UNU-GEST fellows visit the President of Iceland

UNU-GEST fellows and staff at the home of the President and the First Lady of Iceland in Bessastaðir…
UNU-GEST fellows and staff at the home of the President and the First Lady of Iceland in Bessastaðir.

The 2017 cohort of UNU-GEST fellows visited the President of Iceland, Mr. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and the First Lady, Mrs. Eliza Reid at Bessastaðir, the presidential residence, on the 27 February. The fellows were warmly greeted by the President and the First Lady, who gave a short remark on the importance of Bessastaðir in the fight for gender equality in Iceland, referring to Mrs. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir’s election as the world's first democratically directly elected female president. President Jóhannesson and the First Lady listened to three UNU-GEST fellows presenting on behalf of the 2017 cohort of fellows; Ms. Haneen Salameh from Palestine on the value of the UNU-GEST programme for fellows, Mr. Leonard Chimbali reflected on the relevance of his work as an agricultural extension officer in his home country of Malawi and Ms. Bisharo Ali Hussein who spoke about the topic of her final assignment; the fight against female genital mutilation in Somalia.

After the formal visit, the fellows were invited to join President Jóhannesson and Mrs. Eliza Reid for light refreshments and Icelandic treats, pönnukökur and kleinur, where most fellows used the opportunity to be photographed with the distinguished hosts. The event is the first visit of UNU-GEST fellows to Bessastaðir and the first time they meet a current President of Iceland but the former President of Iceland, Mrs. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, is the matron of the UNU-GEST programme.

The President of Iceland and First LadyBessastadir