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Queens University Of Charlotte Hosts Estonian Ambassador

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In a notable event highlighting the importance of international perspectives in education, Queens University of Charlotte recently had the honor of hosting Estonian Ambassador Kristjan Prikk. The ambassador’s visit provided an engaging platform for a student-led discussion titled “Russia, Ukraine, Europe, and Beyond: Objectives, Risks, Opportunities,” allowing students to delve deep into the intricacies of international diplomacy and global affairs.

Queens University President Dan Lugo emphasized the institution’s commitment to global understanding, stating, “As an institution that actively promotes global understanding – not only within our classrooms but also through experiential learning and international travel– we are excited to participate in this annual collaboration between The N.C. Zeitgeist Foundation and the Alliance Française.” Lugo highlighted the significance of the event, noting, “Each year, they commemorate the anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, now 61 years old, by inviting an ambassador from another country to offer their perspective on the European Union. This year, we are pleased to welcome Estonian Ambassador Prikk to Queens.”

The visit was a collaborative effort, orchestrated in part by Klaus Becker, chair of The N.C. Zeitgeist Foundation and president of Nirosteel, LLC, and Queens student Emmanuel Omari’26. Becker praised the event as a testament to the foundation’s decade-long commitment to fostering growth in the Charlotte region and enhancing trans-Atlantic relations. “Ambassador Prikk’s visit to Charlotte is another way in which he conveys his commitment to strengthening democracy and sharing Estonia’s powerful voice in the European Union,” said Becker.

Ambassador Prikk, who has been serving as the Estonian Ambassador to the United States since May 2021, brought his seasoned diplomatic experience to the discussion. He engaged with a diverse group of students on a range of topics, including the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, European security, and the continent’s future. Students seized the opportunity to ask probing questions about NATO’s role and the prospects for lasting peace and stability in the region.

Reflecting on the event, Ambassador Prikk said, “It was an honor to engage with the Queens University community. Students often provide sincere and direct feedback about the complex issues facing our world today. I hope that my visit inspired some of these students to pursue careers in international service because they are the next generation of leaders who will shape the future.”

Queens student Emmanuel Omari ’26, originally from Accra, Ghana, expressed his excitement about participating in the event. “As a high schooler in Ghana, I looked forward to attending a college where I had the accessibility to engage with influential leaders from around the world,” Omari shared. “Being able to work so closely with our community partners to bring Ambassador Prikk to campus was a dream for me. It was really special to see my fellow classmates participate in this experience as well. I am so grateful to be able to experience these opportunities at Queens.”

This event not only enriched the academic environment at Queens University but also underscored the importance of fostering international dialogue in today’s interconnected world.

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