Message from the First Lady of Ukraine

The summit will take place in extraordinary times. Times when all countries, regardless of their level of development, are facing enormous challenges without exception. Overcoming them and adapting to the new reality is not just a problem for one single country. Challenges can be tackled only through joint efforts.

There is a role and place for First Ladies and Gentlemen on this path. The “soft power” of the First Ladies, who have no actual political power, is capable of changing the surrounding reality. The spouses of Heads of State achieve the set goal and get the expected result not by engaging in politics, but through humanitarian projects, social connections and public relations.

Olena Zelenska
The First Lady of Ukraine

About the Summit

Many First Ladies and Gentlemen play a powerful role in their own country. Not only are spouses of Heads of State a strong voice that is heard and can draw attention to social problems, they are also a mildyet mightyforce that can work effectively to solve them. Aware of the pressing relevance of humanity’s problems the organizers see the event as particularly timely.Ukraine in this regard is proud to be the first country to bring together and welcome the First ladies and Gentlemen of the world.


  • to bring together First Ladies and Gentlemen to create an international platform to exchange experiences and implement joint projects for the well-being of people in the world;
  • to discuss current issues of the day and the activities of First Ladies and Gentlemen to address them;
  • make the voice of each individual First Lady and Gentleman more influential;


The signing ofthe final Kyiv Declaration on joining efforts to implement soft power policy is planned at the end of the Summit. The policy will establish a new format of international cooperation at the level of Heads of State and Government. It is envisaged thata new international format will be created which allows forexchange experiences, coordination of efforts and joint projects to overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in various spheres of society. A draft Declaration is attached.


On 23 August 2021, Kyiv will host the first international summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen.

The location of the summit is the National Sanctuary Complex “Sophia of Kyiv”, located in the heart of the Ukrainian capital. The choice of the site is not accidental: Sophia of Kyiv is the birthplace of Ukrainian statehood, and it was here that Anna Yaroslavna, a Rus’ princess, Queen of France and a great-grandmother of many foreign kings and queens, was born and grew up. Anne of Kiev may be considered the prototype of the modern First Lady.

Panel 1:

New Reality: Challenges, Lessons and Opportunities.

The summit will start with the discussions on the new reality in which the world finds itself and the new normal which the world is becoming accustomedto. The initial discussionswill bring all participants to the table and lay the groundwork for future discussions in the thematic panels. At the same time, the participants will be invited to treat the pandemic not as a problem and crisis but as an opportunity. The summit implies the formulation of a fresh perspective on how “soft power” must function effectively in the new reality and where to look for points of growth and development. The speeches in the first panel will focus on current issues (a changed world in which life and relationships will never be the same) and their global importance. A discussion on the challenges faced by each country, by the whole world. Each country is different, but the challenges unite. The unifying function of the panel and the joint reflection on the “new reality” will provide a common understanding of the issues, the impetus for joint action, and the certainty that the solutions will eventually be found and possibilities arise.


A panel that sets the mood and tone of the summit; speakers who give confidence and hope for the future – there is a belief that the world will cope.


  • The future of the education system: opening new schools vs “internetization” of the learning process
  • Online education as a new established practice: development of certified national online curricula; retraining and adaptation of teachers
  • The question of quality of online education
  • Accessibility of on-line learning: availability of high speed internet and gadgets


  • Psychological adaptation: development and implementation of mental health programmes, psychological support and rehabilitation programmes
  • Vaccine availability and transparency of vaccine distribution
  • Vaccine promotion programmes


Equal opportunities: protection of women's rights:
  • The issue of gender equality
  • Domestic and gender-based violence
  • Women’s economic empowerment

Speakers and Guests

Yuval Noah Harari

Expert / Moderator

Maria Efrosinina


Oprah Winfrey


Speakers / Experts
Andreas Schleicher

Educational guru, philosopher and founder of the international study PISA.

Director of Education and Skills of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Daphne Koller

Israeli-American professor of computer science at Stanford University, McArthur Foundation Fellow, co-founder of the Coursera educational platform.

Liina Kersna

Minister of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia

Zoya Lytvyn

Ukrainian public figure, head of the public association “Osvitoria”, founder of the Novopechersk school and the Global Teacher Prize Ukraine.

Oleksandr Elkin

Ukrainian public figure, founder of the movement of responsible teachers EdCamp Ukraine, chairman of the Board of NGO “EdCamp Ukraine”

Melinda Gates

American businesswoman and philanthropist, co-founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Viktor Liashko

Minister of Health of Ukraine

Svitlana Roiz

Child and family psychologist

Emma Watson

Representative / Ambassador of the HeForShe movement – a movement of solidarity for gender equality, created by the organization “UN-Women”

Åsa Regnér

Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Deputy Executive Director of UN-Women

Kateryna Levchenko

Government Commissioner for Gender Policy

Special Guests
Hillary Clinton
Michelle Obama
Reese Witherspoon
Stella McCartney


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Office of the First Lady
of Ukraine

Office of the President
of Ukraine