Ambassador: "I look forward to the UK expanding our support to Azerbaijan’s IDP communities in the coming years"

Ambassador: "I look forward to the UK expanding our support to Azerbaijan’s IDP communities in the coming years"
  • Clock-gray 11:47
  • calendar-gray 30 December 2020

"The UK has also supported Azerbaijanis in need, through a £1m donation via the ICRC to those most affected in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.  In partnership with the UN we’ve ensured that women and girls in conflict affected areas received vital essentials through the distribution of dignity packs," said British Ambassador to Azerbaijan James Sharp in his final message on 2020, APA reports.

"Dear Friends,

Today ends what for most of us, will have been one of, if not, the most challenging year many of us will have ever faced. 

COVID-19 has brought about a new normal in our daily lives like wearing masks, social distance and handwashing at every opportunity.

Traditionally, today friends and families would be coming together to celebrate New Year.  Unfortunately, for many this will not be possible and I’d like to take a moment to remember those who passed away during the year due to this terrible virus. 

On behalf of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, I would also like to offer sincere condolences for the loss of life during the recent fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. Again, our thoughts are with the friends and families of all the victims of the conflict during this difficult time.

This year, especially, has shown us the importance and value of supporting each other during challenging times.

The UK is proud to be supporting Azerbaijan in the fight against COVID-19 through our work in training medical workers and helping them develop new skills, as well as strengthening health services in rural areas.  More broadly, UK scientific expertise is at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 in helping bring life-saving vaccines to the world. 

The UK has also supported Azerbaijanis in need, through a £1m donation via the ICRC to those most affected in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.  In partnership with the UN we’ve ensured that women and girls in conflict affected areas received vital essentials through the distribution of dignity packs.

While 2020 has brought exceptional challenges, I truly believe there is hope.  Out of the most challenging circumstances, can also come great opportunities to build back better. 

While COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented shutdown of large parts of the global economy with severe consequences for all countries.  As we recover we have an opportunity to create more environmentally friendly economies which protect and restore nature, and reduce our exposure to deadly viruses and climate impacts.

In its role as UN Climate Change Conference, COP26 Presidency, the UK is committed to increasing climate ambition. As a strategic energy partner of Azerbaijan, the UK and our companies, are eager to expand our cooperation and support Azerbaijan’s energy diversification towards greener energy sources, so that it too can make ambitious commitments on greenhouse gas reductions.

Just as the post-COVID situation will bring about opportunities to build back better, so will Azerbaijan’s post-conflict environment.

Hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani IDPs will soon be returning back to their home towns and villages after almost thirty years.  As these settlements are reconstructed it offers an opportunity for model settlements at the forefront of technology and environmental friendliness to be created. Settlements in which all sections of society are able to contribute and have their needs recognised, whether they be women, veterans or people with disability.  Civil society, in partnership with Azerbaijan’s international friends will also have a vital role in helping the Azerbaijani government and IDPs communities to build back better. 

The UK has been a proud supporter of IDP communities through a range of initiatives including the British Council run learning-hubs. The UK has also supported the drafting of a National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security which will be a vital platform in ensuring women’s voices are heard in the post-conflict environment. I hope Azerbaijan will adopt this Action Plan early in 2021.  I look forward to the UK expanding our support to Azerbaijan’s IDP communities in the coming years.

So, while 2020 was a year of challenges let us look upon 2021 as a year of opportunities. Opportunities to make our societies stronger and healthier, our economies greener, and our environment cleaner. I congratulate all Azerbaijanis on World Azerbaijanis Solidarity Day and would like to wish everyone in Azerbaijan, including our British community, a healthy and happy new year," reads the message.

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