How can Latin American countries help bring about an end to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine? What will relations with Russia look like in the future?
Zelenskyy shared information about the current situation in his country in a talk held via Zoom, which was attended by 450 students at the Tec’s Mexico City campus.
The Ukrainian president began his speech by saying, “It is very important for me to address you, the generation that will shape the future of Mexico.”
This conversation—which was also broadcast online through live.tec—allowed Mexican university students to hear first-hand about the situation in a country during conflict.
During his speech, Zelenskyy spoke about the similarities between Mexico and Ukraine:
“Although we are countries with different histories, we are united by the same aspiration for freedom, peace, and justice. We truly value our families, our land, and the right to decide our future independently.”
He also spoke about Ukraine’s proposal for a peace agreement, which includes key elements such as the liberation of all territory and the reestablishment of Ukrainian sovereignty.
Call to learn about humanitarian efforts and join them
During the meeting, students from Tec de Monterrey, Anáhuac University, and the Ibero-American University had the opportunity to ask questions of the Ukrainian president.
When asked how Latin American countries can help bring about the end of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Zelenskyy pointed out that they can show their support by joining various causes.
“Although we know that Mexico is a neutral country and that it has a principle of non-interference with the affairs of other countries, we invite you to join humanitarian and ecological efforts.”
As an example, he spoke about the “Grain from Ukraine” food program launched at the end of 2022, which provides Ukrainian grain to countries in Africa and Asia that suffer malnutrition and extreme hunger.
“Food security is vital to peace,” he explained, inviting Mexico to learn more about this initiative and join it.
National identity in Ukraine
Íñigo Janet Lloret, a student at the Tec’s Querétaro campus, asked Zelenskyy what role national identity plays in the resilience of the Ukrainian people.
He responded that: “our identity and unity come from defending the future of our children, and we’re fighting for that freedom.”
He also compared the phrase “Glory to Ukraine” to “Viva Mexico.”
“What kind of future relations would you want Ukraine to build with Russia?” asked María Inés Navarro Moreno, a student at the Tec’s Guadalajara campus.
Zelenskyy explained that these relations are currently broken but noted that future relations will depend on many factors. The responsibility for deciding on a position toward Russia will fall to future generations.
Raising awareness among young people in Mexico
The dialogue between university students and the president of Ukraine was an opportunity to raise young people’s awareness of global situations.
This was highlighted by Luis Eduardo Alverde Motemayor, Rector of Anáhuac University’s Querétaro campus, and Juan Pablo Murra Lascurain, Rector for Higher Education at Tec de Monterrey, minutes before the conversation with Zelenskyy began.
“We have a responsibility to educate young people who can see and understand, are sensitive to our complex world, and can take on leadership roles during difficult times,” Murra emphasized.
Also at the event were:
- Edna Jaime Treviño, Dean of the Tec’s School of Social Sciences and Government
- Rashid Abella Yunes, Vice President of the Tec’s Mexico City Region Campus
- José Pablo Abreu Sacramento, Regional Dean of the Tec’s School of Social Sciences and Government
- Xochitl Pimienta Franco, Regional Director of the Tec’s Department of Political Science and International Relations
- Jorge Schiavion, a full-time professor at IBERO-CDMX and former President of the Mexican Association of International Studies.