New York’s Polish community is one of the most active

“The Polish diaspora in America is unique in several dimensions. Firstly, it is very well organized, secondly, it consists of many organizations that are very active, and thirdly, it is very patriotic, which it shows both in its daily work and in activities for our country” – he said ” Nowy Dziennik” Piotr Wawrzyk, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He added that all this was very clearly visible and felt at the meetings in which he participated during the past weekend.

Wojtek Maślanka

The visit of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs to the United States was related to the celebration of the National Constitution Day of May 3rd. As part of it, Piotr Wawrzyk visited Chicago, Doylestown and New York. In the Windy City, on Saturday, May 6, he took part in the Polish community parade. A day later, he visited American Częstochowa, where he laid wreaths at the veterans’ cemetery, participated in a solemn Holy M. and met with Polonia. Also on Sunday, May 7, he visited the Józef Piłsudski Institute in Greenpoint. An intimate meeting was held at its headquarters, during which the secretary of state had the opportunity to meet representatives of various Polish diaspora organizations. Deputy Minister Wawrzyk was accompanied by Sławomir Kowalski, Director of the Department of Cooperation with the Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Adrian Kubicki, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in New York, and his deputy, Stanisław Starnawski. The delegation from Poland had the opportunity to see the collections of the Józef Piłsudski Institute, but also – thanks to the meeting with representatives of several Polish organizations – to get acquainted with their activities. It was also an opportunity to discuss the challenges facing the Polish Diaspora in the coming years. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Board of Directors of the Józef Piłsudski Institute: Vice-President Dr. Artur Kowalski and Director Alicja Winnicka, as well as Director of Development Ada Niedzwiedzka. Among the invited guests were President of the Polish-Slavic Center Marian Żak, Vice-President of the ociation of Polonia Football Clubs Wojciech Ziębowicz, Representative of the New York Club of “Gazeta Polska” Andrzej Sito with his wife, Executive Director of the Nowodworski Foundation Jerzy Leśniak also representing the ociation of Veterans of the Polish Army in America, representatives of the NYPD Pulaski ociation Milena and Tymon Meehans, as well as the Executive Director of the Children’s Smile Foundation, Wojciech Maślanka, also representing the editorial staff of “Nowy Dziennik”.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Piotr Wawrzyk (fifth from the right) with a delegation and representatives of Polish community organizations

During the meeting, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, whose responsibilities include, among others, taking care of the consular service and cooperation with the Polish diaspora, thanked the board of the Józef Piłsudski Institute for taking care of the collections and documents containing – as he stated – “institutional memory of the Second Polish Republic and its glorious achievements”. “Thank you very much for the daily work that you put into cultivating this memory,” emphasized Piotr Wawrzyk, adding congratulations on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Józef Piłsudski Institute in America. He also expressed gratitude to the other organizations whose representatives were present at the meeting. “Thank you for your daily work to cultivate the memory and history of Poland and for your attachment to the values ​​that constitute us in Polish culture, language and art. I would also like to thank you for what you do on a daily basis in the field of promoting and popularizing Polish culture and language, because thanks to this, Polonia functions very well in the United States, and thanks to this, the New York one is one of the best organized and most dynamically operating, “said the secretary of state .

Due to the fact that the competences of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Piotr Wawrzyk include, among others, care of the consular service and cooperation with the Polish diaspora, the discussion part of the meeting focused mainly on matters related to these topics. Representatives of the Polish community inquired about the upcoming elections, signaled problems related to polling stations created in centers and clusters where Polish citizens live, and the issue of the need to have a valid Polish pport to be able to vote.

The secretary of state also emphasized that in the upcoming elections it is not only about who wins them, but above all about what the Republic of Poland will look like after the elections – whether it will be a country that loses its subjectivity or a country that has it, maintains and develops. He noted that this issue is best demonstrated by the attitude towards Ukraine in the last few years. “Please pay attention to how Poland reacted to what was happening in Ukraine in 2014. She didn’t really react. And what happened? Ukraine had to succumb to the dictates of Russia, and not only that. In 2022, however, it was Poland, together with the United States, that set the tone for world politics,” emphasized Piotr Wawrzyk. He added that the proof of the serious treatment of our country by world leaders is the fact that the news that Russia will attack Ukraine, the Americans were handed over not to Germany or the French, but to Poland and Great Britain. “The US government knew that in Warsaw it could find an ally with whom it would not allow Putin to go further,” the secretary of state explained. He added that the Russian dictator had plans – as the British press wrote – that with a similar attitude of Western states as in 2014 and the threat of using nuclear weapons, he would be able to force NATO to move back to the 1997 border and draw Poland into the Russian sphere of influence and, consequently, to the situation before 1989. “Thanks to our reaction and cooperation with the United States, this situation has not happened, but it does not mean that it cannot happen yet,” said Piotr Wawrzyk, emphasizing that it will depend to a large extent on the attitude of our government. By the way, he appealed for the largest possible participation in the vote and for the creation of new electoral commissions, so that people who want to vote do not have to drive for several hours or even fly by plane to the nearest polling station, but have the opportunity to do it relatively close to their place of residence. This is a task both for Polish consulates, who are responsible for creating new polling stations, and for Polish diaspora activists who sit in electoral commissions.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Piotr Wawrzyk (standing) encouraged the Polish community to participate in large numbers in the upcoming elections. Seated next to them are: Dr. Artur Kowalski, Vice-President of the Józef Piłsudski Institute (first from the left), Director of the Department of Cooperation with the Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sławomir Kowalski (second from the left) and the Consul General of the Republic of Poland in New York, Adrian Kubicki

Consul General Adrian Kubicki, who was present at the meeting, added that the necessary condition to participate in the elections is to have a valid pport, which is proof that a given person has Polish citizenship. By the way, he encouraged people to check and update their pports. In order to facilitate the process of extending the validity and issuing of these documents, the New York Consulate General, which covers a very large area of ​​the United States, began to organize special consular services in cities far from the Big Apple, during which, among others, pport matters. Adrian Kubicki ensured that far-reaching facilitations for applicants are being applied in the facility he manages to make the process of updating their pports as easy as possible. “Now you don’t even have to write out the applications yourself, just present the old pport, on the basis of which our employees generate the necessary application” – noted the consul general. He also emphasized that the New York consulate issues pports and temporary pports without the need to confirm citizenship, even for people whose pports expired 20 years ago. “We apply the law to the maximum benefit of citizens. We allow the invalidity of the Polish pport until 2002, this is the maximum period allowed by the regulations,” ured Adrian Kubicki. He added that in the case of a longer period of invalidity of the pport, obtaining a new one involves the necessity to undergo a citizenship verification process, which significantly extends the procedure for issuing the current document.

Source link

Leave a Reply