20 July, 2016
Good morning. Thank you to the Reanimation Package of Reforms for organizing this event, and thank you all for coming.
I was going to offer opening comments related directly to the theme of this seminar. The embassy prepared such comments. But the events of yesterday changed that.
You need to talk today about the performance of the Groysman government. 100 days is a good point to have such a conversation.
But yesterday reminded us all that the bigger issue is not 100 days, or this government, the last government, or the next/future government.
It is about the future of Ukraine – your future. It is about the past — of this entire region, of those who would seek to deny Ukraine the right to choose its own path.
It is about two wars raging for the future of Ukraine: the war in the east against an external aggressor. And the war at home against corruption and opponents of reform, change, and the future.
When I laid flowers at the corner of Khmelnytskoho and Ivana Franka last night, and then went to the Maidan to pay tribute to Pavel Sheremet, as the sun set, the words of a famous poem by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas came to mind:
“Do not go gentle into the night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
You, like Pasha, are participants in those wars, whether you accept the title of combatant or not – as activists, as journalists, as officials, as citizens, and not just of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s future – your future, the future of your children, the future of the region – depends on your energy, your will, your determination.
Do not give up. Do not go gentle into the night. Push those in office to do more – and we will push with you. And push yourselves, to be brave, to continue to fight every day to change this country.
It for sure will take much more than 100 days. It may take 100 months, or more. But you can. You must. And I am certain that You will. Thank you.