EU and UNDP to improve access to micro-financing services for women in rural areas

NAKHCHIVAN, 16 April 2019 – A new flagship project on Empowering Women for Sustainable Development was launched today in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan with the financial support of the European Union. The one-year project aims to improve access to microfinance services for rural communities in Azerbaijan focusing on women and other vulnerable groups.

This new initiative will support women’s economic empowerment and financial autonomy by offering them a broad range of learning opportunities including money management practices, budget planning, business administration, debt management techniques and other skills needed to start a new business.

The project is implemented by the Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (AMFA) and is part of a broader programme on Promoting the Role of Civil Society in Gender-sensitive Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals funded by the European Union, co-funded and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Speaking at the project’s launching conference in Nakhchivan, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan Ambassador Kestutis Jankauskas said: “Today the European Union with its implementing partner UNDP and AMFA are launching the first EU funded project in Nakhchivan to empower over 300 women entrepreneurs. Teaching financial literacy, developing business skills and promotion of traditional products will unleash the full potential of women to become self-sustainable and contribute to building a modern society.”

The project will help over 300 women from rural communities, including women with disabilities, improve their business proficiency, financial literacy, access to financial resources and organisational skills. Among them, more than 50 best business ideas will further receive seed funding in the amount of USD 500 each to establish business startups in Nakhchivan and Ismayilli.

Supporting Azerbaijan’s commitment to accelerate the achievement of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the project will contribute to the implementation of SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 5: Gender Equality and SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.

UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Mr. Alessandro Fracassetti highlighted the importance of financial autonomy for women’s social and economic empowerment. “By boosting women’s access to new opportunities that will enable them to learn, grow and develop entrepreneurial businesses, countries can escape poverty and improve their economic conditions,” –said Mr. Fracassetti in his opening speech. “It is important to acknowledge that the opportunities offered by women entrepreneurs help grow domestic markets and increase employment prospects.”

First launched in Nakhchivan, the project activities will also be replicated in the Ismayilli region of Azerbaijan. In Nakhchivan, the activities will be facilitated in partnership with the Nakhchivan Division of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan and the Agrarkredit Joint-Stock Credit Organisation.

The project launch conference is part of a two-day official mission by the Heads of the European Union Delegation and the UNDP in Azerbaijan to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. During the visit they will meet the Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of Nakchivan Autonomous Republic and participated in a tree-planting ceremony, as well as in meetings with students at the Nakhchivan State University and a traditional “Kete” cake festival at the historic Nakhchivanqala.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

  1. Arzu Jafarli, Communications and External Relations Analyst for UNDP in Azerbaijan – arzu.jafarli@undp.org
  2. Gulnara Bayramova, Press and Information Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan– gulnara.bayramova@eeas.europa.eu

 

EU, UNDP and Government launch groundbreaking new programme to fight climate change in Azerbaijan

BAKU, 15 April 2019 –  A new regional EU4Climate project financed by the European Union kicked off in Baku today putting multistakeholder partnerships at the forefront of effective climate change action in countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region.

The initiative, which was launched in response to the direct and existential threat of climate change, aims at supporting the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine) to develop and implement climate-related policies based on the countries’ commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Association and Partnership Agreements with the EU, the Eastern Partnership policy initiative “20 Deliverables for 2020,” (in particular the climate-related Deliverables 15 and 16) and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (in particular SDG 13 on “Climate Action”). The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme.

The national launch of the regional project today offered an opportunity for government officials and the representatives of various stakeholder groups to discuss priorities and next steps for “EU4Climate” implementation in Azerbaijan until 2022.

Speaking at the opening of the EU4Climate project, Ms. Simona Gatti, Minister-Counsellor/Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Azerbaijan noted: “EU4Climate demonstrates the strategic partnership of the European Union with the Government of Azerbaijan in order to jointly take an action against climate change. It will support the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and improve climate policy and legislation in line with the European Union and international standards”.

The new initiative is tapping on a number of climate-related challenges facing the countries of the Eastern Partnership region, from water and energy shortage to energy intensity and inefficiency resulting from overreliance of some countries on fossil fuels for domestic energy consumption demand. Climate change makes urban and rural communities more vulnerable, while putting more financial burden on national governments.

“As the largest implementer of climate action in the UN System, UNDP works with countries around the world to turn their climate goals into action,” – UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Mr. Alessandro Fracassetti said. ”In Azerbaijan, UNDP has been successfully partnering with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources for many years on a number of projects tackling environmental sustainability and climate change. I particularly welcome the financial support of the EU which will help Azerbaijan in building a more robust climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and practices”

The regional project will be financed by the European Union with EUR 8.8 million. In Azerbaijan, EU funds of around EUR 830,000 will go towards the implementation of nationally important climate change policies and practices.

