The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:
“Free and fair elections are a fundamental part of democracy. They foster transparency and promote accountability. I am pleased to announce that the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, who led the Canadian delegation of election observers for Ukraine’s presidential elections, will be returning as the head of Canada’s election observation mission during Ukraine’s upcoming parliamentary elections.
“In April, as the senior representative, Dr. Axworthy led Canada’s election observation mission and provided a thorough assessment of the electoral process in Ukraine. His stakeholder engagement and his work on issues such as foreign interference, cyber threats and women’s participation in the electoral process, shared in his report, proved to be invaluable for Ukraine and Canada. We are so pleased that Dr. Axworthy has accepted to continue in this capacity.
“Today, we also mark the deployment of 65 long-term observers to Ukraine ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections. They will continue to establish contact with local authorities and civil society, including women’s organizations and minority groups, in their areas of deployment to collect a wide range of views on all the steps of the electoral process and provide an in-depth analysis for the reports on the parliamentary elections.
“Now is the time to seize on the momentum achieved by the recent and successful presidential elections in Ukraine. In this context, we look forward to hosting the Ukraine Reform Conference on July 2 to 4, 2019, in Toronto, Ontario. The conference comes at an important time and will allow Ukraine’s international friends and partners to continue supporting Ukraine in advancing democratic and economic reforms.
“Canada can be relied upon to stand up for the people of Ukraine and for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
- Through the work of short- and long-term election observers, Canada’s efforts will support the democratic process by observing all aspects of the elections and assessing compliance with international standards for democratic elections.
- On March 31 and April 21, over 200 Canadians participated as election observers for each round of the Ukrainian presidential elections.
- The Canadian mission reported that the second round of the presidential elections were free and fair and met international standards for democratic elections.
- The first Canadian long-term election observers are arriving in Ukraine during the week of June 17.
- The short-term observers will arrive in time for the elections by mid-July.
- On December 2, 1991, Canada was the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence.
- Since January 2014, Canada has committed more than $750 million in multi-faceted support to Ukraine, encompassing a broad range of financial, development, stabilization and security, non-lethal military and humanitarian assistance.
- CANADEM has participated in over 130 missions in more than 40 countries, strengthening the democratic process globally. It has mobilized nearly 2,000 election observers to Ukraine for 11 elections since 2004.
- Mission Canada will be deploying approximately 300 long-term and short-term observers to observe the parliamentary elections scheduled for July 21.