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PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO KIEV, UKRAINE

14 Mai 2018

From 23 to 26 April, Mr. Dan-Viggo Bergtun, President of the WVF, visited Ukraine to meet Transition International and to attend the Veteran Empowerment and Transition Summit. 

 

The purpose of the visit was to have meetings together with Transition International (TI) to find a way to start the “Global Veteran Peace Training Initiative’’ project in Ukraine, and to attend the Veteran Empowerment and Transition Summit arranged by Texas based organization called Combined Arms. https://www.combinedarms.us .

The opportunity was also taken to visit our Member Associations, other veteran organizations and government representatives to support them in the veteran transition project.  

23rd April:

The President visited the All-Ukrainian Union War Veterans, member of the WVF.
Their new Veteran Palace is approx. 1000 square meters. It was donated by the government. Over 4 floors they coordinate all their veteran activity in Ukraine. The palace has training facilities, meeting rooms, a museum, offices and a grand hall. They also deliver free dentist and doctor services here to veterans.

The All-Ukrainian War Veterans Association was established in 1991 and today has 205 000 veteran members in 60 local branches. These include veterans from the Second World War, combatants, peacemakers and members of their families. They are a proud member of the WVF and arranged a successful meeting of the SCEA in 2011.

24-25th of April

The President and Mr. Bart van Gelderen from TI took part in the Veteran Empowerment and Transition Summit for two days.

The Veteran Empowerment and Transition Summit was a unique and innovative opportunity to share best practices and meet leaders in the space in an effort to not only improve the individual nation's veteran programming but also to assist Ukraine in the development of their budding military transition infrastructure.

The President was one of the Keynote speakers. He presented the WVF and their chance to support the veteran transition process in Ukraine together with TI. This was very welcome and would be a good start for the “Global Veteran Peace Training Initiative’’, which can be supported by V-Fonds.

Here are some of the issues that were covered during the summit.

  • INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON MILITARY TRANSITION
  • VETERANS HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH
  • FAMILY SUPPORT & SOCIAL CONNECTIVITY
  • POST-MILITARY EMPLOYMENT & PROFESSIONAL GROWTH
  • NETWORKING RECEPTION
  • APPROACHES TO PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT USING PEER-TO-PEER AND CAREGIVER SUPPORT
  • DEALING WITH MILITARY SHOCK TRAUMA. ETHICS OF SERVICE DELIVERY PROGRAMS
  • THE IMAGE OF THE VETERAN. COUNTERING THE NEGATIVE NARRATIVE ON VETERANS IN MEDIA.
  • ROLE OF NGOs AND BUSINESS IN VETERAN SERVICED PROVISION
  • PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP MODELS IN VETERANS AFFAIRS. MINISTRY OF VETERAN AFFAIRS vs DEPARTMENT AT THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
  • AUTOMATION OF SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS. DATA COLLECTION AND DATA ANALYSIS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL SUPPORT PROGRAMS.
  • THE UNITY AND INTEGRITY OF THE VETERAN COMMUNITY. BUILDING A VETERAN MOVEMENT. POSSIBILITIES TO INFLUENCE DECISIONS OF STATE AUTHORITIES

The President had meetings with key persons and they all supported the WVF and TI in this project. 

M. Bergtun also had several meetings with Mr. O. Tretiakov, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Veteran Affairs. He is the key person to establish the new Ministry of Veterans Affairs. With him, it was decided to start the project in September 2018 and he will call for a meeting.

The President was in the national media regularly during the summit and explained the importance of including the NGOs and veterans in the transition period.

Mr. Bergtun also had the chance to meet with Lt. Col. (Ret.) Yuri Donskoi from Ukrainian Peacekeepers Veterans Association to discuss cooperation. The association is a member of the Soldiers' Peace International Association (SPIA), member of the WVF. It is a support centre for soldiers and veterans who have served in peacekeeping operations abroad. Its current activity focuses on Ukrainian soldiers serving in Bosnia. The association has close contact with the UNDP office in Kiev and takes part in international conferences of SPIA, such as the International Assembly of Blue Berets in 2017, celebrating UN peacekeeping activity. The association recently conducted a seminar, "Education in Human Rights for the Military of Ukraine."

The President also visited the Veterano Resto in Kiev together with local veterans and delegates of the summit to brief them on friendship across the borders.

26th of April

Upon invitation, Mr. Bergtun had a meeting with Mr. Serhiy Kunitsyn. He is Member of the Parliament of Ukraine and Advisor to the President of Ukraine.
He is also President of the All-Ukrainian Association of Afghanistan and ATO Veterans and a candidate to become the new Veteran Minister. The project was presented to him and he found it very interesting and should support the WVF and find further ways to cooperate with the Ukrainian Government in veteran issues in the future.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serhiy_Kunitsyn

Conclusion.

Together with TI’s Mr. Bart van Gelderen, the President worked all the time with this purpose in mind and opened up new roads of cooperation in line with the upcoming “Global Veteran Peace Training Initiative’’ project in Ukraine. TI will now sit down and plan for the application form to V-Fonds to support us.

However, the representatives from the government of Ukraine also indicated that they would provide funding to support the project.