From 27 to 31 May 2018, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, is visiting Israel, where she is taking part in the 30th International Conference for Women Leaders, “Leading Women Making a Difference”, organised by Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV).
On the sidelines of the conference on 28 May, the Parliamentary Secretary met with Ambassador Gil Haskel, Head of MASHAV, for a discussion on possible partnership in development cooperation projects.
The Parliamentary Secretary introduced MASHAV leaders to priorities for Latvia’s bilateral development cooperation and projects carried out in the fields of gender equality, fighting corruption, public administration reforms, and the development of agricultural sector in the Eastern Partnership countries and Central Asia.
Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica pointed out that Latvia would be interested to partner with Israel and explore possibilities for working jointly to give assistance to the regions prioritized by Latvia – Eastern Partnership and Central Asia, as well as Africa, where Israel’s development policy makers have a vast experience.
Gil Haskel gave an overview of technical assistance and capacity building projects implemented by Israel, including activities carried out in cooperation with other donors.
The parties agreed to assess the possibilities for potential cooperation, for instance, to jointly organize training in partner countries for capacity building in agricultural development and promotion of gender equality.
On 29 May, the Parliamentary Secretary took part in a session hosted by the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, in his residence in Jerusalem in honour of the conference. In his welcoming remarks, the President greeted the conference participants from across the globe and expressed satisfaction with having a chance to work together with women leaders on the promotion of development cooperation.
In the session, the Deputy Chair of the foreign Affairs Committee at the Estonian Parliament, former Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, presented the conference declaration highlighting the need to safeguard women’s rights, prevent violence and ensure access to education.