British Ambassador: We actively support gender equality, incentive programs for the disabled and other steps in Azerbaijan
- 04 February 2021
"A number of high level visits – the Ministerial level Strategic Dialogue, Ministerial level Joint Investment Committee, and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy – have all been postponed due to coronavirus, and we want to reinstate them now Covid infection rates are falling here," Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Azerbaijan James Sharp said in an interview to APA.
“But two points: first, all have made virtual visits to Azerbaijan during this period, and the Trade Envoy is also due to participate in the virtual Southern Gas Corridor Ministerial meeting on 11 February. Second, our relationship is much deeper than simply high-level visits. There are substantial economic, commercial, education and cultural links between our peoples. Indeed, in some ways these links have actually strengthened during the pandemic – the British Council for example have been very innovative in setting up on-line English teaching and seminars, which have allowed more people to benefit.
Partly because we want to be a force for good in the world, and partly because we want to support the development of Azerbaijan. A lot of this is about making the most of everyone’s skills, and about giving opportunities to people. So we’re funding a number of programmes on gender, disability (including paralympians), health and disadvantaged people such as IDPs. Looking ahead, we plan to fund Women’s Resource Centres, mobile health clinics, psycho-social support for conflict-affected children, mine awareness programmes, that sort of thing.
But it’s not just about programmes. It’s about the overall government approach, so we’re also supporting the adoption of a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and are encouraging the signature of the Istanbul Convention on combatting domestic violence.
And it’s also about changing mindsets, so we promote these themes – gender equality, respect and support for the disabled –through our education support and English language training, and through our cultural events. So in Autumn 2019 for example, we brought a group of disabled dancers here; and we also ran training sessions with female DJs. This sort of thing provides role models for people,” the Ambassador said.