Olena Zelenska speaks at Global Soft Power Index Summit

Olena Zelenska speaks at Global Soft Power Index Summit

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The soft power of first ladies and gentlemen is growing and will bring even more benefits to their countries.

That’s according to Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska, who spoke at the Global Soft Power Index Summit in the UK, Ukrinform reports, referring to the President's Office.

"Soft power is an important topic for Ukraine. As a country, we have always sought to develop soft power. Even after a full-scale enemy invasion, when we needed all our physical strength to survive, it turned out that Ukraine had also increased its soft power,” Zelenska told the forum.

“Soft power is also an important topic for me personally, because it is believed to be the main tool of first ladies and gentlemen. I wanted to make it the most effective one. It is in order to build this power together and use it properly that I founded the First Ladies and Gentlemen Summit in 2021, the world's first professional community that brings together first ladies and gentlemen and promotes dialogue and effective response to global humanitarian challenges," Ukraine’s First Lady emphasized during her speech at the summit.

Read also: Olena Zelenska on UK visit thanks Cameron for consistent support

She noted that the year 2022, the year of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, was a test for the world's soft power.

"What can we, the bearers of soft power, do to counteract the force of brute, global violence? My colleagues and I passed this test. As it turned out, we have something to oppose. First of all, it is cooperation to save people. At the second Summit, by bringing together people who care from all over the world, we were able to raise more than $6 million for 92 modern ICU vehicles that are now saving lives of Ukrainians. Our slogan was "Every Summit should yield results." And at the third Summit last year, this result was the establishment of a medical partnership. Together with the first ladies and gentlemen, the heads of the health ministries of 15 countries gathered in Kyiv and signed 25 agreements on direct cooperation between clinics in Ukraine and other countries," the President's spouse said.

The event also featured a presentation of the study "The Impact of First Ladies and Gentlemen on the Soft Power Index of Nations" prepared by Brand Finance for the global platform of the First Ladies and Gentlemen Summit.

Read also: First Lady on international medical partnership: It is our chance to save more lives

According to the study, the influence of first ladies and gentlemen on a country's soft power is 35%, which indicates their considerable power and ability to shape the perception of their countries in the world.

"Imagine this enormous power. And this is the ability to influence not only the perception of the country, its image, but also GDP. An increase in the Global Soft Power Index score due to the initiatives of first ladies and gentlemen can lead to a GDP increase of up to $1.22 billion. Soft power, if used correctly, can lead to economic growth. I would say that this is not just a force, it is a super force. Which is also a super responsibility. We, the first ladies and gentlemen, have a real, not formal, ability to promote international relations. We can create new interactions and really improve the situation of our countries and fellow citizens," Olena Zelenska said.

On the sidelines of the event, she met with First Lady of Iceland Eliza Reid and First Gentleman of Slovenia Aleš Musar.

The President's wife expressed gratitude for the support of their countries to Ukraine.

"I highly appreciate your personal contribution to the mission of the global platform of the First Ladies and Gentlemen Summit, where we raise important issues and find solutions to the challenges facing our countries and the world," the First Lady of Ukraine added.

Olena Zelenska said that the Summit is now turning into a global platform that operates on a permanent basis.

The Global Soft Power Index is an annual study conducted by Brand Finance, a leading UK-based brand and strategy consultancy headquartered in London.

Brand Finance has developed an integrated and comprehensive approach to measuring soft power that covers and analyzes all aspects of a country's external positioning and branding.

The Global Soft Power Index is based on the Brand Finance Nations Brands study, which has been published for over 15 years. It is based on a survey of more than 150 thousand respondents on more than 100 market indices in all 193 member states of the United Nations.

This year, the company has separately studied the contribution of first ladies and gentlemen to the soft power index of countries.

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