Ukraine Demining Conference – American University in Kyiv – May 19, 2023
Note: The first Demining conference by the American University in Kyiv was held in May with some 500 participants from all sectors Ukraine society as well as the international community. There 8 expert panel members , 4 from Ukraine, and 4 international experts. The American University Kyiv is powered by Arizona State University and is the 1st American style university in Ukraine with the mission to transform advanced education in Ukraine. The American University in Kyiv plans to have a second conference at West Point to bring the key decision makers from Ukraine, who need resources, to the United States, to be introduced to those who have the resources, from various US military units as well as US government agencies.
Dan Rice – Introductory remarks
Welcome Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, ladies and gentleman, thank you for joining us today in Kyiv for the 1st De-Mining Conference sponsored by the American University Kyiv.
As can be seen in the composition of the panel, this is a multifaceted, public and private sector issue. This is the beginning of a dialogue about a critical dimension of the economic future of Ukraine and the wellbeing of the Ukrainian people.
“Demining” is an inadequate description of the issue. The challenge is to not only removing mines and unexploded ordnance, but reintegrating contaminated and inaccessible territory and infrastructure into the economy and society. We need to remove the fear to return.
The ministries and agencies represented here, along with the local police, fire brigades, Territorial Defense Forces and private citizens have been engaged in this task since the beginning of the conflict. However, there has yet to be an appropriate and adequate level of understanding and support from the international community, including the United States.
Ukraine is uniquely different from other nations facing the challenge of demining and reestablishing the integrity of their territory. The state institutions are functioning, the population is educated and motivated, the societal capability to meet this challenge exists. What is needed are the resources.
Ukraine is winning and will win this war. … We must begin now to mobilize the vast resources of the American people to win the peace. The mobilization of resources can not be limited to public funds. They are necessary, but far from sufficient. The American private sector must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine in seizing this opportunity to create a robust economic and social future that will be the foundation for peace, strength, security, and democracy.
Any dialogue about a complex issue begins with understanding the problem. A coordinated response to the problem begins with mutual understanding of the problem and mutual understanding of the interests and capabilities of those attempting to solve the problem. The American University of Kyiv offers its good offices in the facilitation of this understanding.
Furthermore, we will facilitate the mobilization of resources, especially those of the United States. We are beginning this public private sector dialogue here in Kyiv. This is the logical and appropriate venue. However, once we have clear definition of the problem and mutual understanding here in Kyiv, the venue must shift to where the resources can be found.
One of the first initiatives of the American University of Kyiv will be to co-host a conference on this issue at West Point, New York on the campus of the United States Military Academy in August of this year.
Now…Lets begin the process of understanding.