Universal Peace Federation, Ukraine

Building Bridges Across Boundaries

On June 23, 2021, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in Ukraine cooperated with the Kyiv Open International University of Human Development “Ukraine” and held an online conference on the topic: “Building Bridges Across Boundaries”. This conference raises an issue about the unification of the Korean peninsula, conflicts in the Middle East, and diplomatic methods of conflict resolution. There were 40 people, and there was also a live broadcast on the Internet.




Moderators of the meeting: Dr. Mykhailo Ilin (Head of UPF in Ukraine) and Dr. Denis Kislov (Doctor of Public Administration, Head of the Department of Theory of Law and International Relations University “Ukraine”, Academician of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Sciences of Higher Education of Ukraine, Director LLC Corporate Research and Consulting International Bureau). The moderator and host of the conference is Dr. Oleksiy Fast (Candidate of Law, Deputy Dean of the Department of Theory of Law and International Relations University “Ukraine”). Speakers: Imad Zaza (President of the Syrian Diaspora in Kyiv, Ambassador of Goodwill, Member of the Coordinating Council for Human Rights of the Parliament of Ukraine), Valentyna Yefremova (Art Critic, Ambassador of Peace), Lilia Alekseychuk (Youth Ambassador of Peace), Dr. Iryna Orlovska (Candidate of Law, Associate Professor, Head of the Legal Expertise Department of the Department of Legal Protection of the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine), Dr. Borys Afanasyev (Candidate of Economic Sciences, Ambassador of Peace, Head of the Group Ambassadors of Peace in the University “Ukraine”), Dr. Victoria Savych (Candidate of Political Science, Associate Professor of the Department of Theory of Law and International and Political Relations of the University “Ukraine”) Zlata Marcinovska (Ambassador of Peace), Dr. Igor Hort (Candidate of Law, Head of the Department of Civil, Commercial, Administrative Law and Law Enforcement Activities of the Institute of Law and Public Relations of the University of “Ukraine”), Anna Semenchenko, Mohammad Farajallah (Editor-in-Chief Information Portal “Ukraine in Arabic”).

Dr. Mykhailo Ilin opened the conference. He said that on June 22 — when Ukraine was involved in World War II. On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began, as a result of which the country has been divided into two different states for 60 years. Nobody expected that our country Ukraine would be involved in an armed confrontation again. There are now more than 40 military conflicts in the world. It is no secret that even the UN, which was created to promote peace in the world, cannot cope with the burden of the problems that have fallen on our fragile planet. Dr. Mykhailo Ilin greeted everyone and encouraged everyone to learn from each other so that we could solve problems both personally and around the world.

Imad Zaza also made a welcoming speech. He also noted that the international situation is very tense, which could even lead to World War III. In fact, no one wants a war, no one wants to kill people, no one wants to be killed in Ukraine, Russia, Syria or other countries. Imad Zaza reminded that the conference is significant to find ways and means of resolving conflicts peacefully, it is also important for international law students to become politicians or diplomats and can play a crucial role in solving these problems. He also sincerely hopes that we will implement at least a few points of what will be discussed at the conference.


Valentina Efremova made a report on “The role of culture in the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula.” First, she noted that women need peace like no one else because primarily women are mothers and grandmothers, that is, those who bring up society through their children, through their example, through families. She spoke about her first visit to Korea in Seoul and Pyongyang. She was very inspired by the love of Koreans for their culture, and after visiting both Korea, she saw that culture is an essential part of the unification of the Korean Peninsula.


Lilia Alekseychuk made the following report on the topic: “International etiquette.” She said that international etiquette is significant now, especially for young people because many young people do not know the rules of etiquette and many conflicts arise because some people, workers, or diplomats may not know a particular culture or local etiquette of that country, where they come. In her report, Lilia Alekseychuk said that international etiquette rules are used regardless of country and nationality. For example, respect national traditions in food, holidays, religion, and the country’s leadership in which you are, do not compare anything with your country, do not criticize, politeness is respected everywhere, especially in Asia. However, national customs should be treated with respect and understanding in situations that conflict with generally accepted rules. 


The topic of Dr. Iryna Orlovska's report was: “Liberalization of labor legislation: Ukraine and the world.” The issue of labor relations, which we face throughout our lives, really affects, though not directly, but indirectly, the problem of our conference of building bridges between different countries. In her report, Dr. Iryna Orlovska noted that work accompanies us throughout our lives, and we exercise the constitutional right to work, according to which we all freely choose and agree to work. However, over time, some changes, and adjustments are made to the field of work. Dr. Iryna Orlovska spoke about such introductions in her report and especially emphasized that it is unnecessary to step on the rake of those people and those countries that have passed the experience of innovations, received knowledge that is better. And it is not required to copy the legislation of one country into another blindly. It all depends on the mentality of the people, on the country, on certain features, on their perception, on their level of culture, on their definiteness.


