In my 30-year career in many incredibly complicated countries, I have not seen the combination of difficult and extraordinary challenges that face Ukraine. There is the conflict in the east, with the consequences measured in lives lost and wounded, displacement of more than two million citizens and massive humanitarian need. The country also faces an economic crisis with a devastating combination of contracting gross domestic product, a cash crunch and an outmoded industrial model. But there is also real opportunity.
The EuroMaidan Revolution outlined a clear vision of citizens for reform, backed by courageous action: an end to corruption and impunity, a more productive and equal society built on respect for human rights and rule of law.
Achieving these objectives requires more than new laws, it demands a new mindset in which government truly serves the common interest and where the creative energy of all citizens has an equal opportunity to thrive. In the context of “opportunity,” let me share my admiration for Ukrainian people and my motivation to ensure that the United Nations effectively supports the positive change this crisis represents.