Volodymyr Zelensky: The war did not break Ukraine and will not break or stop life in our country
Address of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the second Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen
I am extremely pleased to be here today, to participate with you in the opening of the second Kyiv Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen.
Olena just said how important it is that during the war we keep up the pace of our activity and do not give in to the circumstances.
150 days. After eight years. The war did not break Ukraine and will not break it, did not stop life in our country and will not stop it. And it will definitely not make us hostages of the terror that the invaders brought to our beautiful, peaceful and strong state.
The main topic of this Summit is the post-war recovery of Ukraine, the human dimension of this recovery.
Why are we talking about reconstruction now, when the war is not yet over? So that on the first day of peace you can feel it fully. So that there was already a systematic reconstruction of everything that was destroyed by the Russian army. So that there are already security guarantees for our people. So that people already know where and how they can return if they went abroad to escape hostilities. So that the medical system restores its strong capacity. So that parents do not have any unanswered questions about education, first of all for their children. So that people know for sure that there are jobs for them in Ukraine and there is a choice of how to express themselves. And that all our respectable men and women veterans, who have gone through the hell of battles, really feel the gratitude of our state.
I just met at Bankova Street with the congressmen of the United States of America, who came to support us and you, all Ukrainians, in the fight for the main thing – for freedom.
The delegation was led by Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Adam Smith.
And it was felt that our conversation about the further increase of aid was a continuation of all our previous talks and, in particular, the meetings of the First Lady of Ukraine in Washington.
We see that the address of the First Lady of Ukraine in the U.S. Congress was also heard – there is activity both regarding weapons for Ukraine and regarding the legal response to what Russia is doing against our independence and our state.
Today, this important Summit will contribute to the protection of the state and overcoming the consequences of Russian terrorist attacks.
We are harnessing the power of our society and seeing results.
Ukraine has the largest global support in its history - our anti-war coalition includes dozens of countries: from Canada to New Zealand, from Japan and the United States to the UK and every friendly country in Europe.
We have established the kind of connections with our partners that allow us already five months to oppose an army that has been building for the purpose of our destruction for decades.
We are building new relations with many countries of the world. Contacts with the countries of Africa and Latin America were intensified only during these months. Many of them are at this level for the first time: Guatemala, Ecuador, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Mozambique, Cote d'Ivoire, etc.
The President of Indonesia – one of the largest Islamic countries in the world and the leader in ASEAN – visited Kyiv for the first time.
Ukraine participated three times in the G7 meetings, we have an invitation to the G20 summit.
We started a new form of diplomatic activity – systematic and large-scale appeals to the parliaments and peoples of the world. And they showed that it can be more powerful than all other forms of conventional diplomacy.
We also launched a fundamentally new public charity platform, UNITED24, which helps to unite the potential of different societies, civic activism on different continents of the world, efforts of business and the cultural sphere to implement specific projects for the protection and restoration of our state, which we now very much need.
Outstanding people have already become Ambassadors for the UNITED24 platform, outstanding athletes Andriy Shevchenko and Elina Svitolina, actor Liev Schreiber, and now it is also the Imagine Dragons band – I spoke with them last night.
Over UAH 5 billion have already been raised during the existence of our charity platform.
We achieved such a result in relations with the European Union, which seemed to many to be a fantasy, when we here in Kyiv, on the fifth day of the war, signed the application for joining the EU.
And now for people it is just a part of the usual reality – the fact that Ukraine is officially recognized as an EU candidate.
And I believe that peace in Ukraine, and the reconstruction of our country, and the return of our beautiful people from abroad, and the further movement of our state into a united Europe will become equally common facts.
Is this possible? We all don't just feel, we know that all these things are possible. And it will be so!
Otherwise, this second Summit in particular would not have happened. There wouldn't be all its participants and there wouldn't be this attention that I see now.
Because this is attention to the future of our Ukraine, which we will make together, which we will build despite everything, despite the war. I am sure that today in the addresses and discussions, talks at the panels of the Summit, we will be able to hear a lot of very important, useful things. This is the Summit of those whose power, though soft, is always invincible.
I thank you all for participating! I thank our friends, close friends from Latvia, Lithuania, from all continents of the world, who will join us today.
Thank you all!
Glory to Ukraine!