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Greetings from Hon Barbara McDougall, Former Secretary of State for External Affairs of Canada

"Ukrainian Night", Ottawa, 30 January 2001

I was honoured to receive your invitation to speak at the reception marking the 10th anniversary of the diplomatic recognition of the Republic of Ukraine by Canada. Unfortunately, I cannot join you because of a prior commitment in Toronto.

I do want to congratulate all concerned for celebrating what indeed was a momentous event In those heady days following the breakup of the old Soviet Union, the excitement that accompanied the independence vote in Ukraine both there and here in Canada, reflected widespread joy that democracy had at last come to this historic land.

Canadians with Ukrainian roots were among those who were bursting with pride in their former homeland. And many, indeed, have since returned to help shape democracy and free markets as the country has developed That period of development has not been without missteps, misgivings, mistakes - and, indeed sometimes, mischief.

But there is no turning back, and we must never forget that momentous change is hard work. It takes leadership and a dedicated citizenry to overcome the dark moments and to see the task through.

As Canada's Secretary of State for External Affairs at that historic moment a decade ago, I am proud that our country was the first to extend diplomatic recognition to Ukraine. We in Canada look forward to a future of opportunity and prosperity for all Ukrainians, and to a continuing partnership between our two countries.

The Hon Barbara McDougall

For additional information, please contact:
Yurii Nykytiuk, Press Secretary at the Embassy of Ukraine
310 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J9
Tel. (613) 230-2961, fax (613) 230-2400

2002 02 01