Public Lectures: NEWS

04.10.2010

42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton Discussed Global Challenges with Ukrainian Students

clinton_lecture.jpgOn Monday, October 4, 2010, the 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton gave a lecture to over 500 Ukrainian students in Kyiv upon invitation of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation. Students from more than 50 Ukrainian universities attended the event, among them many scholarship holders of the Foundation’s Zavtra.UA program. President Clinton gave a speech on global challenges of the 21st Century and answered questions of the audience.

In his lecture President Clinton pointed out that many positive aspects of globalization, in the economic, political and public sphere, bring with them at the same time the risk of instability. As a case in point he mentioned the Internet: Having grown from 500 websites at the time of President Clinton’s inauguration in 1993 to an immense and ubiquitous structure, it facilitates commerce and communication worldwide. But it as well provides criminal and terrorist structures with an efficient tool for conducting and coordinating their activities. Similarly, the growth of global trade can create wealth but at the same time can increase economic and social imbalances.

Answering students’ questions, President Clinton spoke about the role of NGOs in today’s world. They could contribute to tackling global challenges, he said, by implementing more innovative projects than government and business structures. Asked for advice on whether students should study abroad, President Clinton stated that his years as a student in Great Britain broadened his horizon and immensely helped him develop as a person. “You should study abroad if there is such an opportunity,” he said. “You particularly should do it if then you return to your country and make use of the new knowledge you acquired to contribute to your country’s development.” After the lecture President Clinton spoke to individual students, had his picture taken with them and gave autographs.

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation regularly invites world renowned politicians, thinkers and public figures to Ukraine to discuss challenges facing the world and Ukraine. By fostering a dialogue between them and the Ukrainian youth, the Foundation contributes to fostering a new generation of responsible leaders. Among the previous speakers at public lectures have been: Francis Fukuyama, Professor of International Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University; James Wolfensohn, 9th President of the World Bank; Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Colin Powell, 65th US Secretary of State; Javier Solana, Former High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union and Secretary General of NATO; and former Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Germany Joschka Fischer.

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