President Grabar-Kitarović Addresses UN General Assembly

Total Croatia News

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović also met with several world leaders.

On Wednesday evening, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović gave a speech at the UN General Assembly. She spoke about issues such as migration, gender inequality and difficult living conditions of children around the world.

“People must be in the spotlight. Our goal as leaders is to empower young people to learn and to give them the opportunity to be catalysts of progress”, said the President. “There is a lot ahead of us, we have to start returning the public’s trust in international organizations, we have to accept shared values, be really tolerant and dedicated builders of the world where there will not be despair.”

She stressed that the prosperity and human rights went hand in hand and could not be separated. “Sixty million children do not have access to basic education. These children are counting on us to give them the chance they deserve. All children must have the right to childhood and education”, she added.

Speaking about migrations, the President highlighted the need to stop the policy of double standards, to help those who are escaping hostilities, but also those who have not had a chance to escape. She said that social media have become a double-edged sword, since they have a dark potential to spread intolerance and hatred. “We need to pay particular attention to use new technologies in order to improve our lives and minds, our hearts”, said Grabar-Kitarović.

Speaking about gender inequality, she said that we needed more women in the diplomatic service and other positions and that men should empower women. The President also spoke about climate change. “Nature cannot be replaced, just like people. Climate change is a great weapon to destroy people. There is little time for us to stop this self-destructive course.”

“The world expects strong leadership, since solidarity in our global society is somehow collapsing, while hope is slowly disappearing. Shall we stop and reverse these trends? We as leaders need to encourage our citizens to act together today”, said the President, who ended her speech with a message for all the children at home and abroad which was given to her by a boy called Lovro, who wrote it in a book of ideas that she keeps in her office: “We want a future in which everyone works, lives happily, and everybody loves each other.”

“Lovro, you may be only six years old, but your voice is heard in this room. You make a difference”, concluded the President.

On the sidelines of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, the President held several bilateral meetings. The President met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and talked about possibilities for bilateral cooperation, especially in the fields of shipbuilding, education and IT sectors. They also discussed the possibility for cooperation in the context of linking the countries of the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Seas. They talked about refugees and migration as one of the greatest challenges of our time.

The President met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Fuad Masum and discussed the potential for mutual cooperation. The President said that Croatia had a wealth of experience in construction and infrastructure, as well as in food production, while the Iraqi Prime Minister showed interest in Croatia’s experiences and technology in the field of demining.

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović also met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, with whom she discussed the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries. President Poroshenko expressed special interest in Croatian experience in the process of peaceful integration, coexistence and peace building.


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