UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis made important international contacts and attended meetings centred around social contribution and solidarity, within the framework of her visit to New York, in the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly, on Tuesday, 25 September 2018.

Mrs. Vardinoyannis also attended a formal meal organised by the First Lady of Canada, Mrs. Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, at the Canadian Ambassador’s Residence in New York. Thirty female Prime Ministers and First Ladies from all over the world were present, among them the First Lady of Cyprus Mrs. Andri Anastasiades, the First Lady of Ukraine, as well as the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, together with her newborn.

During the meal, Mrs. Vardinoyannis had the opportunity to talk for quite a while with Mrs. Trudeau, detailing to her the work of the “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis” ELPIDA Children’s Oncology Unit, while she also spoke to her about the partnership that the Oncology Unit has developed with the Canadian Oncological Hospital Sick Kids Hospital through the ELPIDA “Twinning Programme.” Mrs Trudeau showed particular interest in this cooperation and pledged that she would strive to ensure that the two hospitals will cooperate even more closely to provide hope to children with cancer.

Mrs. Vardinoyannis also had an interesting conversation with the First Lady of Ukraine, with whom she discussed issues of common interest and also examined the possibility of cooperating to treat childhood cancer.

Within the framework of the contacts made in the US, Mrs. Vardinoyannis also attended an important event dedicated to dealing with autism entitled “Autism and Sustainable Development Goals: A new era of Opportunities.” The event was organised by the NGO “Autism Speaks” which, in cooperation with the United Nations and the World Health Organization, advances proposals to improve the lives of children who have autism.

This special event was attended by renown fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, together with his wife Dee, as the couple has three children who have been diagnosed with autism and the couple are supporters of the organization “Autism Speaks”. Speakers included the First Lady of Cyprus, Mrs. Andri Anastasiades, the First Lady of Serbia, Mrs. Tamara Vucic, as well as the First Lady of Kenya, Mrs Margaret Kennyata. Mrs. Vardinoyannis had the opportunity to be briefed in detail on the difficulties encountered by the families of children with autism as well as on the proposals being promoted by the United Nations.