Croatian President Travelling to United States

By 18 September 2019

ZAGREB, September 18, 2019 - President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is travelling to the United States on Thursday to attend the 74th UN General Assembly, where she will support the implementation of UN reform, advocate the strengthening of multilateralism, and warn about the importance of sustainable development and preserving the environment, notably the protection of the Adriatic Sea.

Grabar-Kitarović will address the General Assembly next Tuesday.

By advocating the importance of multilateralism, which is currently in a crisis and which is especially important for smaller states, Croatia is not ignoring bilateral relations, a source in the president's office has said, adding that she is welcome among world leaders.

The Adriatic is "a small and closed sea that is very important for Croatia," the source says, recalling that it is threatened by plastic and that the garbage which currents carry from Montenegro and Albania is a danger to Croatia's tourism.

Grabar-Kitarović will use her address to present the "Zlarin Without Plastic" project, which was launched on the island of Zlarin last year.

"Great progress has been achieved in a year. It's the first Croatian island without plastic and this carries a global message. The president will present, at the global level, Croatia's successes and Zlarin is our example of good practice," the source has said.

On Monday, Grabar-Kitarović will attend a climate summit as well as be a guest at an Atlantic Council meeting on transatlantic relations. She will also meet presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Hashim Thaci of Kosovo and Salome Zourabichvili of Georgia as well as the King of Jordan, Abdullah II.

The talks with President Erdogan and King Abdullah II will focus on migrations and the latest crisis in the Middle East, the source has said.

On Tuesday, Grabar-Kitarović will attend a political forum on sustainable development as well as an evening reception organised by US President Donald Trump. She will also meet the leaders of Chile, Argentina and Colombia as well as Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) president Jose Angel Gurria Trevino to lobby for Croatia's accession to the OECD, which is currently opposed by Slovenia.

On Wednesday, Grabar-Kitarović will moderate a panel on sustainable development and organise a meeting of 75 former and incumbent women presidents and prime ministers, having taken over the Council of Women World Leaders chairmanship in March.

She will also meet UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. UN Women is the global leader in gender equality advocacy and Grabar-Kitarović is one of the four women presidents in the organisation's 193 member states elected by direct vote.

Before New York, Grabar-Kitarović will visit Cleveland and Pittsburgh, while after New York she is going to Boston to visit her daughter at Harvard.

She will return to the US in October to receive the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Award.

More news about Croatia and the United Nations can be found in the Politics section.