President Jahjaga’s speech at the awarding of the “Leadership in Public Service” award by the Clinton Global Initiative

President Clinton, Secretary Clinton,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

President Clinton, Secretary Clinton,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

Good evening. Secretary Albright, thank you for your very kind introduction, I am deeply touched.

It is a great honor to be here with you this evening to be presented with an award for “Leadership in Public Service” by the Clinton Global Initiative, by the people who through their selfless commitment to public service and their leadership brought peace and justice to millions, and who continue to work as passionately to improve the lives around the globe. Your actions have truly defined our time.

Mr. President, Madam Secretary, I consider this distinguished award an award to people of Kosovo, whose lives you have touched and changed forever through your decision to prevent genocide in Kosovo, and by standing by us ever since to help us build a peaceful, free and democratic country.

Fifteen years ago, Kosovo was a land covered in rubble. Lives were broken into thousands of pieces. Families were divided. Many forever. The fabric between ethnic communities was torn.

But out of those ashes and out of those moments of pain, a determination, a strong will – not despair -emerged. We were determined to press forward, to build a different Kosovo.

And we have. Despite the many competing priorities of a society that just survived the war, the setbacks of transition and challenges in creating a viable state, we got there. Today Kosovo breathes in freedom and peace and is confidently charting its vision for the future as a member of the European Union and NATO.

As the President, I am very proud to have been part of this collective effort and to serve my country and its citizens.

Kosovo – the Kosovo you set free and helped rebuilt – will remain one great story of hope.

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