12/21/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/21/2022 17:22
21 December 2022 - 21:28
First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska and the participants of the Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen initiated by her summarized the results of 2022 and outlined plans for the next year.
The online meeting was attended by: First Lady of France Brigitte Macron, First Lady of the Republic of Latvia Andra Levite, First Lady of Lithuania Diana Nausėdienė, First Lady of Iceland Eliza Reid, wife of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia Elizabeta Gjorgievska, wife of the Prime Minister of Belgium Annik Penders, First Lady of the Republic of Serbia Tamara Vučić, wife of the Premier of Bermuda Kristin Burt, First Lady of Estonia Sirje Karis.
The wife of the President of Ukraine thanked her colleagues for supporting our country during the Russian invasion.
"After February 24, when many professional politicians have not even had time to make a statement, you have already come out with words of support and offers of help. And in the following difficult months, together with you, we evacuated children with oncology, brought humanitarian aid and incubators for newborns to Ukraine. Together we conceived and implemented programs of psychological assistance and prosthetics for war victims. We organized cultural events in support of Ukraine and opened cultural centers for displaced citizens of Ukraine, whom you welcomed extremely warmly in your countries. We even printed and distributed children's books to young Ukrainians who were forced to leave their homes so that they could listen to a native fairy tale at night. I think all this became possible because we have common values. And the biggest of them is human life and its salvation. Freedom and its protection. You were the first to understand: what Ukraine is fighting for has no borders. Because this is the right to exist," she emphasized.
Olena Zelenska noted the importance of holding the second Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen, which was held in Kyiv in July 2022.
"The second Summit doubled both the number of participants - 23 first ladies - and the number of international speakers - more than 40 people, among whom were the President of the Republic of Poland, the President of the European Council, the Director-General of WHO, the Executive Director of UN Women, the European Commissioner for Health , world sports and cinema stars and many others. We doubted whether to hold this event for security reasons. But the Russian threat did not stop you, and our representation even turned out to be twice as large. Only friends and like-minded people are capable of this. Thank you!" said the First Lady of Ukraine.
The President's wife emphasized that within the Summit they managed to raise 6.4 million U.S. dollars, which made it possible to purchase 84 ambulances for the needs of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
During the online meeting, the first ladies discussed work plans for 2023. In particular, Olena Zelenska proposed to integrate the Summit into the activities of international organizations and vice versa.
"Such meetings within other major international events will add regularity to our cooperation. We can jointly hold international events of other global organizations: the UN General Assembly, G7, G20, etc., and present the Summit ourselves on their platforms," said Olena Zelenska.
The First Lady noted that the Russian attack on Ukraine and the Ukrainian resistance are changing the world. And the role of the first ladies of the world is also changing.
"For a long time, first ladies were considered only a soft power, far from having a great influence on the world. But now I feel how everything is changing with our forces, the forces of the Summit. I'm sure you feel it too. We can and already influence what the world becomes. Whether it will become better and safer. We are a force. And we decide whether it is hard or soft, depending on the circumstances. The main thing is that it is powerful," summed up the wife of the President of Ukraine.