Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (born 29 April 1968) is a Croatian politician and diplomat who served as President of Croatia from 2015 to 2020. She was the first woman to be elected to the office since the first multi-party elections in 1990 and independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. At 46 years of age, she also became the youngest person to assume the presidency. Before her election as President of Croatia, Grabar-Kitarović held a number of governmental and diplomatic posts. She was minister of European Affairs from 2003 to 2005, the first female minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration from 2005 to 2008, Croatian ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2011 and assistant secretary general for public diplomacy at NATO from 2011 to 2014.
- I remember how much I yearned for democracy, when I was a girl growing up in the communist Yugoslavia. How much I wanted to escape the oppression, lack of freedom and lack of individual choice. This is what motivated me to become an exchange student in the US. Upon return, it was even more difficult to tolerate the failed economic policies, the lack of values, of respect, of democratic institutions and inequality before the state and the law. Thus, I joined the moment for an independent Croatia that wanted to become part of the democratic family of nations.
- Sports brings people together. People in all of our countries are tired of ideological differences, of going back into the past all the time.
- What I want to do is work together with all my female and male colleagues and work with the media in terms of our substance and not our form. Let us not divide ourselves into men and women.
- The goals before us — poverty eradication, quality education, inclusion and climate action — cannot be achieved without individual national efforts coupled with our common dedication and action. For its part, Croatia is doing its best to fulfil the goals we have set for ourselves.
- "Address at 74th session of the UN General Assembly" (24 September 2019)
- We live in times of great opportunities and serious challenges. We are more interconnected than ever, yet the world remains divided in many ways. Technological developments have enabled our world to become a truly global village. Our citizens have become global citizens and are well-informed and strongly driven by developments around the world. They expect global leadership in these times of rapid change and great complexity and look to all of us for inspiration.
- "Address at 73rd session of the UN General Assembly" (26 September 2018)
- I called upon everyone in the spirit of what I've said to refrain from using the term "the Western Balkans." I do know that it won't disappear from the jargon so easily, that it is a technical term that is used by very many institutions and in documents, but I believe that we should clearly start to call this part of Europe, experience it as it -- what it really is, and this is Southeast Europe.
- Croatian coastal areas, one of the world’s cleanest and most wondrous, are at times severely affected by poorly managed waste from our southern, neighbouring countries.
- Small countries like Croatia cannot play a decisive role in combating global threats but can make a significant contribution to world peace and security through stabilizing their own neighborhood and playing a constructive role in multinational structures.