Thank you very much Mr. President, it is certainly a pleasure for us to be here and I particularly appreciate the presence of Margot Ellis, our Deputy Assistant Administrator from Washington D.C. who is here to help witness this important agreement. I think it is safe to say we are all very delighted to be here for today’s signing ceremony. Through this grant agreement, the United States is adding over $26 million to further USAID activities in Kosovo.
We are also here to celebrate the partnership between our two countries. This ceremony marks our continuing commitment to helping Kosovo address its most pressing development challenges in its progress towards a stable, prosperous, and European future. Since 1999, USAID alone has invested more than $800 million in Kosovo and when you put all the different parts of the U.S. Government together, the sum is well over $1 billion since 1999.
Working together, we have accomplished a lot. And, we must persevere in our efforts to achieve goals we have set for ourselves. Specifically, we are helping Kosovo to intensify efforts to combat corruption so that obstacles to economic growth can be removed, and citizen confidence in democratic institutions in Kosovo can be encouraged.
Sustainable development was the key theme of the UN General Assembly this year, and it is only appropriate that we conclude today’s event by recommitting ourselves to achieving Kosovo’s development goals through effective partnership, collaboration, and plenty of hard work.
Thank you all very much.