LVIV (QHA) -

On Sunday, October 23, Lviv hosted a forum of national and cultural communities "25 years together in the independent Ukraine," initiated by the Department for Culture, Nationalities and Religions of the Lviv Regional Council. 
A round table forum was attended by representatives of national-cultural public organizations and diplomatic missions. 

The forum was opened by Sinyutka Oleg, Head of the Lviv Regional State Administration.

“No nation or society should feel discomfort in their activities, being the Lviv residents of different origin; for we are all citizens of one country, Ukraine, and all worry about its destiny,” Sinyutka said in his welcoming speech.

"In the past there was a myth that here, in western Ukraine, there is a total majority of Ukrainians, but in fact, all nationalities feel comfortable here. Even in the East of the country, the representatives of different ethnic groups fight for the integrity of our state. This war has united us even more,” said the Deputy Head of the Lviv Regional Council Vladimir Girnyak.

During the round table discussion it was stressed that representatives of national minorities make up about 12% of the total population of the region having registered 57 national-cultural organizations.

During the forum, the participants exchanged their ideas on how to improve communication between representatives of different nationalities. In particular, Christina Berehovska, Director of the Department for Culture, Nationalities and Religion, said that currently the main goal is to create a "House of National Cultures" – the united center, open to all ethnic groups.

The Head of Assembly of Nationalities in Ukraine Rovshan Tagiyev said that one should not lose touch with his/her historical homeland, and bring out investments in Ukraine.

“Many people think: "What can Ukraine do for me?" But as for me, you should also ask yourself: "What can I do for Ukraine?", because we need to attract more investments,” said Tagiyev.

The forum was also attended by representatives of the Crimean Tatar community Alim Aliyev and Khalil Khalilov.

“It is very important to be responsible not only for your ethnicity, but also for the society in which we live. It will help us in building inter-ethnic, inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue,” Aliyev said.

Following the forum, the participants adopted a memorandum calling for the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to uphold the law "On the Concept of Ethnic Development."

After the round table the participants of the forum with various national teams held a procession, carrying a 150-meter flag of Ukraine, followed by a concert at the square in front of the monument to Taras Shevchenko.

QHA