In his report on “The United Nations on the Fronts of the Struggle for Peace and Prosperity of the Peoples,” Dr. Boris Afanasyev spoke of concepts such as etiquette and conflict that are closely linked. Conflict is not a coincidence of interests at different levels, and etiquette is a norm of behavior developed by society to avoid conflicts. Also in his report, Dr. Boris Afanasyev spoke about the preconditions for the establishment of the United Nations (UN) and noted that the most important results in the UN are measures to preserve peace on the planet, to reduce arms races, to prevent the threat of nuclear war. 


One of the most important problems in building bridges across borders is the problem of tolerance, which Dr. Victoria Savych described in her report: “The phenomenon of Tolerance as a factor of interaction in conflict resolution.” “Tolerance is a manifestation of personal tolerance, restraint and respect for the individuality of each person in his communication, in his thoughts, his lifestyle and accordingly one of the important problems is the formation of civilized norms of communication, coexistence, tolerant attitude to another person, to representatives of other states. If we talk about tolerance, then of course we must pay attention to the fact that tolerance is different: political, economic, religious, racial, cultural,” — said Dr. Victoria Savych. This problem raises the main question — how to increase the level of tolerance. On what Dr. Victoria Savych answered: “Of course through communication, through cooperation, through the dissemination of information about various manifestations of sociopolitical life.”

“The impact of the military conflict on the environmental situation” is a topic that Zlata Martsynovska talked about. In her report, she was also represented by Ambassadors of Peace Alona Kurbatova and Valentin Zaremba. The study of the consequences of hostilities is a rather complex problem, given its unpleasant impact on almost all-natural environment components. For example, air pollution, land damage, soil pollution and more. The fighting also affected surface water bodies and engineering structures. It is almost impossible to analyze all the damage caused by military conflicts. The natural environment and the population have been held hostage in hostilities. In her report, Zlata Martsynovska noted that the country will face the need to address many of the environmental problems that will be inherited after the war, and this will require international assistance, huge financial, technical and organizational resources. 


Dr. Igor Hort addressed the issue of guaranteeing personal integrity and human rights in his report. This issue is significant not only for the speakers, but also for the whole society, and we face the problems of violation of these rights every day, and we know that in the Constitution of Ukraine life, honor, dignity, and inviolability are the highest social values. He said that the state undertakes to guarantee this right, but he also noted that the previous plan of human rights strategies was not implemented by 50%. In his report, he focused on several points: “Constitutional guarantees of personal integrity: ways of formation and evolution in Ukraine.”


Dr. Oleksiy Fast made a report on the topic: “Modern constitutional, legal and political relations in the context of the rule of law.” He said that it is impossible to build social bridges between different people, groups, between different states without knowing the laws of social interaction and legal laws. The operation of the laws of social interaction and legal laws leads to certain contradictions. The principle of the rule of law is designed to determine which social norm occupies a higher place in such a hierarchy of social norms and, accordingly, it must act, has an advantage over other norms. Dr. Oleksiy Fast noted that there is still no clear understanding of what the rule of law is, neither among scholars, practitioners, lawyers, nor politicians, so today this issue is open and needs to be resolved as soon as possible.

The emergence and exacerbation of the Covid-19 pandemic posed an urgent need for world politics and society to adapt the system of international cooperation to new challenges and realities, as Anna Semenchenko said in her report on “Features of negotiation culture in the context of Covid-19 online diplomacy.” As the primary means of diplomacy, negotiation processes were given the task of transforming and changing the offline format to online quickly. The successful experience of holding virtual summits has proven the effectiveness of this format in the decision-making process and provided personal security in current conditions. But there are also certain shortcomings of such a system, such as secrecy of negotiations, lack of nonverbal communication and more. However, after the coronavirus crisis, traditional diplomacy will not disappear, but will gain experience to facilitate negotiations during the digitization period, as diplomatic work contains a wide range of features and aspects that are difficult to convey virtually, as noted by Anna Semenchenko.


Mohammad Farajallah stressed the importance of adhering to international agreements. He noted that people are constantly looking for a format and rules on how to live together, and this is where the rules, laws and constitutions come from. Over time, this format has changed and the UN and international law have been created, but today there are many violations and our country is a real example that international law does not work. He said that if we do not return to international law, we will not resolve any conflicts in a civilized way and our world will once again be in chaos.


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