Political recognition of the Holodomor

The Association of Ukrainians, together with community members around the country, have been working to raise the profile of the Holodomor and create a greater level of awareness amongst party leaders and Members of Parliament of all the main political parties.

Individuals have been corresponding with their local MPs and passing on information about the Holodomor. AUGB branches have been making contacts and encouraging MPs to ask questions in the House and support Holodomor commemorative events. For example, AUGB Bolton encouraged their MP, Dr Brian Iddon, to ask a question in the House about the Government's plans to promote remembrance of the Holodomor, which received an answer from Mr Jim Murphy, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Bradford's MP, Marsha Singh, tabled an Early Day Motion, which called on the Government to fully recognise the Holodomor as genocide.

AUGB Doncaster, although a small community, made immediate contact with Caroline Flint MP as soon as she was appointed to the post of Minister for Europe to seek her commitment to Holodomor commemorations.

At a Government level, President Yushchenko's visit to London in May, and his meeting with the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, led to a historic joint statement where both Governments pledged to work together to raise awareness of the Holodomor and promote commemorative events. The UK Government's pledge was made tangible in the week before the national commemoration, with letters of support from both Gordon Brown and David Miliband, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, both of which acknowledged that the Holodomor was a man-made famine and a human tragedy which deserved to be remembered.

These are all significant steps forwards, but the campaign to increase awareness needs to continue into the future until we achieve the political decision to follow other countries of the world and acknowledge the Holodomor as genocide.

Symon Cyhanko presenting his MP, Chris Mullins, with a Holodomor brochure

The Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP at the Torch of Remembrance Ceremony in Derby