On February 24 in London, with the International Women’s Day soon approaching, the Ambassador of Latvia to the United Kingdom Ivita Burmistre participated in the launch of the Friends of Gender Equality Group. The Group is formed by ambassadors and high commissioners serving in London.
Among the participating members are government representatives of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Iceland, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Latvia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Mexico, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The Group is united in a commitment to exchange best practices and launch common initiatives to promote and strengthen support for gender equality.
The launch was organized by the Embassy of Latvia in cooperation with Canada’s High Commission. Among the event’s speakers were the Ambassador of Latvia, Canada’s High Commissioner Ralph Goodale and Alicia Herbert, OBE, Director of the Education, Gender and Equality Directorate at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). She is also the FCDO’s Special Envoy for Gender Equality.
Considering Russia has begun a wide-scale military aggression against Ukraine, all of the speakers expressed condemnation for Russia’s actions and solidarity with Ukraine. Ambassador of Latvia urged unity among like-minded countries and emphasized the need for a strong and common reaction against Russian aggression in Ukraine.
The Group signed a Pledge to support women’s professional participation and opportunities, especially of those women who are at the beginning of their careers. The signatories of the Pledge will take part in the “Ambassador for a Day Initiative” in autumn of 2022. The Initiative will offer girls the opportunity to visit embassies and high commissions and learn about the daily job of a diplomatic representative.
Promotion of women’s rights and empowerment is one of Latvia’s foreign policy priorities in international organizations and in development cooperation policy.