17th YES Annual Meeting Postponed Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

03 July 2020

The 17th Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting originally planned for ‪September 10-12, 2020, is postponed until 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

YES and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation remain committed to integrating Ukraine with the world and put the country on international agenda. The YES meeting in 2021 will be again a strong global discussion platform in Ukraine to support forces for change in the country, and build networks of supporters for a new Ukraine worldwide.

Yalta European Strategy (YES) is a leading forum for discussing and building Ukraine’s European future and global context.

For over a decade, YES has initiated dialog between leaders from Ukraine, the EU, the US and beyond. Within Ukraine, it provides a platform for open discussion between the significant political forces. YES brings together leaders from politics, business, media, civil society and the expert community.

YES began in 2004, when Victor Pinchuk invited some 30 European leaders to debate the future of Ukraine and the EU at the first Annual Meeting. 

The YES Annual Meeting took place at the symbolic Livadia Palace in Yalta from 2004 to 2013. The location where Europe was divided in 1945 thus became the venue for uniting a wider Europe. After the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the YES Annual Meeting moved temporarily to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

Previously, YES meetings have brought together heads of state and government like Tony Blair, Kersti Kaljulaid, David Cameron, Bill Clinton, Dalia Grybauskaitė, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Bronisław Komorowski, Mario Monti, Shimon Peres and Donald Trump. Among the speakers were also heads of international organizations like Kofi Annan, José Manuel Barroso, Suma Chakrabarti, James Wolfensohn, Lamberto Zannier and Robert Zoellick. Senior officials, such as Hillary Clinton, Valdis Dombrovskis, Robert Gates, Newt Gingrich, Will Hurd, John Kerry, David Petraeus, Condoleezza Rice and Martin Schulz, have spoken at the meetings. Also, renowned business leaders and thought leaders like Bono, Richard Branson, Vitalik Buterin, Jared Cohen, Niall Ferguson, Bill Ford, Richard Haass, Walter Isaacson, Elton John, Stephen Hawking, Ray Kurzweil, Arthur Laffer, Nouriel Roubini, David Rubenstein, Robert Smith, Larry Summers and Jimmy Wales have been among the panelists. Presidents and Prime Ministers of Ukraine, as well as Ukraine’s political, business and civil society leaders, regularly speak at the meetings.

The YES board includes Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland (1995-2005), Chairman of the YES Board; Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014), Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994); Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament (2002-2004), Member of the European Parliament (1989-2004); Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Founder of Rasmussen Global, Secretary General of NATO (2009-2014), Prime Minister of Denmark (2001-2009); Stephane Fouks, Vice President of Havas Group, Executive Co-Chairman of Havas Worldwide; Wolfgang Ischinger, Ambassador, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Senior Professor, Hertie School of Governance; and Victor Pinchuk, Founder and Member of the Board, YES and Founder of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and EastOne group.

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Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy
President of Ukraine, YES Annual Meeting, 2023
«Ukraine now symbolizes a standard of freedom in which people from different countries recognize their own standards»