At the initiative of First Lady Olena Zelenska, the Kyiv summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen “Soft Power in the New Reality” took place in the capital of Ukraine. The summit resulted in the adoption of a joint declaration on international cooperation and assistance in resolving pressing humanitarian issues and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The event was attended by the First Ladies of Brazil, the State of Israel, Costa Rica, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Serbia, Ukraine, the Federal Republic of Germany, Croatia, the wife of the President of the European Council and the daughter of the President of Lebanon.
“The pandemic has changed the global rules of the game. In the new reality, different countries face the same challenges – in education, healthcare, ensuring equal rights. Obviously, it is more effective to overcome them by joint efforts. That is why Ukraine initiated this summit to unite the efforts of the first ladies and gentlemen around the world and create an effective international platform not only for the exchange of experience, but also for the implementation of joint projects for the well-being of people,” said Olena Zelenska.
The summit was held in the format of two discussion panels, during which the most pressing humanitarian issues of today were discussed: equal access to quality healthcare, challenges of the new reality in education, equal opportunities for development and self-expression of all people, without any forms of discrimination.
Seven international and Ukrainian experts joined the discussion, as well as special guests, including the First Lady of the United States in 1993-2001, former United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; American actress and public figure, known for her role as the First Lady of the United States in the TV series “House of Cards”, eight-time Emmy nominee and winner of the “Golden Globe” Robin Wright; American essayist, author of the bestsellers “The Black Swan” and “Antifragile” Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Afghan director and first woman – CEO of the state company “Afghanfilm” Sahraa Karimi. In total, the summit brought together 22 participants.
As a result of the event, the Declaration of the Kyiv summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen was adopted, which lays the foundations for fruitful cooperation in the format of an international platform. According to the document, Ukraine will offer all participants of the platform an Action Plan for the development of cooperation.
“Soft Power has received its first international document and will now be able to work continuously and more effectively in the long run,” said First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska.
At the end of the summit, a statement was made on the need to protect women, children and families in conflict situations.
“Today, women, children and families in Afghanistan and many other hotspots around the world need such protection. In Ukraine alone, hundreds of thousands of women, children and families have lost their homes as a result of external armed aggression and need help and support. Each and every one of us can and should become the voice of those who are deprived of the opportunity to be heard. Today, the social media initiative #WeCanSaveThem was launched, which calls on all concerned citizens to actively spread information about the situation of women, children and families in conflicts and ways to help them,” Olena Zelenska said.
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