UNU-GEST fellows visit the President and First Lady of Iceland

The President and the First Lady of Iceland with the UNU-GEST fellows
The President and the First Lady of Iceland with the UNU-GEST fellows

Today, 14th of February, the 2018 cohort of UNU-GEST fellows had the honour of visiting the President of Iceland, Mr. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and the First Lady, Mrs. Eliza Reid, at Bessastaðir, the presidential residence.

The fellows were warmly greeted by both the President and the First Lady. The President gave a short remark in which he addressed the fight for gender equality in Iceland, stressing the importance of Mrs. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir’s election in 1980 as President of Iceland, making her the world's first democratically elected female head of state. Afterwards, three of the fellows introduced the class of 2018 to the distinguished hosts. Sophia Nabukenya, who works as a national youth ambassador in Uganda, her home country, opened the round of introduction. She gave insights into the realities of her work and how the knowledge and skills she will acquire in the Post-Graduate Diploma Programme in International Gender Studies will impact the communities she works with. Luka Lazović from Serbia was the next to address the President and the First Lady as he gave an overview of the structure of the Diploma Programme and the wide range of final assignments the fellows are working on. Maaref Fadel from Lebanon concluded the formal part of the meeting by explaining how the program enables her and all the other fellows to express their ideas freely and research topics that are a taboo in their countries of origin.

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. Most fellows used the opportunity to be photographed with the distinguished hosts.The event is the second visit of UNU-GEST fellows to Bessastaðir.