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Notable Quotes

U.S.-Ukraine Policy Dialogue: June 5-10, 2005 Working Session, Washington, DC


Nadia McConnell, President, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation
Together, the seven organizations and experts are a force of varied expertise and public policy experience that render this dialogue unique to any bilateral meeting or other conference and will also magnify the impact and success of this project. Over the next two years, our Ukrainian and American colleagues have agreed to collaborate and work together, making this project much more than a discussion of issues in U.S.-Ukraine relations, but also an effort to build bridges and relationships between democracy-promoting organizations in both countries. In his address to Congress in April 2005, President Yushchenko referred to a letter written by Policy Dialogue partners and recognized that such public diplomacy efforts are worthy of support. We are very appreciative of our partners’ contributions to this project and look forward to working with them over the next two years.

Ambassador Tom Adams, Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe & Eurasia
....It’s not just the revolution that matters, but it’s really critical what happens after the revolution. And that’s why I’m glad to see this group here to ponder and plan what happens after the revolution, because that is really the most critical time for Ukraine.

As you know, we have been given additional resources by the Congress to help Ukraine make this transition. What we hope to see is that Ukraine tackles its most serious problems: corruption, becomes more transparent, becomes more democratic. The one thing we’d like to see a little more of there is a sense of urgency, as was perhaps evidenced by the Georgians after their revolution. There are elections in March and the people there I think expect some concrete results by then. So in your brainstorming if you could factor that in, I think it would be good.

Richard Balfe, former Member of the European Parliament
Change in Ukraine is not and should never be about whether or not you can join the European Union. What it’s about is what we call a lifestyle choice. It’s making Ukraine a democratic, European country which runs on the rule of law rather than on the rule of favorites. And that should be an aim irrespective of whether you join the European Union or any other international organization.

Vitaliy Bondzyk, Chief of Office, Office of Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine/ Administrative Reform
…The three days of hard work that proceeded during this conference were so saturated with events, suggestions and evaluations that...there is an impression that we have been here not three days, but three months working hard to produce the documents which we would like to offer you today.

Ariel Cohen, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation
...The main issue that arose in discussion of Ukrainian economy is not an economic issue; it’s a governance issue. It’s the issue of the ability of the Ukrainian government, of the current Ukrainian government to have a clear-cut process of decision-making and implementation of those decisions.

Robert McConnell, former Assistant Attorney General
I think it was very encouraging that no one tried to use the extraordinary political and structural barriers as an excuse for not delivering on campaign promises, but rather they were seen as challenges to be overcome. We continued our dialogue as a team and with a number of American resource people who met with us, carefully assessing what is done in this country and other places that might be utilized or adapted to the Ukrainian experience. These tools, we hope, will help Ukraine overcome the challenges so that the negative ramifications can be forestalled and that the promises can be fulfilled both to the people of Ukraine, to the people who made the promises, and to the international community that is watching so carefully.

Ambassador H.E. Levan Mikeladze, Ambassador of Georgia to the U.S.
The window of opportunity for democratic reform is very narrow and will not stay open indefinitely. After the Rose Revolution, we began immediately to reform the dysfunctional state administration, including building institutional foundations of democracy and rule of law; hiring of Western-educated staff to improve governance; fighting corruption, such as the firing of 15,000 police officers; and creating a broad public discussion on reform. Our work was continuous, uninterrupted and based on our vision of where the country wants to go. We gladly share with you our experience and give our full support to Ukraine for it to join us in the Millennium Challenge Account family.

Zoryana Mischuk, Counsel Secretary, Public Political Consultative Council of the Chairman of the Parliament
During the election campaign, there were successful programs aimed at raising the civic and legal culture of Ukrainians. For example, there was a program which called citizens to come to the polling stations on Election Day to ensure proper counting of the votes and compliance with election laws. Many citizens did come, and they realized that they can change things and that they are responsible for what is going on in the country. I think that this should not be just a one-time action. We could develop similar programs for the next period, for the next election campaign, and in the long-run as well.

Rostyslav Pavlenko, Chief, Main Analytical Service, Secretariat of the President of Ukraine Council of the Chairman of the Parliament
I particularly would like to emphasize that the undisputable positive aspect of our work was the familiarization with and discussion of the U.S. experience. We could see the strong and also the weak sides [of the U.S. experience] and understand how these things can be joined together with our own Ukrainian experience.

Ambassador Steven Pifer, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
The first full meeting of the foreign policy working group of the Policy Dialogue provided an excellent forum for exploring ways to strengthen U.S.-Ukrainian relations and links between Ukraine and Europe. Participants discussed a variety of foreign policy issues facing Ukraine (and the United States). They did so in a cordial atmosphere focused on developing concrete policy recommendations to address particular problems. Recognizing that process affects policy, the group also had a detailed exchange on Ukraine’s foreign and security policy-making process. The working group has laid a solid foundation for its future discussions.

Ambassador Vygaudas Ušackas, Ambassa.dor of Lithuania to the U.S.
...Hence, it is very important in the months ahead to focus on concrete deliverables, which, on the one hand, would meet practical expectations of the Ukrainian people and, on the other, would build the credible legal and administrative foundation for the long term perspective of possible EU membership…

…We also know that these reforms are impossible to make overnight. In particular, when on the horizon many already see the parliamentary elections next spring. The endeavors to transform Ukraine into a successful free market economy and democracy may be long and difficult. This has to be acknowledged by both the Ukrainian leadership and its supporters in the West.

Yuriy Yakymenko, Director of Political & Legal Programs, Razumkov Centre for Economic & Political Studies
Our Task Force worked very intensely. Discussions were open and tense at times. We did not pass over sharp corners and unpleasant issues. We were driven by a desire to foster democratic processes in Ukraine in the most effective ways.

 

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