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01.11.2021

Kersti Kaljulaid Joins the Board of Yalta European Strategy (YES)

Yalta European Strategy (YES) is pleased to announce that Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia (2016-2021), United Nations Secretary-General's Global Advocate for Every Woman Every Child, has joined the YES Board.

The YES Board is chaired by Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland (1995-2005), and consists of the following members: Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014), Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994); Stephane Fouks, Vice President of Havas Group, Executive Co-Chairman of Havas Worldwide; Wolfgang Ischinger, Ambassador, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Senior Professor, Hertie School of Governance; and Victor Pinchuk, Founder and Member of the Board, YES and Founder of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and EastOne group; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Founder of Rasmussen Global, Secretary General of NATO (2009-2014), Prime Minister of Denmark (2001-2009).

Kersti Kaljulaid served as the President of the Republic of Estonia from 2016-2021. During her time in office, she made her presence felt in both her homeland and the international arena.

Previously she had been serving as a Member of the European Court of Auditors, advising Prime Minister Mart Laar and holding diferent top level positions in energy, investment banking and telecom sector. Genetic engineer and economist by education, she has been a member of the Supervisory Board of the Estonian Genome Center and the Council Chair of the University of Tartu from 2012 to 2016.

In summer 2021, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed President Kaljulaid to the position of Global Advocate for the ‘Every Woman Every Child’ strategy on the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents around the world for the next two years. She was also the first Estonian to be featured in the Forbes World's 100 Most Powerful Women.

Kersti Kaljulaid has become a sought-after speaker at high-level forums on digital, security and foreign-policy topics and more broadly for analysing and interpreting societal and economic change.

President Kaljulaid is a vocal advocate of human rights, rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy. One of the principles in office of president has been the one she set out upon her inauguration: “I am never silent when our security is in question, when our freedoms are at stake or when those weaker than us are treated unjustly.”

Yalta European Strategy (YES) is a leading forum for discussing Ukraine’s European future and global context. YES fosters new ideas. It connects Ukraine to international partners, supports forces for change in the country, and builds networks of supporters for a new Ukraine worldwide.

For over 15 years, YES has initiated dialogue between leaders from Ukraine, the EU, the US, the Russian Federation, and beyond. Within Ukraine, it provides a platform for the government and opposition. It brings together leaders from politics, business, media, civil society and the expert community.

YES began in 2004, when Victor Pinchuk invited some 30 European leaders to debate the future of Ukraine and the EU at the first Annual Meeting.

YES Annual Meeting took place at the symbolic Livadia Palace in Yalta from 2004 to 2013. The location where Europe was divided in 1945 thus became the venue for uniting a wider Europe. After the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the YES Annual Meeting moved to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

Previously, YES meetings have brought together heads of state and government like Tony Blair, Kersti Kaljulaid, David Cameron, Bill Clinton, Dalia Grybauskaitė, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Bronisław Komorowski, Mario Monti, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, Sauli Niinistö, Shimon Peres, Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Among the speakers were also heads of international organizations like Kofi Annan, José Manuel Barroso, Suma Chakrabarti, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Ronald Noble, James Wolfensohn, Lamberto Zannier and Robert Zoellick. Senior officials, such as Hillary Clinton, Valdis Dombrovskis, Robert Gates, Newt Gingrich, Will Hurd, John Kerry, Victoria Nuland, Leon Panetta, David Petraeus, Condoleezza Rice and Martin Schulz, have spoken at the meetings. Also, renowned thought leaders like Bono, Richard Branson, Vitalik Buterin, Jared Cohen, Olafur Eliasson, Niall Ferguson, Bill Ford, Richard Haass, Yuval Harari, Walter Isaacson, Elton John, Stephen Hawking, Ray Kurzweil, Arthur Laffer, Jonathan Littell, Steven Pinker, Nouriel Roubini, David Rubenstein, Larry Summers and Jimmy Wales have been among the panelists. Presidents and Prime Ministers of Ukraine, as well as Ukraine’s political, business and civil society leaders, regularly speak at the meetings.

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