Photo: UNDP Azerbaijan/ Mammad Aliyev

As prepared for delivery

Dear Mr. Shair Alkhasov, Head of Qusar Executive Authority

Dear Prof. Hijran Huseynova, Chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs

Dear Dr. Simone Haeberli, Deputy Regional Director Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus. Deputy Head of Mission

Dear Ms. Mehjabeen Alarakhia, UN Women Programme Specialist

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

We are pleased to be with you today to inaugurate a new Women’s Resource Centre in Qusar. It is a major event in your hometown and we hope it will be a life changing moment especially for local women here.

A year ago, UNDP, in partnership with the Government of Azerbaijan, with our trusted partner, the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs started a project aimed at creating economic opportunities for rural women. This three-year project is coordinated by our sister agency at the United Nations –the UN Women and is supported financially by our valuable partner, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Together, we started this project in three regions of Azerbaijan - Qusar, Sabirabad and the Khazar district of Baku.  

It is not by mere chance that we have chosen Qusar as a project site. In recent years, Qusar has developed tremendously and become a centrepiece of regional tourism. It has great potential for advancing women’s economic activities, especially knowing that locally-made products that these women and their businesses bring to the table could be in high demand on tourists’ end.

This centre in Qusar that we are officially opening today is based in the premises of the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Qusar and, while new, in fact it has been operational since January 2019 when project activities were just launched. During this short period, we already hit a number of concrete results as part of our commitment within this joint project. Local women in Qusar already benefitted from various training programmes and skills development activitie. Some of them started their own businesses already contributing financially to their family budgets.

Later today, we will have a chance to interact with some of them, hear their life stories, stories of their business success, even taste their products if you will.

With great confidence, I would like to say that none of these results would have been possible without the commitment of local women and the collaboration of all partners involved.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank our key partners who have been by our side at every stage of this process as our work on women empowerment in Qusar and the other two regions as well. The Head of the Qusar Executive Power, personally Mr. Alkhasov, for his support to the project; Prof. Hijran Huseynova and the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs for taking the lead in promoting women’s active role in their own communities; Dr. Simone Haeberli and the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency for their critical assistance and financial contribution to this project; and the UN Women for facilitating and promoting the results of the project at the regional level.

In concluding, I would like to wish the newly established Women’s Resource Centre in Qusar and all the women engaged in our project the best of success in each every one of their endeavours. Your success will definitely contribute to the well-being of local community and the overall development of Qusar in the coming years.

Thank you!

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