First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska arrived in New York for the 77th session of the UN General Assembly. The wife of the President of Ukraine began her visit with a series of meetings with the first ladies and gentlemen of the countries of the world. The meetings were dedicated to the expansion of cooperation between the states.
In particular, she met with First Lady of Poland Agata Kornhauser-Duda and First Lady of Lithuania Diana Nausėdienė within the Lublin Triangle.
The Lublin Triangle is a platform for tripartite cooperation between the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Poland and Ukraine aimed at deepening regional cooperation in the security, economic, social and humanitarian spheres. The decision to establish the format was made on July 28, 2020 by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Jacek Czaputowicz who signed a declaration on the launch of a new regional association.
"Today, we are starting the format of dialogue of the first ladies within the Lublin Triangle," the wife of the President of Ukraine emphasized.
She also noted that this year's session of the General Assembly is special, because the security situation in Ukraine as a result of Russia's war against our country should not leave anyone indifferent.
"The high-level segment of the UN General Assembly is a unique opportunity to draw additional attention to the threats caused by Russian aggression against Ukraine, to emphasize its global dimension," said the First Lady.
Olena Zelenska thanked Poland and Lithuania for their solidarity and invaluable support for temporarily displaced citizens of Ukraine who were forced to seek refuge abroad due to hostilities and received it from fraternal Poland and Lithuania.
For her part, Diana Nausėdienė initiated the unification of the efforts of the first ladies and international non-governmental organizations for the joint development of projects and initiatives.
The wives of the leaders of Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland also discussed the issue of helping children as a priority of tripartite cooperation, issues of health care, education, implementation of projects on social protection and children's rehabilitation.
"An important direction is the humanitarian projects implemented in Poland and Lithuania, for which I am especially grateful to you, dear first ladies. Together with Mrs. Agata, we patronize the "Books Without Borders" project. In its framework, 120,000 copies of books in the Ukrainian language have been published. I also observe with great pleasure the work of the Ukrainian Center, which has been operating in Vilnius for more than three months and has become a real corner of Ukraine in Lithuania," said Olena Zelenska.
She also appealed to her colleagues to introduce the Ukrainian language as a modern foreign language into the curriculum of primary and secondary schools in their countries.
The wife of the President of Ukraine suggested that these and other joint projects be implemented in the framework of the Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen.
"I am sure that the Summit shouldn’t function one day only. Therefore, I would be grateful for the opportunity to conduct, with your participation and assistance, appropriate measures to support not only Ukraine in different parts of the world," said Olena Zelenska.
The First Lady of Ukraine also held a meeting in the format of a brunch, which was joined by a wider circle of participants: First Lady of Latvia Andra Levite, First Lady of Poland Agata Kornhauser-Duda, First Lady of Lithuania Diana Nausėdienė, First Lady of Estonia Sirje Karis, First Lady of Suriname Mellisa Santokhi-Seenacherry, wife of the President of the European Council Amélie Derbaudrenghien, wife of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga Fiona Sovaleni, husband of the Prime Minister of Luxembourg Gauthier Destenay, wife of the Prime Minister of Malta Dr. Lydia Abela.
The brunch was held at the initiative of Olena Zelenska in the framework of the Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen and was intended to bring together the spouses of heads of state and government to discuss the global agenda. The first ladies and gentlemen talked about how their countries live today and what issues concern their peoples.
"I sincerely believe that the power of first ladies and gentlemen can improve the world. It may not find a way out of crises, but it can facilitate and mitigate the processes that these crises cause. Or even more – prevent them. We can and do this thanks to our social, educational, humanitarian and cultural projects. We are able to do it softly, not with the strength of our muscles," said the wife of the President of Ukraine.
In addition, at the meeting, Olena Zelenska spoke about her plans to create a permanent online platform based on the Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen. According to her, the platform will help unite to find joint solutions and create projects.
"This year, in the framework of the Summit, 23 first ladies united around drawing the world's attention to the events taking place in Ukraine and finding solutions that will positively affect our common future. In a format that will operate continuously, the first ladies and gentlemen will be able to discuss the current challenges of today, important for them and their countries, and share their own experience of implementing projects. The Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen is intended to become an international platform for sharing experience and implementing joint projects for the well-being of people in the world," concluded the wife of the President of Ukraine.