At the invitation of the spouse of the President of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, the spouse of the President of North Macedonia, Elizabeta Gjorgievska, addressed via video message the Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen held for the third time on September 6 in Kyiv.
Below is the integral address of Elizabeta Gjorgievska.
Dear Olena, esteemed First Ladies and Gentlemen, and distinguished guests,
I extend my heartfelt greetings to all of you at the Third Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen. It is with deep regret that I cannot be with you in person today in Kyiv, but I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to address this vital panel, dedicated to the generation that will shape our world.
The topic at hand, “The generation which will rule the world, what will they be like?” touches upon the very essence of our shared responsibility to nurture the future architects of our world – our children. It is a question that transcends borders, politics, and cultures because it concerns the collective inheritance of every nation, every child, and every generation to come.
As we contemplate the leaders of tomorrow, we must first recognize the challenges they face today. Our children, the architects of the future, bear the weight of an ever-evolving world, with its relentless pace, ceaseless demands, and omnipresent pressures. It is within this crucible that their mental well-being is forged.
Alarming statistics paint a vivid picture – one in five young people worldwide struggles with mental health issues. It is a crisis that knows no borders, affecting the lives of millions, irrespective of nationality or socioeconomic status. These statistics are not just numbers; they represent the pain, the struggle, and the dreams deferred of countless young souls. They represent the untapped potential that remains dormant within our future leaders. We cannot, we must not, turn a blind eye to this crisis.
To grasp the gravity of this issue, we must delve into the depths of our empathy. We must put ourselves in the shoes of a young person battling anxiety, depression, or isolation. Imagine the impact on their dreams, their ability to learn, and their capacity to contribute positively to society. We cannot allow their potential to be eroded by the weight of unaddressed mental health challenges.
We must commit ourselves to a future where the leaders of our world are defined by their strength of character, their depth of empathy, and their unwavering commitment to the well-being of all. We must break the stigma surrounding mental health, ensuring that our youth feel no shame in seeking help and support.
Let us stand united in our dedication to providing the necessary resources and nurturing environments for our young minds to flourish. Let us pledge to create a world where emotional intelligence is as valued as academic achievement and where mental health is prioritized as highly as physical health.
In conclusion, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your commitment to this critical cause. Let us emerge from this Summit not just with words but with a commitment to action. Let us pledge to create a world where the generation that will rule the world is defined by their strength, their empathy, and their resilience in the face of mental health challenges. The statistics may be daunting, but together, we can change the narrative.