Campus News

U.S. ambassador, Ukrainian officials discuss ‘orange’ revolution

The history-making 2004 elections in Ukraine will be the focus of a special symposium at UGA on March 31. The panel of guest speakers, all of whom were involved in the “Orange Revolution,” will share their experiences and also discuss their perspectives on the election’s meaning to Ukraine’s future.

“The Orange Revolution: Emerging Democratic Values in Ukraine” will be held in Masters Hall of the Georgia Center for Continuing Education from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on March 31.

The symposium is being co-­sponsored by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government’s International Center for Democratic Governance, the School of Public and International Affairs and the Center for Humanities and Arts. Admission is free, and all are welcome.

Guest speakers will include William Green Miller, who was the United States ambassador to Ukraine from 1993 to 1998 and presently is a senior policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Miller spent six weeks in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution and was an election observer for all three rounds of Ukraine’s presidential election.

Other speakers will be Anatoliy Matvienko, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament who was part of the coalition supporting the Orange Revolution; Nadia McConnell, president of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation; and Christina Redko, coordinator of Znayu, a non-profit organization that provided grassroots education on voter rights. A question-and-answer period will follow the presentations.

Faculty members from the Vinson Institute and SPIA have been active in Ukraine since 1994, when they provided a summer program on teaching public administration for faculty members at Uzhgorod State University, according to ICDG program director Dan ­Durning.

“In the past decade, the Vinson Institute has hosted more than 50 faculty members and practitioners from Ukraine and sent more than 30 faculty members and local government practitioners to work with partners there,” Durning says.

“Because of our close ties to friends and colleagues in Ukraine, we were first scared about what would happen to the many people who were risking their lives in nonviolent opposition to the stolen election,” he also says. “We were thrilled with the resulting honest election that re-established Ukraine as a functioning democracy. We believe that the Orange Revolution was a turning point in the history of Ukraine, with important implications for the world.”