 – 14:30; Conference Room 8
Speakers: Mr. Yuriy A. Sergeyev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Permanent Mission of Ukraine
Written By: WIT Representative Kangho (Paul) Jung
Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick
Photo Credit: Boston University