On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities marked on 3 December, the European Union (EU) Delegation in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF, "Regional Development" Public Union under the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the ASAN Radio produced a film called "We are different but equal".
Through the 12-minute film, the project partners wanted to stress that the persons with disabilities must be regarded as a part of our inclusive society, where all members of the society have equal rights and opportunities, have access to education along with others. The video emphasizes that disability is not a barrier to enjoy the life.
The video presentation took place on 7 December, in the Rotunda, Landmark Hotel with participation of EU Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Kestutis Jankauskas, a.i. UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Alessandro Fracassetti, UNICEF Representative, Mr. Edward Carwardine, representative of the "Regional Development" Public Union, Mr. Jamil Aliyev, who talked about their projects in the area of support to the persons with disabilities. The moderator of the event was Director of ASAN Radio, Mr. Emin Musavi.
Currently the following EU-funded projects are implemented in Azerbaijan: "Expanding inclusive quality education for children with disabilities in Azerbaijan" is implemented by UNICEF; "Promotion of inclusive education through Traditional Arts" project is implemented by the UNDP; "Ensure Teachers' Readiness for Inclusive Education" is implemented by the "Regional Development" Public Union.
In 2009, Azerbaijan ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The Convention addresses disability as a human rights issue – not from a medical or charity perspective. All EU Member States have signed and ratified the Convention.