The Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova, Nicolae Chirtoaca, gave a speech on the topic “Transition to Democracy” to an audience of 30 students and community members on Monday, Nov. 17.

The speech focused on the five biggest challenges a newly formed democracy faces. Covering topics such as redefining statehood and creating a new economy based on free markets, Chirtoaca said, “Transition will take more than a generation.”

The ambassador shared the struggles of the Republic of Moldova as the country continues to make its transition into a democratic nation. Moldova, a former soviet satellite nation, has been transitioning to a democratic government since 1998. Moldova has struggled with its economy, which, according to Chirtoaca, had 70 percent of its industrial capacity working for the military industrial complex during its time under soviet control.

Acknowledging some of the difficulties his nation has experienced during its transition, the ambassador was optimistic about his two main agenda items for his current post as ambassador to the United States.

Although the first item on his agenda is to strengthen a partnership with the US, Chirtoaca noted that the United States and Moldova already have a good relationship.

His second goal is to influence the US government to include Moldova as part of the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is a US government corporation designed to assist developing nations economically once the nations have met certain indicators such as civil liberties, political rights and a fair trade policy

The ambassador spoke for a little more than half an hour, then made himself available to a question and answer session.

Upon conclusion of the question and answer session, the ambassador was presented with an award from UVU Vice President of International Affairs and Diplomacy Rusty Butler. The award recognized Chirtoaca as an honorary guest professor. After the presentation of the award, the ambassador shook hands and took photos with students that attended the lecture.