First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska took part in the opening of the plenary session at the Congress Center of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which started in Davos, Switzerland. For the first time in the history of the forum, the wife of the leader of the state spoke at it.
The President’s wife presented the Ukrainian Peace Formula, which Volodymyr Zelenskyy had previously presented to the G19 leaders. The formula contains ten specific points – from nuclear safety to the restoration of the territorial integrity of our state, from energy security to the return of all prisoners of war and deportees held in Russia.
Olena Zelenska noted that she presented the Peace Formula primarily in the humanitarian, human dimension and spoke about those Ukrainians who need the implementation of its points as soon as possible.
“Peace in our understanding is not equal to a truce. For our people who are now scattered around the world to be able to return home. For fathers, sons and daughters to return from the front. For the families that were separated by the war to reunite. Unity is what brings peace,” the First Lady said in the address.
In addition, Olena Zelenska held a series of meetings on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.
Particularly, the President’s wife thanked President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen for her personal attention to Ukraine and the assistance provided by the Commission for the restoration of Ukrainian schools. In the course of the meeting, the parties have also discussed ways to support the development of family upbringing in Ukraine.
“According to Ukraine’s commitments to join the EU, we must completely get rid of classical orphanages with educators and directors, giving all children the opportunity to grow up in families. Thus, there should be more foster and patronage families, as well as family-type orphanages,” Olena Zelenska emphasized.
The First Lady noted the necessity of financial support from the EU for the development of a systematic approach to the abandonment of institutional upbringing of children and the development of family forms, promotion of national adoption. The EU-funded project office could become an instrument and engine of this process.
“I offer the whole world to join this. Because it is hard to imagine a more worthy goal than home and family for every child,” the President’s wife noted.
Olena Zelenska also held meetings with the leaders of the Swiss Confederation: President of Switzerland Alain Berset and Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis. With the President of the Swiss Confederation she discussed the assistance provided by his country to the Ukrainian IDPs, thanked for it and for supporting the EU policy on sanctions against Russia: Russian assets worth 7.5 billion Swiss francs are now blocked in the country.
During a conversation with Ignazio Cassis, Olena Zelenska congratulated Switzerland on its first non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council. She expressed hope that the two-year stay of friendly Switzerland in the Security Council would contribute to the support of our state. The parties also discussed the participation and leadership of the Swiss Confederation in the restoration of Ukraine. The First Lady expressed confidence that the Ukrainian-Swiss cooperation would further develop.
In addition, the First Lady met with Prince Alois of Liechtenstein. It is Liechtenstein that supports Ukrainian projects on registering war crimes of the Russians and allocated 450 thousand Swiss francs for this purpose.
“To help Ukraine punish Russian crimes – the Principality of Liechtenstein is already doing it. Today, I was able to personally thank for the commitment of the Principality of Liechtenstein to international law, including its active position in the UN General Assembly on the establishment of a Special Tribunal to bring to justice those responsible for these crimes. We will be grateful for further promotion of this initiative,” Olena Zelenska said.
During the Ukraine is You panel discussion at Ukraine House Davos, the President’s wife answered one of the most frequently asked questions about “fatigue from Ukraine” and how to encourage and inspire donors to support our country.
“Ukraine is now fighting physically, but the world is also fighting morally. We all need this victory. If the whole world is tired and you can take a pause, imagine what will happen if Ukrainians get tired. We are also tired both morally and physically. We have no right to stop and we hope that you will also feel this emotion. The whole civilized world has already helped so much that stopping would mean that all previous assistance was in vain. You cannot stop extinguishing a fire when half of the building is burning. You cannot stop in the middle. It is either all or nothing,” the First Lady concluded.
Before the discussion, Olena Zelenska visited the Ukraine is You exhibition featuring video works about Russian war crimes and documentary footage from the recently liberated Kherson.