The EU4Climate aims to build –for the first time in Azerbaijan – national capacities to integrate low-emission and climate-resilient actions into national development plans as well as align climate change legislation with EU standards. Long-term low greenhouse gas emission strategies will be developed as part of this initiative with a forward-looking vision to serve the climate action agenda in all six EaP countries till 2050. The project will establish concrete industry-specific guidelines for the implementation of the Paris Agreement across various sectors of the economy, including agriculture, construction and energy in each partner country.

In all six countries, the project will contribute to accelerating the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 accompanying Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, the project will directly support the implementation of SDG 13: Climate Action. Indirectly, EU4Climate will contribute to the achievement of other SDGs related to poverty, food and water security, urban and rural resilience, gender equality, affordable and clean energy, responsible production and consumption and strengthening partnerships for development.

The EU4Climate project will also build upon the results and lessons learnt from previously implemented ClimaEast Programme, which received substantial funding from the EU in 2013-2017 and supported climate change mitigation and adaptation in the EU Neighbours East countries –including Azerbaijan –as well as Russia.

To mark World Health Day, “Less cars, more life” bike ride held in Baku

BAKU, 7 April 2019 – The bike ride under the motto “Less cars, more life” was held in Baku to mark 7 April World Health Day.

The ride was initiated by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, organised by the World Health Organization, the Public Health and Reforms Centre of the Azerbaijani Health Ministry, supported by the Azerbaijani Cycling Federation and the Republic Olympic Cycling School.

The purpose of the bike ride was to instill healthy lifestyle habits and promote the tradition of a car-free day.

The representatives of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Youth and Sports, the State Security Service, the State Customs Committee, the State Service for Mobilization and Conscription, the Baku Transport Agency, “Azerigas” Production Union of SOCAR and students of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University participated in the ride.

7 April has been annually celebrated as the World Health Day since 1950. It seeks to draw attention to a major global health concern each year.

Third National Model United Nations gets underway as over 230 youth step in the shoes of diplomats

BAKU, 15 March 2019 – The 3rd National Model United Nations MilliMUN opened in the Azerbaijani capital Baku today, bringing together more than 230 young enthusiasts with strong interest in international diplomacy, conflict resolution and the United Nations values. Over the next four days, young delegates will have a chance to step into the shoes of diplomats and negotiate solutions to real world challenges at the mock United Nations committee hearings. Held every year, the MilliMUN is traditionally organised by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Youth and Sports.

The 3rd MilliMUN is held in the framework of a two-year project funded by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and implemented by UNDP which was signed last year to help support youth engagement in global policy debates and encourage innovative solutions to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The project also seeks to further promote and advance the Model UN traditions in Azerbaijan, with focus on strengthened youth participation and volunteerism.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Azad Rahimov, hosted the 3rd MilliMUN with participation of senior officials from the Ministry of Education, Ecology and Natural Resources, Transport, Communications and High Technologies, and by the State Committee for Women, Families and Children.

Noting an immense importance of Model UN simulation programmers for Azerbaijani youth, Mr. Rahimov told young delegates: “I trust that the knowledge and skills you will gain and further improve during the 3rd MilliMUN will help you earn confidence and capabilities you need to represent our country and the youth both at the national and international levels no matter where you decide to pursue your career in the future.”

Speaking at the opening ceremony, UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Mr. Alessandro Fracassetti, said: “We are partnering with the government to support its effort to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs, each of them covering one global challenge of our time, from poverty to quality education, decent work, gender inequalities, environmental pollution and climate change, and many more.”

“In all these areas, —Mr. Fracassetti added addressing the MilliMUN youth delegates — “we can benefit from your ideas and enthusiasm. It is incumbent on all of us to help create more compassionate, inclusive and peaceful societies where No One is Left Behind.”

The 3rd National Model UN will offer four days of excitement to university students and graduates who will be tasked to assume the role of UN diplomats at the mock General Assembly, UN Security Council and UN committees.  Simulations this year will include a broad range of topics, from a discussion of the political situation in an African country to reducing the gender pay gap for men and men, to transitioning to digital citizenry and measuring the impact of the textile industry on environment.

The first ever Model UN Conference in Azerbaijan was organised by UNDP together with the Ministry back in 2013. In 2014-2016, following the successful cooperation between UNDP and Government of Azerbaijan, a new project was launched aiming to create the national platform for the Model United Nations –MilliMUN. The year 2016 saw the first edition of the national chapter of the Model UN, followed by the second MilliMUN in 2017.

The result of all these joint efforts was that over years, Azerbaijan saw three national Model UN Conferences, a MUN Conference in Nakhchivan, two Model UN Summer Schools in Ismayilli and Dashkesan, while UNDP and the Ministry of Youth and Sports also supported an impressive array of university-level MUN conferences led by enthusiastic youth groups at various MUN Clubs. Earlier in 2018, the new project also launched the first ever cohort of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Youth Ambassadors in Azerbaijan, each representing one global goal. The SDGs Youth Ambassadors will support the work of the state institutions involved with the SDGs, assist in spreading information about actions taken at the local, national, and international levels and will contribute to the preparations of national reports on SDG implementation.

