A call to leaders in Davos from the first lady of Ukraine. Last Minute EUROPE, France, CURRENT, UK, Russia headlines and events
Olena Zelenskaya, wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, at the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum, which began in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.
Olena Zelenska said that as the first anniversary of the war approaches, families watch with tears in their eyes as doctors try to save their children, farmers are afraid to return to their mined fields.
“What you all have in common is that you are really effective,” Zelenskaya said.
Zelenskaya reached out to hundreds of government officials, business executives, scientists and activists in Davos, Europe’s highest mountain city. Global issues such as hunger, climate change and economic slowdown will be discussed at the week-long Davos summit. However, it is not clear to what extent the talks will lead to concrete action to achieve the World Economic Forum’s goal of “making the world a better place.”
“We all believe that there is no global problem that humanity cannot solve,” Zelenskaya said, adding: “This is more important in this period when Russian aggression in Europe brings with it various difficulties.”
Zelenska also pointed to war-induced inflation and increased food insecurity in developing countries, adding that “mass starvation is an affront to humanity and human nature.”
Ukraine and Russia are key suppliers of staple wheat, barley and other foodstuffs to Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where many are starving.
According to the UN World Food Programme, about 345 million people in 82 countries face food insecurity. Before the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, 135 million people in 53 countries were at risk of starvation.
Zelenska warned that the war could go beyond Ukraine and the crisis could worsen, but said “unity brings peace back.”
The President of the European Commission urged to continue assistance to Ukraine
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also urged business and world leaders gathered in Davos to continue helping Ukraine.
Speaking after the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, von der Leyen said: “Ukraine wants to become a member of the European Union. This is a great opportunity to invest and implement reforms to pave the way for Ukraine to EU membership. My appeal to you is this: we need all kinds of help. Ukraine deserves the maximum possible support,” he said.
Calling for Ukrainian unity, von der Leyen explained the details of a major technological and industrial plan prepared for the 27-member European Union to compete with China and America. The European Union aims to be the leader of a future that uses cleaner energy sources.
Von der Leyen said the plan would make it easier to provide subsidies for green industry and direct funds to projects to be implemented in the European Union to achieve the goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050. The project also aims to enable the European Union to become stronger in the fight against unfair business practices.
Former US Vice President Al Gore is among the participants at the Davos summit, where panels were held on topics ranging from the environment to cryptocurrencies to the fight against COVID-19.
The Davos summit began immediately after the terrorist attack in the Dnieper River in southeastern Ukraine, which killed 44 people.
Olena Zelenska said that Ukrainians “can’t take a day’s rest from the war, they have to risk their lives every day”, but also emphasized her belief that the whole world will unite for peace.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to personally accompany Ukrainian officials to Davos, such as his wife and Digital Change Minister Mikhail Fedorov, via videoconference tomorrow.
The Davos summit provides an opportunity for Ukrainian representatives to increase their support for weapons such as anti-tank and missile defense systems, as well as international donations.
America, France, Great Britain and other countries have pledged to send more powerful weapons to Ukraine, such as tanks and armored fighting vehicles.
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