First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska held a video meeting with First Lady of Germany Elke Büdenbender.
The wife of the President of Ukraine thanked her colleague for participation in the third Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen, which took place in Kyiv on September 6, 2023.
"As you know, the central theme of the Summit was mental health. We chose this topic, understanding the particular importance of mental well-being for every person on Earth, regardless of the country they live in. Because wars, crises, natural disasters, and epidemics affect each of us, our ability to live and act," Olena Zelenska said.
The Summit was attended by 27 first ladies and gentlemen from around the world, with eight of them attending the event in Kyiv in person.
The summit consisted of three panels, and the discussions were moderated by the British actor, writer, and mental health activist, Stephen Fry.
For the first time in the history of the Summit, there was a Mental Stage – a second stage where additional panels were held. Prominent figures from the world of culture, including directors Sean Penn, Bernard-Henri Lévy, and Michel Hazanavicius, discussed the impact of culture on mental health.
In addition, results of a study on mental health and attitudes towards it in different parts of the world were presented for discussion during all three panels of the Summit. The survey was conducted by the British company Alligator Digital in 11 countries, including Germany.
"I am pleased to share its results with you, which can be useful for your work," Olena Zelenska said, when addressing Elke Büdenbender.
The First Lady of Ukraine said that another important outcome of the Summit was the satellite summit of health ministers from different countries, where the unique project "International Medical Partnership" was initiated. Within its framework, 25 memorandums of cooperation were signed between medical institutions of Ukraine and other countries.
"This will enable us to save human lives, which are under constant threat in Ukraine due to Russian aggression, more quickly and effectively. It will serve to support and strengthen Ukraine's healthcare system, which has been under tremendous strain and tested by the war for the second year. However, these memorandums are bilateral. We seek not only to receive but also to give. Experts from foreign clinics will have the opportunity to borrow experience from their Ukrainian colleagues in saving lives in extreme conditions. All participants will be able to conduct joint operations, research, and training," the First Lady of Ukraine said.
Olena Zelenska expressed her gratitude for the participation in this project to Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach and for all the support from Germany in the field of healthcare. Germany is Ukraine's largest partner in the initiative for medical evacuation abroad for the treatment and rehabilitation of Ukrainians affected by military aggression from Russia. To date, over 900 Ukrainian citizens have been sent to Germany, with over 600 of them being severely wounded soldiers.
The First Lady of Ukraine emphasized that the Summit is a year-round platform that works daily to save lives.