Original Statement des US Botschafter, das sich das Volk nicht länger diese primitiven und kriminellen Banden der Politik gefallen lässt, welche keine Politik für Albanien noch für das Volk betreiben.
Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Alexander A. Arvizu at the ACT Now Initiative Launch (June 21, 2012)
I want to extend a special thank you to each and every one of you for
participating today in this event. Today’s event really is about you
and your fellow Albanian citizens all across the country.
While acknowledging the tremendous progress that has been made, let’s
pause for just a moment and contemplate the hard times, sometimes the
grim reality that confronts many tens of thousands, 24 hours a day, 7
days a week, 365 days a year.
Let’s talk a little about this initiative that we call ACT Now!
First of all: Who is it for? Every citizen of this Republic!
What is it about? It is about the change that everyone wants, the change that everyone talks about!
Where is it about? It is in every corner of this blessed land. It’s
in the heartbreak felt by the students, faculty and administrators of
Alexander Xhuvani University in Elbasan when a bus filled with their
fellow students plunged down the ravine in a treacherous pass near
Himarë. It is in the heartbreak in Dukagjin, where a family has lost
their 17-year old girl to senseless violence of a sort that has no place
in 21st century Albania. It is in the heartbreak of the
residents of Saranda, who have watched their picturesque town lose much
of its charm while being transformed into a concrete canyon. It is in
the heartbreak of citizens of Gjirokaster, who stand by helplessly as
neglect leads historic homes in that great city to collapse. It is in
the heartbreak of citizens in the capital, Tirana, where driving is a
haphazard and hazardous act to pedestrians and vehicle operators alike.
ACT Now! When is it time? It is time to Act right now; at this very minute.
And why? Because I know you care about the future and welfare of
your children, your loved ones, yourselves, and for every person in
Let me tell you a brief story about America. There was a woman named
Candy Lightner whose 13-year old daughter, Cari, was struck and killed
by a drunk driver in California in 1980. When the driver was given a
lenient sentence, the mother, Candy Lightner was motivated to act. She
organized a small group to change public attitudes about drunkenness and
driving in the United States. She called her group Mothers Against
Drunk Driving – also known as MADD. The name caught on. Driven to
change the mentality of her fellow Americans, Candy Lightner advocated
for legislative change. She launched educational programs designed to
teach teenage drinkers and drivers the perils of combining the two. She
wrote to her elected officials, taught courses to the public, and
worked tirelessly to create the change she wished to see in the United
Thirty-two years later, Mothers Against Drunk Driving is one of the
most powerful NGOs in the United States. It is responsible for changing
the laws in nearly every state in the country. It receives millions of
dollars every year in donations to continue the change that Ms. Lightner
started when she first felt inspired to act.
Now, I know exactly what many of you are thinking right now. You’re
saying: that poor Mr. Arvizu; maybe he means well, but this is
Albania. Things are different here.
Well, I don’t think it has to be that way.
Because to me, the beauty of the Albanian people, the beauty of your
country, is that in your core, your essence, you’re like people
everywhere around the world. The same hopes. The same fears. The same
dreams. There is no difference.
It’s time to take those important first steps to make those dreams a
reality. Every journey begins with a first step, and that begins from
within. It begins with the spirit that burns brightly in the heart of
every Albanian citizen.
President Obama inspired millions of Americans, millions of people around the world with these simple words: “Yes, we can!”
So, yes, you can!
You have the power to change things. But, in order to do so, you
have to believe in yourselves, and you have to believe in the power that
you possess to improve the lives of all Albanians.
I am not naïve. Genuine and lasting change will not happen
overnight. You know better than I the obstacles that lie in your path,
the obstructions to change that are present here in Albania.
But I want to just focus a little bit on this phrase that we have
used, ACT Now! Of course it’s been translated into Albanian. All of you
know English better than I know Albanian so think: ACT – it means
Albanians Coming Together – NOW. That is what it means, Albanians coming
together as one, now. That individually and collectively you not just
challenge but also discard the ingrained mentalities and ways of doing
things. Think about a problem or issue that is important to you
personally, to your family, to your friends, to your country. It can be
big; it can be small, it really doesn’t matter.
I believe that it is important symbolically for each of you to pledge
to take action on a problem or an issue that is important to you. And,
in a few minutes, you’ll hear some suggestions on how you can go about
making that very pledge. The pledge is actually a pledge that you make
to yourselves. We can and we will help you, but you need to be your own
agents for change.
We at the U.S. Embassy want to hear about the kind of action that you
are planning to take. We have created a new spot on the Embassy’s
Facebook page where you can share directly with us your plan for action.
So, use Facebook, call us, do whatever you can, but tell us about your
ideas. Let us know what you are doing to improve life in your community,
throughout Albania. Tell us your stories, tell us your successes, so it
can better inform us and so it can help us to spread the word to
inspire others to do the same.
Let me end with a quote many of you are no doubt quite familiar with:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by
their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are the
rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure
these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just
powers from the consent of the governed.”
This quote of course comes from the American Declaration of Independence.
In two short weeks, Americans everywhere will celebrate the 236th
anniversary of our independence. How fitting it would be if in 2012 –
the 100th year of Albanian independence – there could be a similar
declaration of independence, a renewed commitment by every concerned
Albanian citizen to break from the legacy of the past.
21 years ago, multitudes of courageous Albanians, some of you in this
room, toppled the statue of Enver Hoxha and the darkness symbolized by
his regime. In so doing they and you planted the seeds for Albania’s
modern democracy. To build on that legacy, I think it is critically
important, to ACT Now!
Thank you very much for your time! http://tirana.usembassy.gov/press-releases2/2012-press-releases/remarks-by-u.s.-ambassador-alexander-a.-arvizu-at-the-act-now-initiative-launch-june-21-2012