RA Prime Minister Anna Hakobyan, by the invitation of Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska, participated in the “Third Annual Summit of First Ladies and Spouses” in Kyiv on September 6. This year, one of topics that the wives and husbands of dozens of heads of state, high-ranking EU officials, famous actors and journalists discussed was the mental health problems.
Before the official ceremony of the event started, the delegations visited the “Child Martyrs” exhibition, where a commemoration ceremony was held. In memory of the children who died in the war, the Prime Minister’s wife Anna Hakobyan, together with the heads of other delegations, paid tribute to the martyred children by placing a symbolic soft toy at the children’s memorial site.
Anna Hakobyan delivered a speech at the summit.
“We are returning from the exhibition “Martyr Children”, where we commemorated the deceased children in Ukraine from February 24, 2022 until now.
When I think about the question addressed to me about what the future holds for my children, the children of my country and the children of the world, first of all I think about those children, who no longer have a future, who remained in the past and whose memory we have just commemorated.
I think that we, the adults, did not do our utmost at the time so that the future would not «prepare» such an end of life for them. I feel extremely guilty for those kids. I feel very guilty for all the children of the world who were martyred in various wars, regardless of which country they were killed in, without distinction of race, color, religion or social origin.
According to Anna Hakobyan, it is not normal to have a «Martyr Children» exhibition in the 21st century. It is not normal to have children scarred by bombing. It is not normal in the 21st century to have children trapped in a blockade, being hungry, exhausted, with the fear of genocide in their hearts.
“As we speak, 120,000 peaceful people of Nagorno-Karabakh are on the verge of humanitarian catastrophe due to the illegal blockade of the Lachin corridor and are subjected to constant life-threatening.
30,000 children living in Nagorno-Karabakh, are struggling from malnutrition and lack of food; They have to stand in line for hours to get the minimum amount of food. They are the witnesses of frequent cases of fainting, which is the result of the overstressed mental state of the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh. 30,000 children are trapped in a small piece of land, deprived of their inalienable rights, such as the right to food, health care and education.”
Anna Hakobyan said that 2,000 pregnant women residing in Nagorno-Karabakh don’t have even basic access to health care; According to her, only a blockaded mind can turn a blind eye to the hardships of innocent people and only a cruel heart keeps the blockade of the road of life, the Lachin corridor, linking Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia and the external world.
“Concluding, I would like to call on each of us to have enough courage to find the solution to all our problems, including the one mentioned above, from a completely different perspective. We must cherish every human life, and we must find new ways and tools to stop war and value human lives. After all, global peace is a cornerstone prerequisite for progress, and only in this way can we inherit a better world for future generations.”
Anna Hakobyan informed the audience that on October 19, 2023, the “Women Political Leaders” global network is organizing a summit in Yerevan, Armenia, dedicated to the role of women leaders in the democratic world and the security system. Anna Hakobyan kindly invited those present to visit Yerevan and participate in the summit.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky also addressed to the summit. The Prime Minister of Denmark was also present at the event.
The First Ladies and Husbands Summit is an international platform that brings together influential women and men from around the world to discuss and find solutions to global humanitarian issues.
According to the ideology of the summit, this is possible through partnership relations, diplomacy, exchange of experience and implementation of joint initiatives. The summit focuses on one of the most important topics of creating a better future for the humanity.
First ladies and spouses of Lithuania, Serbia, Denmark, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Estonia attended the summit, and first ladies from around 18 countries joined the event online. The First Ladies and Spouses Summit is being held at the initiative of the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska from 2021.
After the event, Anna Hakobyan visited St. Sophia Cathedral, where an Armenian inscription is preserved on the wall. According to scholars, the Armenians settled in this part of Ukraine in the 16th century had close ties with the “Kiev Sophia” reserve. According to scholars, tens of Armenian written records have been preserved in the temple.
It is noteworthy that one of the founders of St. Sophia is Armenian princess Anna Byzantatsi, the wife of Grand Prince of Kiev, Vladimir the Great. Anna Byzantatsi is considered the person who baptized Kievan Rus, and Christianity was spread in Russia during the reign of Vladimir the Great.