Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska on Sept. 20 hosted a brunch for the spouses of presidents and prime ministers of nine countries at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York.
While Zelenska had already met with most of the attendees during the Summits of First Ladies and Gentlemen held in 2021 and 2022, some of them she was meeting for the first time.
She talked about the event on her social networks, reminding her followers that the participants of the brunch were united by “status, and gentle but effective power.”
“The main purpose of today’s meeting is to share what our countries are living through now, and the issues that concern people,” Zelenska said.
“This exchange of experiences and opinions provides a solid foundation for building future cooperation. I truly believe the power of first ladies and gentlemen can improve the world. It is able, if not to find a way out of crises, but to facilitate and mitigate the processes that these crises cause. Or even more – to prevent them. We can and do this through our social, educational, humanitarian and cultural projects. We can do it gently, not with muscle power.”
Attending the brunch were: 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, the wife of the president of the European Council, Amélie Derbaudrenghien, the wife of the prime minister of the Kingdom of Tonga, Fiona Sovaleni, the husband of the prime minister of Luxembourg, Gauthier Destenay, and the wife of the prime minister of Malta, Dr. Lydia Abela.
“I invited colleagues who are not yet with us to join,” Zelenska said after the meeting.
“And (I offered) a new initiative to all participants: to create a permanent platform of our community, which will function throughout the year, between annual events. The summit remains a platform for discussing current challenges, which are not diminishing in the world. Our Ukrainian experience shows that it’s better to fight and win together.”
The 77th UN General Assembly begins in New York on Sept. 21. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to address the participants of the assembly by video.