A plenary session on the subject of “Women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are a right of women” took place within the Crans Montana Forum held in Baku, June 29. First Lady of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva took part in the plenary session.
Opening the session, founder and executive chairman of the Crans Montana Forum Jean Paul Carteron introduced First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva to the attendees of the session. He informed that people distinguished for their activity and winning sympathy at an international level are awarded the “Prix de la Fondation” Prize, the highest prize of the Forum. And if women are among these people, the prize earns more meaning and essence. Saying “Mehriban Aliyeva draws worldwide attention with her humanitarian activity, does not lose sight of places being in need”, Jean Paul Carteron said this heritage was left by son of Azerbaijani nation, man of genius Heydar Aliyev. Now the Foundation, which carries this great man’s name, has been acting broadly on regional and global scales in spheres such as education, healthcare, culture, sports and, of course, protection of women’s rights.
ISESCO Director General Abdulaziz bin Othman al-Twaijri talked of the activity of Azerbaijan’s First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, and emphasized that she has been closely involved in high-level works carried out in the country by President Ilham Aliyev.
Then followed a ceremony of awarding. Azerbaijan’s First Lady was awarded the “Prix de la Fondation” Prize, the highest prize of the Crans Montana Forum. Thanking for the award, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva said:
- I would like to thank the president of the Crans Montana Forum. I would also like to thank all who participated in making this decision.
I’m very much honoured to receive such a high prize from the Crans Montana Forum. I accept this prize as a symbol of recognizing the achievements made by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in different spheres. I value this prize also as a sign of recognizing the achievements of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in improvement of relations between different cultures, different nations. Thank you very much.
The same prize was presented to Farida Allagi, a woman from Libya, a chief advisor to the International Development, Policy and Human Rights Organization. Farida Allagi also thanked in her speech for the prize.
Then a plenary session on the subject of “Women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are a right of women” commenced its work.
Saying “Women have the same rights as men do, sometimes they are their superior”, former CNN host Larry King wished this important session success.
First Lady of Niger Aissata Issouflou Mahamadou thanked the President of Azerbaijan and his spouse for organizing this high-level forum. She talked of works carried out in her country to ensure women’s rights.
First Lady of Macedonia (Former Yugoslavian Republic) Maya Ivanova too thanked Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva for invitation to take part in the Forum. The First Lady said protection of gender equality, which is an essential part of human rights, should have its worthy place at an international level.
First Lady of Montenegro Svetlana Vuyanovich noted that existing stereotypes associated with violation of women’s rights should be put an end to, and gender equality should become a main attribute of democratic societies.
First Lady of Georgia Sandra Elizabeth Rulofs talked of the projects being implemented in her country in connection with women. She especially underlined the importance of meeting women’s needs associated with public health, prevention of child death. She emphasized that the activity of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva in the sphere of education is welcomed with much interest.
Kenyan Prime Minister’s spouse Ida Odinga talked of the actions taken to provide women in her country with broader authorities and ensuring their participation in elections.
Chairman of the Georgian University’s Guardians Council Giuli Alasania talked of the laws passed in her country in the sphere of gender issues. She emphasized her country had a rich experience in terms of representation of women in parliament.
Founder and chairman of Italian Miditerraneo Foundation Michael Capasso expressed his confidence that discussions held in this Forum will result in an efficient progress.
Chairman of the Family, Woman and Child Issues State Committee of Azerbaijan Hijran Huseynova brought to attention that broad opportunities have been created in our country to realize women’s rights, and essential laws passed. Especially emphasizing the role of Azerbaijan’s First Lady in this field, H.Huseynova emphasized that laws concerning ensuring gender equality and prevention of domestic violence have been adopted in our country.
Chairman of Finland’s International Women Council Mrs. Laura Finne-Elonen informed of the activity of the organization headed by her. She said the organization essentially contributes to solution of women issues by raising these issues before influential international organizations. She gave high appreciation to the achievements made by Azerbaijan in protection of women’s rights.
Other guests too highlighted, in their speeches, the importance of taking serious actions towards protection of women rights in the world, ensuring gender equality. They said first ladies of different countries are expected to greatly contribute to removing these serious problems. It was mentioned that strengthening women’s role in various spheres of society, ensuring their participation in this process by their own activity is now one of the most important tasks ahead. They said it is important that women be given more authorities to resolve these issues and, the most important, strengthening local and international legislation related to protection of women rights should be accepted as one of the primary objectives. Moreover, women’s role in achieving the Millennium’s Development Targets should be strengthened, and their experience also should be utilized while setting priorities in this field.
Concluding the plenary session, ISESCO Director General Abdulaziz bin Othman al-Twaijri thanked President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva for high-level organization of this important event.