Zelensky’s speech in Davos: There is war in Ukraine and expressing concern is not enough

Author : Volodymyr Zelensky

Source : 112 Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attended World Economic Forum in Davos
15:30, 23 January 2020

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky in Davos

I am very pleased to be present at the 50th-anniversary meeting of the World Economic Forum. Using this opportunity, I would like to make a note of Forum’s projects on Ukraine, namely: Scenario of the Future of Ukraine, Geneva Ukraine Initiative, New Economic Vision for Ukraine. I thank you for this and look forward to further fruitful cooperation.

The topics raised in Davos are always apt to illustrate the state of the modern world and the challenges that humankind faces. This year's forum brought together leaders to discuss an extremely important topic – that of a consolidated and stable world. You know, to be honest, in my opinion, Ukraine has a lot to say about it.

What is the greatest threat to a consolidated and stable world today? It is a security issue. The security of both individuals and entire countries and nations.

The modern world is changing at a reactive speed that has moved us into a new era - an era of new normality. What seemed like a fantasy yesterday has now become a reality. Unfortunately, not everything in this era is positive. Trade wars, changing of territories’ boundaries, the rapid growth of military budgets, separatist movements, withdrawal of countries from previous international agreements are also, unfortunately, new normality. This undermines the faith of mankind and leads one to wonder if this world was flying into the abyss?

We are at risk that next generations suffering from climate change, constant conflicts, poverty, and limited access to food, will blame every world leader for having a real chance to reach an agreement but not ever using this opportunity. And the most terrible thing is that cataclysms became a routine for the planet and turmoil became a habit for humanity.

I know this better than anyone does because the war has been going on in my country; it has been six years now since Russia had annexed a part of our territory despite thousands of pages in the international law and hundreds of organizations that protect it. This is now our new normality. The world consolidated around solving these issues. But is it enough for Ukrainians who lost their lives and houses? Is it enough for them to have a worldwide concern? This is too little. It is true. And this is just one of the examples which demonstrate that current world architecture is, unfortunately, vulnerable and existing institutions do not always work as effectively as the current situation requires.

The world needs reinterpretation and renewal of rules, especially the rules of international security. The world cannot be only consolidated in Facebook, when reposting Greta Thunberg’s speech, terrible photos of fires in Australia or unfortunately downed Ukrainian Boeing in Iran. Does it mean that everyone learned a lesson? No. Because in a week, all of this loses novelty and news feed gets filled with a new loud information drive

It is no coincidence and it makes sense that I pay so much attention to the issue of security at the Economic Forum, because it is crucial for the development of the Ukrainian economy. At the same time, our philosophy is to turn our problems into our own power. The challenges we, Ukrainians face, mobilize us and make us move faster, inspire us to do the impossible and incredible things. We program ourselves for positive thinking; we program ourselves for ambitious tasks.

What do you think is the task for the country which lost a part of its territory and which is not the richest on the continent? It is ambitious plans. DO you think is it not possible? Many world unicorns started from crazy ideas with several workers and offices in their own garage. So nothing is impossible.

During these years, Ukraine has made a few steps back, but we did not fall back. We just took distance for run-up, for a decisive economic leap. New Ukrainian authorities build new even rules of the game for all, cleans the judicial system, digitalizes processes, implements important reforms and adopts important laws. We have everything to become a successful country – favorable climate conditions, very advantageous geographic location, inexhaustible agrarian and industrial potential and our most valuable Ukrainian resource – incredibly creative and very talented people who enter top-50 of Human Capital Index. What we do not have yet are two things: we have no other option but to become successful and second, we do not have sufficient investment.  

We are offering everyone to become the shareholders of the success of the new Ukraine. Today, a pragmatic and stoned world desperately needs a miracle and the world economy on the verge of a new global crisis needs an economic miracle. Ukraine is just a place where miracles happen. And my goal is that to have the case of Ukraine described in textbooks along with the others like Japan, South Korea, Singapore. Ukraine has to become an investment Mecca of Eastern and Central  Europe. The main drive for economic development is the opportunity to receive income and we are one of a few countries that allow to earn such a high income from return on investment.

Today we are not enough invested in, we do not receive enough love. However, despite the global tendency, Ukraine steps up the climate change. I intentionally made this scandalous statement to draw your attention and everyone heard this. Of course,  I am talking mainly about positive changes in the business climate, Ukraine is becoming more stable and predicted market with big opportunities for business expansion. For us this is a matter of survival, I would and for you – stability in the region and of Europe in general.

What does it mean not to invest in Ukraine today? It is to become George Bell who in 1999 refused to buy Google for a million dollars. So, don’t miss out on Ukraine. Thank you very much.

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