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Contact information:

For media inquiries, please contact Arzu Jafarli, Communications and External Relations Analyst for UNDP in Azerbaijan at arzu.jafarli@undp.org  

UN in Azerbaijan organises induction course for new members of United Nations Youth Advisory Council

BAKU, 4 April 2019 – The United Nations (UN) Office in Azerbaijan organised the induction course for new members of the UN Youth Advisory Council (UNYAC) who will serve until 2020. Through UNYAC, UN in Azerbaijan trains and empowers young people from different regions of the country, enabling them to participate at and advise on the work of the UN.

National and international experts from various UN agencies operating in Azerbaijan trained 15 new members of UNYAC in the fields of environment, human rights, gender equality and children protection. They also briefed the participants about the UN structure and working principles.

“Seeing how passionate the Azerbaijani young people is a huge inspiration. Youth can create a dynamic force of social transformation when the knowledge and opportunities are given,” Mr. Ghulam Isaczai, UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan, said in his welcoming speech. “Empowering youth leaders in Azerbaijan is critical in mainstreaming youth agenda in UN programmes,” he added.

“The reason why I decided to join UNYAC is to share ideas to promote Global Goals via youth-oriented actions that would hopefully contribute to positive developments in our society,” said Ms. Khumar Karimli, UNYAC member.

Young people aged 14-29 make up 31 percent of the population in Azerbaijan that increases the importance of their voices to be heard. In line with the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, the UNYAC programme offers the platform to formulating young people’s opinion by cooperating and empowering young leaders in Azerbaijan.

FAO holds a stakeholder consultation meeting on the development of the sheep breeding sector

BAKU, 2 April 2019 – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the State Agency for Agricultural Credits and Development under the Ministry of Agriculture organised a stakeholder consultation meeting on the development of the sheep breeding sector.

The meeting brought together the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Safety Agency, other state agencies and associations, international organisations and private sector, farmers, as well as FAO international experts.

The event aimed to proactively engage with relevant actors in the sheep value chain to understand the current status of the sub-sector for live sheep and processed sheep products including meat, hides, skin and wool. It also focused on pending and future challenges, as well as prospects for this sub-sector to contribute to employment, income, environmental and social benefits, and other important economic activities of the Azerbaijani population.

The meeting was organised within the framework of the project on development and application of sustainable sheep production and food value chains, which is funded by the Government of Azerbaijan and implemented as part of the FAO-Azerbaijan Partnership Programme since December 2018. The project aims to sustainably improve the performance of the sheep value chain to address current challenges in breeding and feeding strategies, animal health and transboundary disease control, as well as product development and market linkage.

Azerbaijan to revise TB legislation in line with new WHO recommendations

BAKU, 24 March 2019 – To mark World Tuberculosis Day (WTB), WHO Country Office in Azerbaijan and Health Commission of Azerbaijan’s Parliament organised a roundtable discussion on tuberculosis (TB) bringing together representatives of different ministries, civil society and international organisations. The discussion resulted in an agreement to update the current legislation on TB according to new WHO recommendations and standards.  Continue reading “Azerbaijan to revise TB legislation in line with new WHO recommendations”

Head of UNDP Eurasia concludes three-day visit to Azerbaijan

BAKU, 15 March 2019 – During her three-day visit to Azerbaijan, Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States held a series of meetings with UNDP key government and development partners in Azerbaijan discussing future opportunities for closer cooperation on women and youth empowerment and economic diversification.

Click here to read a full text of the press release.

Message of UN Secretary General to 7th Global Baku Forum

I thank the Nizami Ganjavi International Centre for convening the seventh Global Baku Forum.

Our world faces a paradox:  challenges are increasingly interconnected, yet responses are fragmented.  From environmental threats and armed conflicts to rising inequality and intolerance, multilateralism is needed more than ever.  But simply saying this is not enough.  We need to show that we are mobilizing solutions that respond to people’s fears and anxieties, and that build fair globalization that works for all.  That is what the United Nations strives to do every day: from peacekeeping to humanitarian assistance; from defending human rights to promoting sustainable development.

One looming threat can undo all our good work – climate disruption.  Climate change is running much faster than our efforts to slow it. I am convening a climate action summit in September in New York to raise ambition to meet this global existential challenge. I will count on your support in both sounding the alarm and highlighting the opportunities of climate action.

Cooperation with other multilateral institutions, regional organizations, civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders is essential.  In that spirit of partnership, I welcome your commitment to dialogue and offer my best wishes for a fruitful meeting.

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