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Public Lectures: NEWS


66th U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave Public Lecture “Challenges in an Ever-Changing World” at the invitation of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation

On March 9, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, 66th United States Secretary of State (2005-2009), at the invitation of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, gave a public lecture “Challenges in an Ever-Changing World”. More than three hundred Ukrainian students, scholars and opinion-makers were among the listeners of the lecture.


In her remarks Dr. Rice said that Ukraine has inspired the world a lot of times. She added that “this has been done despite complexity in the geopolitical situation, the devastating loss of Crimea which no one in the USA or in the civilized world recognizes as anything but tremendous violation of international law and agreements which Ukraine signed in 1994 and the tragic events at Eastern Ukraine which are enfolding even to the state.”

Dr. Rice continued her lecture by talking about inside challenges of Ukraine which are not the responsibilities just of those who govern but also the responsibilities of those who are governed. She pointed out that Ukraine should move towards democracy but this process takes time: “Democracy is a complex system that has to be built over time. And it is hard-hard work that takes place every day. However it is the only system that allows human dignity.”

66th United States Secretary of State underlined that “the strongest foundation for democracy is not institutions, not government – it is citizens. When citizens take responsibilities for one another – the democracy is strong. It only works if citizens own their democracy. If something is wrong you have to work to change it.”

Addressing the young audience, Dr. Rice appealed not to think of education as a right because it is a privilege. “Since it’s a privilege – take full advantage of this opportunity: study something that you love, not just something that will get a job for you. Life is best when you have passion. When you find something that you love – life changes. And every day becomes a pursue of that thing that you love.”

“You have a responsibility as educated people not just to take your education as a right but to understand that it is a privilege. And one way that you can do it is that you can help those who have less than you do. Civil society has many opportunities to have a cause: perhaps it’s environment, perhaps it’s the rights of education of girls, perhaps it’s the treatment of minorities, perhaps it’s the treatment of the disabled.”

Following the lecture, Dr. Condoleezza Rice answered numerous questions from Ukrainian youth on the topics of the future of Ukraine, responsible society, etc.

Images from the event 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 (2007-2011); Dr. Michio Kaku, Henry Semat Professor of Physics, and Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation; Thomas Friedman, The New York Times columnist and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and others.

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