ARCHIVED – Backgrounder — Canada and Ukraine bilateral relations

Canada and Ukraine enjoy close bilateral relations based on historic ties of friendship forged through generations of Ukrainian migration to Canada. Today, these relations have moved beyond their roots in the community of 1.2 million Canadians of Ukrainian origin to produce a mature, balanced and mutually beneficial 21st century partnership.

Since 1991, Canada has invested considerable effort and resources in support of Ukraine’s democratic transformation and political and economic reform as well as its integration into Euro-Atlantic and international structures and institutions. These efforts have further accelerated since the “Orange Revolution” of December 2004. Canadian election observers have helped ensure free and fair Ukrainian presidential elections in December 2004, in January-February 2010 as well as parliamentary elections in March 2006 and September 2007.

The deployment of a contingent of 425 short-term election observers will provide a significant contribution to international efforts to monitor Ukraine’s 33,540 polling stations. Election observers will be paired in groups of two and will be assigned to an average of ten polling stations per group. This will ensure that Canadian observers cover a representative sampling of six percent of polling stations. In addition, 75 Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) funded long-term observers will be deployed in August to ensure optimal coverage of Ukraine’s 25 regions with three long-term observers per region.

The Electoral Observation Mission will be active for a period of eight months, ending in early 2013. The executing partner for this project is CANADEM. The $8.9 million funding that will be provided will be delivered under the auspices of the five-year CANADEM–CIDA Framework Arrangement for International Election Observation (December 2008-December 2013) that sets out the general terms for the administration, management and funding parameters of CANADEM’s International Election Observation Project.


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