On the 22 OCtober 2019, the ACP YPN organised an Ambassador Roundtable with the UK Permanent Representation to the Belgium and their teams during this #BlackHistoryMonthEU. The roundtable was hosted by:
- Martin Shearman, British Ambassador to Belgium
- Laura McCambridge, Agriculture and the Natural Environment Counsellor.
The roundtable is an intimate dinner with the Ambassador and their teams during which 20 young professionals got insight on the work of the Embassy and personal and professional experiences.
The discussion focused on various topics ranging from education, workforce to gender equality within the #BHMEU context.
Here are some of the themes discussed:
Black History Month in the UK British Ambassador to Belgium Martin Shearman, mentioned that one of the many roles of the diplomatic core is to share British culture with the hosting country, in this case Belgium. Seen as #BHM has been a part of the British culture since 1987, there’s a need to share this part of the culture with Belgium. A part that celebrates differences, but more importantly sheds a light on historical issues directly impacting the population today.
Diversity in the UK The Ambassador talked about how the ratio of people of colour in high ranks is much higher (or actually existant) than in Belgium in different categories from the demographic to education as well as the professional sector. He put emphasize on the fact that no country is perfect but pointed out that the United Kingdom is more used to a more diverse environment in all aspects of life.
PAD Women rights Laura McCambridge, Agriculture and the Natural Environment Counsellor agreed, that there is still more to do in terms of women rights specifically regarding women of colour. An effort has been made to increase the opportunity for promotions and professional elevation. The question on language impact on inclusivity and diversity was also raised. The UK population is generally monolingual whereas Belgium is generally multilingual. They are working on making efforts to increase the foreign language use in the governing sector. Again, the question was posed regarding why the UK generally has little to no necessity of learning a new language and it was agreed that language learning in the ACP diaspora, EU and Belgium could lead to the betterment in diversity.
Want to know more about the topics covered? Get in touch with on Chaka Welch Linkedin , Twitter.
You can follow the discussion and contribute using the hashtag #ACPYouthTalk, #BHMEU, #BlackHistoryMonthEU
By Chaka Welch and IGIHOZO Emelyne.
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