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 Meeting - 31 March 2003-04-01 (WVI)

 Meeting date: 31.03.2003

Meeting: Children's Issues Coordination Meeting

Date: 31 March 2003-04-01


1) Introductions/ introduction of the new coordinator
2) Last meeting minutes
3) Letter to ministries - suggestions, approval
4) Gwen Burchell - Government
5) Id priorities

Chairperson: Barbara Greenwood, UMCOR, Head of Mission

Attendees/ NGOs:

Nazim Ibadov, Buta
Meftuna Ismayilova, Caspian Mental Health Assoc.
Yana Suleimanova, CP
Rasimiyya Aliyeva, ECFSP
Nailya Aliyeva, Goncha Sick Children Assoc.
Venera Askerova, IWC
Gulana Husaynova, LOTOS
Khuraman Hasanova, Mercy Corps
Valida Abbasova, Mushfig
Emin Imanov, Mushfig
Gwen Burchell, UAFA
Gula Aliyeva, UAFA
Bela Mamedova, Ufug
Barbara Greenwood, UMCOR
Dr. Inara Makayeva, UMCOR
Naila Velikhanova, UNHCR
Siraj Mahmudov, UNICEF
Laura Peer, WVI
Natasha Palubinski, WVI


Barbara Greenwood sets a time limitation for closing time of the meeting 5.30 pm

1) Introduction of attendees.
Attendees introduce themselves; Laura Peer introduces the new coordinator, Natasha Palubinski.

2) Follow - up from the last meeting
Ms. Greenwood gives an introduction to the minutes, hands out the minutes in Azeri, and asks the attendees to review the minutes whether any topics were missing. No one adds any items. Then she gives a summary of the last meeting. Her point is that we all came to the group from a variety of angles and different levels. However, Barbara underlines, we all agreed on general issues regarding the nature of the policies related to the children's issues.

3) Introduction of the reviewed and updated letter to the ministers.
Ms. Burchell from UAFA passes the copies of updated letter to the attendees. Time is given to review the additions incorporated into the letter, which were made by some of the participants. Ms. Burchell emphasizes on the importance of timing for sending this letter to the ministers. She urges that the letter should be sent now, though the hearing of the Children's Commission is in October. Her point is that the forum should act now, so the more letters sent, more attention they will attract.

Vailda Abbasova from Mushfiq suggests that the coalition could get more results by going directly to the President of the country. She underlines that President have an experience to deal with such issues and he has the right people who could help. To which Gula from UAFA replies that Children's Commission next meeting is the 28th October and that sending letters should prepare us for that now. Her argument is that President could ask what the Forum about this issue, besides seeking his assistance, had done. Ms. Burchell comments, for this reason the letter should be sent as soon as possible, which would help the process and 4 months of work will be saved. She also adds that the letter campaign was an action suggested to her by a member of the Children's Commission.

Vailda from Mushfaq suggests that everyone submits the letter, and visits the President.
Inara Makayeva notes that the letter needs to be submitted in order that the President could be informed. Venera from IWC joines the discussion by suggesting that before going to the President the forum should perhaps to appeal to Gular_Ahmedova, a deputy who deals with children questions, and who, Venera feels, could help to pass over the bureaucracy. The idea is, Venera from IWC suggests, to target the ministers and also send the letter to the President.

Gwen replies to that a single person cannot help, and therefore letter must be passed on and stamped because of the bureaucracy. Her argument is that more letters being sent, and every letter stamped and registered, more pressure applied, and more momentum gathered.
Barbara Greenwood summarises the argument that more letters are sent to various ministries, more chance for the coalition to achieve the target. Venera suggests that a general letter could be sent now in order to raise the issue, but more specific letters needed to be sent to various ministries.

Gwen Burchell appeals to trust their judgement and approve the letter so it could be send now, in order for the issues be raised and be heard by the Commission in October. She mentions that some official from the Children's Committee suggested the format and manner in which the letter was written. She also, at this point, introduces National Plan for action to which she came back later. Laura Peer from World Vision underlines that the letter is the coalition's first step in working with the Government.

Gwen Burchell requests the number of children being represented by NGOs present. Some NGOs express their difficulty to give the exact number because of the dynamics of their work, and some NGOs on the other hand feel that they could come up with exact figure. The discussion starts to revolve around either projects NGOs involve and or their plan to be involved. WV representative brings to attention the difference between direct and indirect beneficiaries. Laura Peer from WV suggests that the number of beneficiaries should be narrowed to direct involvement, and Barbara Greenwood suggests those NGOs who did not have number of children at hand, could email those figures to Gwen as soon as possible.
At this point in the discussion, concerning the letter to the ministers, comes to conclusion that letter need to be signed by all NGOs, and the list of the names and the letter will be photocopied and send to various ministers. Laura suggests that WV will oversee the signing by all the signatories and inquires under what name this coalition will send the letter. Suggestion is made to keep the present name. Some members feel that perhaps, the name had been already taken. Proposal is made to check whether the name is taken and then if the name is available, to take it.

Proposal is made that
a) Letter should be signed on the same week, as was the meeting.
b) Create the list of all signatories
c) Send the list to those who were missing
d) WV to prepare the list on one sheet, the letter on the other, and send to other agencies
e) The letter will be ready as soon as all figures are available
f) All signatories are to come to the WV office to sign Wednesday, Thursday.

4) Barbara moves the meeting to next point on the agenda. Gwen shares about her meeting with Hadi Rajably Chief of Social Policy Committee, and his willingness to work with UAFA and thus with the coalition. He has suggested for NGOs to submit their pilot projects, in order for the Social Policy ministry to understand better their work. Ms. Burchell urges that everyone' responsibility to submit their list, in order to be represented. Laura Peer from WV reminds everyone who has not submit yet a table of activities she sent, to complete it and return it by Friday.

5) Due to the timing restraint, it was moved that agenda item #5 be addressed at the following meeting.


Next meeting is planned for 16th April, 4pm at the same venue.


  1. National Plan for action
  2. Preliminary discussion on the Government's expected actions.
  3. UICEF plan of action 2003
  4. Looking at coalition's mission.

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