Meeting With Staff and Their Families of Embassy Kyiv

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Intercontinental Hotel
Kyiv, Ukraine
July 2, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: All of you and your families and (inaudible) in a time of real transition in the Ukrainian government. It’s been a busy six months for all you – Foreign Service and locally engaged staff. And I know you have helped Ukraine navigate through a hard-fought election and begin recovery from the devastation of the economic shocks that have rocked all of Europe and this world.

I really appreciate your commitment to our relationship. Working with the new government, informing our policies with your firsthand work and observation – we’re really embedding our commitment to Ukraine in this important bilateral relationship through the partnership commitment. I’ll be going here to there along with the Foreign Minister Gryshchenko to get a report from both sides about the work that’s been done and to talk about the work ahead.

I know that the toll that corruption and human trafficking and insecure borders can take on a society. It’s very frustrating and troubling to all of you. And we want to continue to work every day to support the reform in Ukraine. We want to move to advance and expand in democratic progress that has been named in the last few years.

Now I know that the work here is challenging, and as important as it is, I’m sure that it is a toll on many of you and your family members. And then along comes somebody like me and it just makes it more difficult. (Laughter.) As the ambassador said, it's on top of everything else you do on behalf of our relationship. And I thank you for the many hours of preparation so that I can make the most of each and every minute.

I’d like to recognize the fine work of some of you who have really been focused on this trip. Jim Padden who helped keep the mission running as DCM, and is my control officer, which I greatly appreciate. Management (inaudible) who's kept all moving pieces of this trip going. I know how happy you will be when I finally leave. (Laughter.) Somebody else’s responsibility, mainly Poland’s (laughter) – the very definition of a wheels-up party time, which I think is well-deserved, particularly in the beautiful summer here in Kyiv.

Now, moving the embassy into new headquarters will be a great change. We’ll be consolidating a lot of the work of our mission in one place, but it will also add responsibilities for diplomatic securities, facilities and maintenance staff. But we’ll finally have a world class facility here which will speak volumes about the nature and depth of our commitment. And I hope it will cut
down on time spent in (inaudible), which the ambassador told me it’s becoming more and more of a problem. That's kind of one of those good news/bad news stories that's a sign of economic prosperity and it cuts hours out of everybody’s life and adds immeasurably to the frustration. But nevertheless, we’re going to see some real changes with the new Embassy.

So I want to thank each and every one of you, whatever agency you represent, whether it’s (inaudible) you're here working for. And (inaudible) recognize that Ukraine has (inaudible) care in mind. (Laughter.) Ukraine has the largest Peace Corps contingent in the world. (Applause.)

Thank you very much. And I wish I were going to be here for the great Fourth of July celebration that I know you will be hosting, because that is such a symbolic way to keep people in civil society moving and going, speaking out and defending freedoms and shared values, proving on a daily basis that our Declaration of Independence is not just about America’s rights but about everyone’s rights. And I thank you so much and I wish you a very happy Fourth of July and a very successful and productive time here at this mission.

Thank you all and I'll come out and say hello to (inaudible). (Applause.)

PRN: 2010/T31-5