Nune, the Ambassador for a day, reveals the work of the British Embassy from the inside - Mediamax.am

exclusive
3222 views

Nune, the Ambassador for a day, reveals the work of the British Embassy from the inside


Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax


A young girl enters the conference hall of the British Embassy in Yerevan and waits for the staff. She is both immensely happy and excited ahead of the long-awaited day.

Almost a month ago when 19-year-old Nune Mosikyan applied to participate in the “Ambassador for a day” competition announced by the British Embassy, she could not have imagined that the unique opportunity to walk all day with the Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Armenia John Gallagher, participate in official meetings and get acquainted with the activities of the Embassy from the inside will be given to her.

The student of the Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Governance program at the American University of Armenia is confident that this opportunity is the starting point for her future career in the complex but interesting world of politics and diplomacy. As for which meetings she participated in on March 14th and what she revealed about the ambassador's work, Mediamax tells.

What would you do if you were the British Ambassador to Armenia?

The “Ambassador for a Day” is a competition held by the British government in a number of countries. It aims to inspire young people in their future careers and introduce them to the programs implemented by the British Embassy in the country.

Photo: Mediamax


This competition is being held in Armenia for the first time. The British Embassy, committed to the empowerment of women in Armenia, decided to open the opportunity of becoming an ambassador for a day to women and girls aged 18-22.

Nune’s participation in the competition was inspired by her father. Having familiarized herself with the requirements for participation, she prepared a video and answered the question: what would she do if she were the British Ambassador to Armenia?

Photo: Mediamax


“My brother and I were once again debating about the role and involvement of women in the decision-making process when I received a congratulatory letter on the occasion of winning the “Ambassador for a Day” competition. This news became my response to the debate,” Nune recalls.

When, on the morning of the event, family members woke Nune up by calling her “ambassador”, she could not imagine that this title would accompany her throughout the whole day.

What is the mission of the British Embassy in Armenia?

The official start of the day is given by a handshake with His Majesty's Ambassador John Gallagher when the latter hands Nune the winner's certificate.

Photo: Mediamax


“We are very pleased that by hosting this event we can demonstrate our commitment to gender equality. We feel that it is very important to recognize the role that women can play,” the Ambassador notes, expressing the hope that the scheduled meetings will help Nune get an idea of the Embassy's activities.

After Ambassador Gallagher leaves, Nune is excited to see what awaits her next. Then the embassy staff enters in turn and addresses her in the same way as it is customary to address an ambassador.

“The little child inside me was screaming with joy, but outwardly I had to try to remain serious, feeling all the responsibility,” Nune later shares her emotions.

Photo: Mediamax


Paul Morris, Deputy Head of Mission and HM Consul starts the meeting during which each of the embassy staff presents their role in the team and the scope of their activities. Thanks to this meeting, Nune gains invaluable insights into the wide-ranging works of the British Embassy aimed at strengthening and developing relations between the United Kingdom and Armenia. This includes close cooperation with the Armenian government, promoting Armenia's development through programs funded by the UK government, strengthening trade and economic ties, educational and cultural initiatives, as well as issues related to conflict and humanitarian challenges.

Photo: Mediamax


“Getting to know the staff was the most vivid memory of the day, everyone was so warm and friendly. For me, the stereotype that embassy staff are serious and closed-off people was destroyed. Instead, I felt how pleasant even a short conversation with them could be, and learned what important functions they perform in Armenia,” Nune admitted later in an interview with Mediamax.

The warmth of home away from it

The next interesting meeting of the day is at CreLab in Kotayk region, where Nune travels together with the Ambassador by the Ambassador’s official car. Ambassador Gallagher even gives up his seat in the car, reminding Nune that she is the ambassador for today.

This creative laboratory, which is part of the “Labs for Change” women empowering initiative funded by the British Good Governance Foundation, was founded in cooperation with the Impact Hub Yerevan, Fashion and Design Chamber of Armenia NGO and Made-vel-e.

Photo: Mediamax


Vahan Khachatryan, President of the Armenian Chamber of Fashion and Design NGO introduces the guests to the activities of CreLab, which was created to help women in regions develop skills and establish a network in the creative industry, and today also serves women displaced from Artsakh.

“Since a significant part of the forcibly displaced Artsakh Armenians settled in the Kotayk region, we decided to give them the opportunity to use the CreLab environment as well. Students of the Faculty of Fashion Modeling at Shushi University of Technology were able to continue their studies here with their professors, as well as take part in courses organized by us," says designer Vahan Khachatryan.

Photo: Mediamax


Although most of the students are already continuing their studies at the similar department of the State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia, they continue coming to CreLab and working on their collections.

Kristine Adamyan, one of the beneficiaries from Stepanakert, presents to the ambassadors her sketches inspired by the carvings on the doors of the Gandzasar monastery․

“I hope to present my work at Fashion Week in May,” she says.

