Azerbaijan attends Sixth International Government Communication Forum in Sharjah

Sharjah, March 23, AZERTAC

The Sixth International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2017) has kicked off in Sharjah, the UAE. Held under the patronage of Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the forum is themed ‘Societal Participation…Comprehensive Development’.

Azerbaijan`s delegation at the forum includes deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov, ambassador to the UAE Dashgin Shikarov and Consul General in Dubai and Northern Emirates Parviz Ismayilov.

Prior to the opening ceremony Ali Ahmadov met with Ruler of Sharjah Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi. Ali Ahmadov hailed Azerbaijan-UAE relations as close and friendly. He also thanked the UAE government for supporting Azerbaijan`s fair stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

On behalf of President Ilham Aliyev, the deputy prime minister invited the Sharjah ruler to visit Azerbaijan. “I do believe that this visit will play a key role in developing relationship between Azerbaijan and Sharjah Emirate,” he said.

Ruler of Sharjah Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi said he plans to pay a visit to Azerbaijan in the near future. He hailed Azerbaijan`s accomplishments and development under President Ilham Aliyev.

In his address at the opening ceremony, deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov read out the Azerbaijani President`s message to forum participants.

He hailed IGCF 2017, saying it addresses topical challenges facing the world community.

Ali Ahmadov highlighted Azerbaijan`s achievements in the 25 years since restoring its independence. “In the past 12 years, our economy has grown more than three times. More than 200 billion dollars have been invested in Azerbaijan`s economy. More than 1.5 million jobs have been created.”

Ali Ahmadov said thanks to President Ilham Aliyev`s far-sighted policy, poverty was reduced from 50 to five per cent from 2005 to 2015.

He drew the audience`s attention to the Azerbaijani government`s education and social policy. “Through pensions and social allowances, the government is ensuring all conditions for people who are unemployed because of their age or other reasons. The problem of illiteracy has been completely solved. The government provides healthcare services for every citizen. Social infrastructure has been completely overhauled. The past 12 years saw the construction and renovation of 3,000 schools and 600 hospitals.”

He said the country has initiated a number of projects of regional and global importance.

Ali Ahmadov also spoke of Armenia`s aggression against Azerbaijan. “Twenty per cent of Azerbaijan`s lands have been under Armenian occupation for more than 25 years. Over a million Azerbaijanis were expelled from their homes and live now as IDPs,” he said.

IGCF 2017 examines how the world’s nations can leverage effective government communication to achieve the SDGs, which have become the top priority of government programmes, international institutions, media organisations and civil society.

Offering a transparent platform to examine current issues and formulate recommendations to help governments optimise the impact of their communication, IGCF 2017 convenes more than 2,500 local and international personalities from the ranks of government officials, experts, thought leaders, and government communication professionals.

Asya Hajizade

Special Correspondent