By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and newly-appointed head of the UNICEF office in Baku, Alex Heikens have discussed cooperation and the consequences of Armenia's aggressive policy against Azerbaijan, the ministry reported on August 10.
As part of the meeting between the two on August 10, Heikens presented to the minister a copy of the letter on his appointment. Bayramov congratulated him on the appointment and wished him success in his work.
The minister noted that since the first years of independence Azerbaijan has established mutually beneficial cooperation with UNICEF.
He expressed confidence that the experience of the new head of the office will further strengthen the existing cooperation between Azerbaijan and the organization.
Heikens thanked the minister for the reception and expressed his satisfaction with the appointment to Azerbaijan.
Moreover, the UNICEF official expressed confidence that the successful cooperation between Azerbaijan and the organization in many areas will continue.
He stressed the importance of access to quality education for all children and spoke in details about the relevant work carried out by UNICEF during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Bayramov informed Heikens about the consequences of Armenia's aggressive policy towards Azerbaijan, including targeted attacks on the Azerbaijani civilian population, houses, schools and other civilian objects during the 2020 Karabakh war.
The minister provided details about the scale of destruction on the liberated territories, damage to cultural and religious monuments, mine risk, the reconstruction and restoration carried out in the liberated lands.
During the meeting, the parties also exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest.
For more than 25 years UNICEF has been working with the Azerbaijani government and people to provide every child with the best start to life. UNICEF started to act in the country since the 1990s, assisting refugees and internally displaced people from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict region and addressing the impact of economic hardships caused by the transition from Soviet power to independence in 1991.
UNICEF now strives to build on the considerable progress Azerbaijan has made, economically and socially, over the last two decades. Poverty rates have dramatically decreased, child mortality rates have fallen, and primary school enrolment is almost universal.
UNICEF works alongside the government, communities and families in Azerbaijan to reach out to those children who remain vulnerable or at risk, to initiate new approaches to child and youth development, and to strengthen the national capacities and systems that support children and families.
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