IOM supports marking EU Anti-Trafficking Day in Azerbaijan

BAKU, 18 October 2018 – EU Delegation to Azerbaijan and the UN Migration Agency, International Organization for Migration (IOM) held an event to mark European Union (EU) Anti-Trafficking day.

This year’s event aims to promote public awareness on human trafficking and its consequences; to increase knowledge on EU strategy towards the eradication of human trafficking, as well as international judicial cooperation, legal norms and conceptions in countering trafficking.

The event brought together government officials, representatives of international and civil society organisations, alongside local and international experts. Opening remarks delivered by Kestutis Jankauskas, Head of EU Delegation to Azerbaijan; Heydar Heydarov, Chief of the Main Department on Combatting Trafficking in Human beings at Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs; and Serhan Aktoprak, Chief of IOM Mission in Azerbaijan. The panel sessions devoted to topics on problems and challenges in obtaining compensation rights of victims; best practices of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on fundamental rights of individuals and migrants in situations of vulnerability and relevant case law; and international cooperation of Azerbaijan in countering human trafficking. Participants also watched a short video documentary on counter trafficking.

The event, funded by the European Union and co-funded by IOM Development Fund, was organised as part of IOM-implemented project on enhancement of national capacities to combat human trafficking in Azerbaijan.

World Food Day is celebrated in Baku

BAKU, 16 October 2018 – An event dedicated to World Food Day was organised by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), IDEA Public Union, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and Azerbaijan Food Safety Agency at the Baku Convention Centre.

World Food Day’s theme for 2019 is “Our Actions are our Future. A #ZeroHunger world by 2030 is possible”.

The event featured a short film on food waste (Sustainable Development Goal 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) produced jointly by IDEA and FAO, and a video message of Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General of FAO, on World Food Day.

Participants listened panel debates on promoting sustainable agriculture for improved nutrition and rural development and watched video footage of farmers’ success stories in agribusiness.

The event also included an exhibition of photographs on the topic of #MyActions, as well as publications presented by the organisers. Representatives of women’s development groups from Masally, Aghdam, Lankaran, Ismayilli and Balakan districts joined the exhibition by demonstrating their handwork. These groups were established within the framework of Second Rural Investment Project for Azerbaijan, co-financed by the Government of Azerbaijan and the World Bank, implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture. The goal of creating these groups was to improve welfare of the population through the establishment, development, management and expansion of businesses in rural areas.

World Food Day is celebrated in over 150 countries around the world on 16 October, the day on which FAO was founded in 1945. Events dedicated to the World Food Day aims to promote worldwide awareness on suffering from hunger and challenges of poverty.

OHCHR in Azerbaijan continues training sessions on human rights

BAKU, 10 October 2018 – Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) continues training sessions for representatives of civil society organisations and legal community to build their capacity and increase their knowledge on the UN human rights system and institutions, as well as about their role in the participatory mechanisms.

These sessions, held with financial of the European Union Delegation to Azerbaijan, provide overview of the UN specialised bodies and their mandates, legal analysis of the UN Treaty Bodies Concluding Observations, as well as modalities of the participation of national actors in the UN Human Rights mainstreaming.

Representatives of the civil society organisations and members of legal community also received the training print-out materials, as well as recent OHCHR publications translated into Azerbaijani language.

FAO supports the Government of Azerbaijan in accelerating the implementation of SDGs at local level

BAKU, 27 September 2018 – A workshop on contribution of local Public-Private-People Partnerships (4P) in accelerating the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) held in Ismayilli district. The event was organized jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Economy.

The objective of the workshop was to raise awareness of regional and local stakeholders involved in the implementation of SDGs with a particular reference to the areas of food, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development.

Representatives of the central and local administrations of involved ministries, as well as the stakeholders from civil society organisations  and local producers of food and agricultural products participated in the workshop.

In their opening speeches, the deputy minister of agriculture, deputy minister of economy, head of Ismayilli Executive Power and head of FAO Partnership Liaison Office welcomed the participants and underlined the importance of 4P in sustainable development.

Participants also watched a short film on the food waste related to SDG12 (responsible consumption and production), produced in the framework of FAO project.

This workshop is one of the series of training events organised in the framework of FAO project fostering capacity development in implementing SDGs in Azerbaijan, which is implemented with technical and scientific support of The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). The next similar workshop will be held in Shamakhi district.

FAO supports Azerbaijan in nationalization of SDG indicators

BAKU, 26 September 2018 – A three-day training workshop on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators, organised by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the State Statistics Committee (SSC) of Azerbaijan, has started today.

The event has brought together more than 35 representatives of various government institutions involved in the nationalisation of SDGs indictors and the future production of 21 indicators under the FAO custodianship.

The workshop aims to improve participants’ understanding of SDGs indicators; explain FAO’s role in SDGs monitoring and implementation at regional and national level; introduce methodology of all indicators, explaining the data requirements and procedures for production of indicators.

“A significant factor in the success of the SDGs will be new and effective ways of collecting data, monitoring targets and measuring progress,” said Melek Cakmak, Head of FAO’s Partnership and Liaison Office in Azerbaijan.

“FAO assists countries to develop their capacities to monitor and report the results and challenges,” she concluded.

The training is conducted by Giorgi Kvinikadze, FAO statistician for the Europe and Central Asia region, and Zaza Chelidze, FAO expert on SDGs indicators.

Today’s event is part of FAO’s project, which was developed following the State Statistics Committee’s request for assistance in capacity development on production of some SDGs indicators.

