On 18 June, Her Majesty’s Ambassador Emma Hopkins, the Vice President of Bulgaria Mrs. Iliana Iotova and 16 other female ambassadors to Bulgaria took part in the closing event of the 2020 Ambassador for a Day initiative.

The event was  hosted via an online conference, and it included the 18 winners of this year’s competition and the sponsors of the initiative: Deloitte, Mott Macdonald and Questers.

Ambassador for a Day is an annual initiative organised by British Embassy Sofia since 2018 in order to mark International Women’s Day and to give young girls across Bulgaria a platform to unlock their potential, be empowered, and inspire others. The initiative consists of an online essay/video competition for girls aged 14 - 18, with the winners earning the chance to shadow a female ambassador to Bulgaria and to participate in high-level international events.

The initiative has been supported by Vice President Iotova since its inception, and the number of participating embassies and girls has grown with every year. This year’s 17 participating embassies in Ambassador for a Day are: Albania, Algeria, Austria, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

The final event provided an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the young ambassadors and gave them a chance to reflect on their experiences and what they have learned. They were also addressed by Ambassador Hopkins and Vice President Iotova who congratulated them and wished them success in the future.

In 2020, the theme of Ambassador for a Day was "Bulgaria on the world stage" – this was both the topic of the competition this year and also the experience in store for the winners. In February, the young ambassadors all participated in a trip to Vienna to experience multilateral diplomacy, and how it underpins the international rules-based system. In parallel, young ambassadors also undertook a range of activities with their sponsoring ambassadors, learning about the role of an ambassador and how they represent their country internationally. These activities included public events, becoming involved in projects of social importance alongside civil society, and delivering speeches and giving media interviews.

The material has been kindly provided by the organizers and participants.