Photo: Mediamax


Nune Mosikyan watches the work with great interest, and later shares her vivid impressions of the important initiative implemented by the British Good Governance Foundation․

“This work is very valuable, especially in our difficult situation. It was obvious to me that the initiators genuinely wanted to help displaced Artsakh women and create a safe environment for them. In our conversations, the beneficiaries said that they had managed to find a new home in this environment, so far from their real home,” says Nune.

Photo: Mediamax


Strengthening business ties

Stimulating business ties also plays an important role in the relations between the United Kingdom and Armenia. For this reason, the next stop of Ambassador John Gallagher and Ambassador for a day Nune Mosikyan is SADA Armenia, one of the companies reflecting the Armenian-British business ties. It is a leading global provider of business and technology services.

“Our company is a 6-time Google Cloud Partner of the Year award winner. To explain it simply, we help companies securely migrate from server rooms to clouds, in particular to Google Cloud,” says Suzanna Azoyan, Director of Operations of SADA Armenia. She also emphasizes the role of working closely and interacting with the team in the United Kingdom.

Photo: Mediamax


Upon learning about the cooperation between SADA and the Government of Armenia, Ambassador John Gallagher expresses his joy that Google Cloud technologies are gradually becoming available in Armenia thanks to joint activities with SADA, An Insight company, teams in the UK and other countries.

The support of the UK Embassy to the programs of the RA government

Nune Mosikyan also attends the meeting between Ambassador John Gallagher and Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security of the Republic of Armenia Ruben Sargsyan. This time, she is able to get an idea of the target areas of cooperation between the British Embassy and the Armenian government.

The deputy minister welcomes Nune in connection with her entry into such a complex field and unique experience. Ruben Sargsyan also emphasizes that promoting the entry of young people into the labour market is one of the priorities of the Ministry.

Photo: Mediamax


During the meeting, representatives of the Ministry present to the Ambassador the work done in the main areas of Armenian-British cooperation, especially concerning women empowerment and the strategy for increasing women's participation in state administration systems.

In turn, Ambassador John Gallagher emphasizes that such discussions are important for the Embassy in order to understand how the British government can help Armenia in addressing the challenges.

Photo: Mediamax


“This meeting is also important for discussing the gender strategy of the ministry. I think it is very opportune that Nune is here as our ambassador for today. One of the reasons for our initiative is also to support the role of women in diplomacy,” the Ambassador says.
He also asks the deputy minister what steps have been taken towards providing social assistance to forcibly displaced people from Artsakh and integration into the labour market.

What it takes to be an ambassador

Equally interesting are the road discussions, during which Ambassador Gallagher talks with Nune about serious problems and their solutions, from the role and preservation of culture to citizen education.

Photo: Mediamax


Sharing her impressions of the day's meetings, Nune admits that she is deeply impressed by the ambassador's communication skills.

“During these meetings, I noticed that the ambassador has his own specific questions, through which he can get exactly the information he needs. I would also like to develop this skill, with the help of which you can so quickly figure out how to use the right questions to get the information necessary for the development of relations between the two countries,” says Nune.

Trying to imagine herself as a diplomat, she discovered another skill that she will continue to develop: “When entering any environment, you must first be an observer, and only then become a participant. Thus, you will be able to express yourself correctly. This is especially important when you represent not only yourself but an entire state,” she clarifies.

Photo: Mediamax


Mediamax also asks Ambassador Gallagher what skills are needed to be an ambassador։
“To be an ambassador you need to take an interest in the country that you are posted to. I think it is important to have a sense of open-mindedness, to understand how the UK can support what that country wants to achieve. Another important thing is to have a sense of commitment: it is often a challenge to navigate the difficulties that a country faces, and to be a supportive partner requires a sense of commitment,” the ambassador says.

Photo: Mediamax


He is also convinced that Nune has great potential as a future diplomat.
“I see Nune has a very strong sense of mission. She has a good understanding of how she could support Armenia's future development, and I think she also has an understanding of how partnerships can help make that happen,” Ambassador Gallagher adds.

The end of the day as the beginning of a new goal

The last event of the day is a UK Alumni event organized by British Council. The HM’s  Ambassador introduces everyone to the Ambassador for a day after which Nune is given an opportunity to get to know and establish connections with the Alumni of British educational institutions..

Photo: Mediamax


“I met many new people. They told me about getting an education in the UK, shared their impressions, and gave me advice on how to fill out an application in the future if I want to enroll in British universities,” says Nune.

According to her, conversations with graduates have greatly encouraged her to continue her education in the UK. Thanks to the acquired experience, she hopes she will one day be able to apply to the Chevening Scholarship awarded by the British Embassy.

At the end of a busy day, Nune admits: “It was really difficult to be an ambassador, but at the same time it was fun.”

Text and photos by Gaiane Yenokian




Comments

Dear visitors, You can place your opinion on the material using your Facebook account. Please, be polite and follow our simple rules: you are not allowed to make off - topic comments, place advertisements, use abusive and filthy language. The editorial staff reserves the right to moderate and delete comments in case of breach of the rules.

Editor’s choice