WHO collaborating centre in Baku welcomes a delegation from Uzbekistan for a study tour on prevention and treatment of tuberculosis in prison

BAKU, 24 September 2018 – A delegation from Uzbekistan has started today a five-day visit to Azerbaijan, which will include a study tour to the WHO collaborating centre on tuberculosis in prison and Special Treatment Institution of the Justice Ministry’s Main Medical Department. The delegation, consisting of 13 professionals from penitentiary system, civil society and WHO Office in Uzbekistan, will also participate at the training session on prevention and treatment of tuberculosis in prison.

“Justice Ministry’s Medical Department made significant progress in combating tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) by working with international organisations. WHO/Europe acknowledged the Department’s best practice in implementing the ‘Stop TB Strategy’ in the penitentiary sector,” said Dr. Hande Harmanci, head of the WHO Country Office in Azerbaijan.

Based on these positive experiences WHO supported establishment of the collaborating centre on tuberculosis in prison in 2014, which is the only WHO-supported centre of its kind in the world. It promotes WHO strategies and guidelines through high-quality, evidence-based education on tuberculosis control in prisons, provides support to WHO and gives technical assistance to national tuberculosis programmes worldwide, including programmes in prisons.

Tuberculosis is a contagious disease that spreads when a person breathes in bacteria breathed out by an infected person. It is mainly caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. About one third of the world’s population is infected with the latent form of the disease, and one-tenth of infected people become ill with active tuberculosis during their lifetimes. Europe’s tuberculosis burden is among the lowest in the world, but the number of new MDR-TB cases is the highest.

WHO Regional Office for Europe and WHO Country Offices are continuously lending support to WHO collaborating centre by means of attracting study participants from around the world, involvement of international experts, provision of handouts and materials, facilitation and organisation of training courses and study tours.

Focal Points:

MMD MOJ – Natavan Alikhanova,

WHO/CO – Javahir Suleymanova,


More information is available:

Collaborating Centre (  



FAO supports Azerbaijan in implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in food and agriculture

BAKU, 24 September 2018 – Accelerating the contribution of sustainable food and agriculture to the achievement of the SDGs in Azerbaijan is the focus of a national workshop jointly organised by the National Coordination Council for Sustainable Development of the Republic of Azerbaijan (NCCSD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The event has brought together 45 representatives of state agencies involved in the areas of agriculture, food, forestry and fisheries, as well as stakeholders from the private sector, civil society and academia. Representatives of UN agencies and international institutions also attended the event.

Aiming at analysing the multifaceted and multidimensional linkages between agriculture and SDGs in the context of Azerbaijan, the workshop concentrated on increasing understanding of the potential contribution of agriculture to inclusive and sustainable development as well as national economy diversification in Azerbaijan. The pathways and necessary actions to enhance the contribution and unfold the multiplier effects of agriculture, food, forestry and fisheries to the achievement of the SDGs in Azerbaijan were also discussed.

Following the opening speeches by Ali Ahmadov, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the NCCSD, Inam Karimov, Minister of Agriculture, Ghulam Isaczai, UN Resident Coordinator and Melek Cakmak, Head of FAO Partnership and Liaison Office in Azerbaijan, the short film related to SDG2 –  Zero Hunger, produced in the framework of FAO project, was demonstrated.

As part of the workshop, presentations were made by invited FAO officials Mr Ewald Rametsteiner, Programme Coordinator (Global Delivery), FAO Strategic Programme on Sustainable Agriculture; Mr Giorgi Kvinikadze, FAO Regional Statistician, Hamid El Bilali, expert from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU)as well as speakers from the Ministry of Agriculture, State Committee on Family, Woman and Children Affairs, from Melioration and Water Management OJSC/Azersu and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.

This workshop is organised in the framework of FAO project supporting capacity development in implementing Sustainable Development Goals in Azerbaijan, which is implemented with technical and scientific support of BOKU.

EU, UNDP support the Governments of Azerbaijan and Georgia in securing border control and boosting free trade

BAKU/Azerbaijan-TBILISI/Georgia, 14 September 2018 –  Where Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are concerned, partnerships are crucial, specifically at a local, regional and global levels. The SDGs can only be realised if countries show strong commitment to working together, including through regional projects that aim to improve livelihoods and create safe grounds for the mobility of people and goods across borders, in a global call to foster peace, security and free trade. In this regard, moving towards more robust, bilateral, regional and international cooperation in border management, Azerbaijan and Georgia have taken a proactive approach to improving and modernising integrated border management systems at joint customs control checkpoints, which connect the two countries of the South Caucasus.

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Dr. Hande Harmanci appointed as Representative of the World Health Organization in Azerbaijan

BAKU, 13 September – Dr. Hande Harmanci of Turkey took up her appointment as the new Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Azerbaijan.

Dr. Harmanci is a public health manager with 28 years of experience at the national and global levels with a medical and public health teaching and research background, alongside being alumni of ‘UN Women Leaders’.

Prior to her appointment, Dr. Harmanci has had 13 years of experience in WHO in three different clusters. She joined WHO Headquarters as special advisor on medical education, being responsible for strengthening medical curricula. She also worked as a team lead on preparedness, information and training within the Global Influenza Programme when the world was hit with the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. From 2011 to 2018, Dr. Harmanci worked at the Global Hepatitis Programme. As one of the founding members of this programme, she worked on the global strategy on eliminating viral hepatitis, which aimed at supporting countries to reach the global targets and coordinating WHO Collaborating Centres on viral hepatitis.

Prior to joining the WHO, Dr. Harmanci served as a professor of public health in Marmara University and the deputy director of health services in a district of Istanbul from 1994 to 2005.

Dr. Harmanci is also a “Master Trainer” of adult education and training, instructional designer and facilitator.

She speaks English, Turkish and French languages.

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