107th Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani Gave Public Lecture “Global Challenges, the Role of the US and the Place of Ukraine” at the Invitation of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation

On June 7, 2017, Rudy Giuliani, 107th Mayor of New York City, at the invitation of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, gave a public lecture “Global Challenges, the Role of the US and the Place of Ukraine”. More than 600 Ukrainian students, scholars and opinion-makers were among the listeners of the lecture.

In his remarks Rudy Giuliani told: “You have to have laws that protect people and laws that are applied honestly and without corruption. I would say that Ukraine has unbelievable future: you have got great natural assets, you have wonderful terrifically inventive and hard working people, and now you have freedom - the things you need to be successful. I think what is forcing you back is corruption. It has to be rooted out of your society.” Mr. Giuliani explained that “to have a rule of law means to have honest police, honest prosecutors, honest judges, and honest political leaders.”

Addressing the young people in the audience, Rudy Giuliani said that “just electing people doesn’t make you what we can really consider a democracy. I would call that a false democracy. A real democracy is a country where you elect officials but you also have a rule a law and you also have respect for human rights, for the rights of people and people’s dignity. It is in your hands to do that and it is going to be up to you because you are the next generation.”

Expressing his attitude towards the situation in Ukraine, Rudy Giuliani stated: “I believe that Eastern Ukraine has to be returned to Ukraine and that has to be an objective of not just US but of western foreign policy. The invasion was illegal, the sanctions are in place for that reason, if they have to be strengthened they should be strengthened until you can make an arrangement and return to where you were before. Those borders were guaranteed with several agreements and treaties which were violated.”

“I think Crimea is a violation of basic international law. It was an illegal invasion of a sovereign country that unfortunately happened because the US didn’t respond the way it should. Western Europe was a display of our weakness. Maybe, if we acted right away and very quickly and posed enormously harsh sanctions from the very beginning, maybe we could have reversed it and it wouldn’t have grown to the rest of Eastern Ukraine,” he added.

The discussion was moderated by businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk who invited the future leaders of Ukraine to shape proper messages that Mr. Giuliani would bring to US. Students' questions included cyber security, ecology, leadership, budgeting issues, and his experience of being a Mayor of New York.

At the end of his speech, Rudy Giuliani emphasized that to have goal is the first step to reach it. Thus, he advised the youth to have goals, to be optimistic and brave, work hard, and to develop communication skills.

Besides giving the lecture, Rudy Giuliani met with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman, the Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin as well as young Ukrainian reformers.

Images from the event are available following the link.

As a part of its Public Lectures project launched in 2006, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation regularly invites leading thinkers, politicians and public figures to Ukraine to discuss challenges facing the world and Ukraine. By organizing such a dialogue between world leaders and Ukrainian students, the Foundation has for a decade contributed to fostering a new generation of responsible leaders.

In previous years, lectures were given, among others, by Francis Fukuyama, Professor of International Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University; Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; James Wolfensohn, 9th President of the World Bank Group; Colin Powell, 65th US Secretary of State; Javier Solana, High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union (1999-2009) and Secretary General of NATO (1995-1999); Joschka Fischer, Vice Chancellor of Germany (1998-2005); Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States; Shimon Peres, the 9th President of Israel; Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Great Britain (1997-2007); Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (1998-2005); Dr. Michio Kaku, Henry Semat Professor of Physics; Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation; Thomas Friedman, The New York Times columnist and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner; Dr. Condoleezza Rice, 66th United States Secretary of State (2005-2009); David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2010-2016); Newt Gingrich, 50th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and others.

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation is an international, private and non-partisan philanthropic foundation based in Ukraine. It was established in 2006 by businessman and public figure Victor Pinchuk. Its goal is to empower the younger generation to change their country and the world. To achieve this, projects have been developed and partnerships have been built in Ukraine and worldwide for a decade. Since 2006, over 125 million USD have been invested in projects to transform Ukraine.

The projects of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation include, among others: the all-Ukrainian network of neonatal Centers Cradles of Hope, the largest private scholarship programme in Ukraine, Zavtra.UA, the WorldWideStudies scholarship programme for Ukrainian students studying abroad, and the contemporary art PinchukArtCentre, the largest art center in Ukraine and the region, giving free-of-charge access to contemporary art to inspire new thinking. The foundation supports the international network YES (Yalta European Strategy), founded in 2004 by Victor Pinchuk, the largest non-government platform in Ukraine and the region to foster Ukraine’s European and global integration.

The foundation supports a crowdfunding platform to foster giving in Ukrainian society, the Philanthropic Marketplace. The Foundation is a member of the European Foundation centre and the Ukrainian Grantmakers Forum. It cooperates with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Atlantic Council, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, and other nongovernmental organizations.

Official website:

For media inquiries please contact the press-office of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation:
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: +380 44 494 11 48

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