28 June 2016
New York, NY (UCCA) – This Tuesday, June 28, marks 20 years since Independent Ukraine’s democratically elected Members of Parliament, working late into the night, delivered on the promise of drafting and ratifying a new Constitution. Of the many countries experiencing independence for the first time in decades, Ukraine took the longest to ratify its Constitution. Perhaps signifying its international importance on the world stage, agreements for Ukraine to cooperate militarily with NATO and the renouncement of its nuclear weapons were ratified before Ukraine took to finalizing its national system of law.
Ukraine, a sovereign, secular nation with a comprehensive democratic system of law and an active civil society, has continually addressed its Constitution since its enactment. With several amendments already enacted, as well as numerous cases brought before its Constitutional Court, Ukrainians are dedicated to improving their society for the benefit of its citizenry as well as the rest of the world. Drawing upon centuries of Ukrainian nation building, including the Ukrainian Constitution of Hetman Pylyp Orlyk, the drafters of Ukraine’s Constitution sought to demonstrate to the world through their work, that Ukraine was indeed a full-fledged member of the international community with respect to its principles of development and a legal framework based on the European model.
Today, Ukrainians understand well the value of that European model, as they are the only nation to have shed its own blood for voicing the desire to integrate further into the European Union. In the coming years, an Independent Ukraine will continue to chart its own course, one that will further benefit its citizens as well as the international community.
The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the nation’s largest representation of Americans of Ukrainian descent, commends this historic anniversary, and continues to support Ukraine’s sovereign right to chart its own destiny. No nation should ever be given a veto over another’s potential political alliances, nor should hostile aggressors dictate the language of another country’s constitution. For those who gave their lives defending Ukraine’s sovereign Constitution, we salute their courage and dedication to making Ukraine’s Independence a reality today.