ILO and Azerbaijan Sign Decent Work Country Programme

On 30 September 2016, ILO Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Heinz Koller, and the Deputy Director of the ILO DWT/CO for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Shurenchimeg Zokhiolt, took part in the signing ceremony of the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) for 2016-2020.

News | 30 September 2016
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he first priority of the Programme signed by the ILO and the Azerbaijani constituents is to promote decent employment opportunities and quality jobs for inclusive growth.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Heinz Koller said: “Azerbaijan is a young country with 27 per cent of the population aged 14-29. This is a strength for the country […] and this is a big and stimulating challenge. […] With the National Employment Strategy for 2016-2030 that we have developed together, I am confident that Azerbaijan is well-placed to successfully implement the Sustainable Development Goals in the field of employment under the new UN-Azerbaijan Partnership Framework (UNAPF).”

Two other priority areas identified in the Decent Work Country Programme - in continuity with the former DWCP – focus on employment, working conditions, occupational safety and health, and social dialogue. At the same time, the new DWCP places a greater emphasis on labour administration and labour inspection.

“Our joint work, including the objectives enshrined in the DWCP, will forge the future of the labour market and will contribute to the Initiative in view of the ILO Centenary,” said Heinz Koller.

Salim Muslumov, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Population, expressed his deep appreciation to the ILO for its support in all priority areas, particularly in employment promotion and youth employment.

Mammad Musayev, President of the National Confederation of Employers (Entrepreneurs) spoke about initiatives to support entrepreneurship and business environment where the ILO has made a valuable contribution.

Sattar Mehbaliyev, Chair of the Azerbaijan Trade Union Association, stressed the role of trade unions in promoting fundamental principles and rights at work.

Heinz Koller congratulated the Minister and the social partners on another equally important achievement, that of the establishment of a new Tripartite Commission on Economic and Social Affairs. Everything is now in place to allow a smooth, active and effective social dialogue, he said.

The ILO officials also took part in the International humanitarian Forum held in Baku on 29 and 30 September 2016. Addressing the Round Table on the human capital of migrants and refugees held during the Forum, Heinz Koller congratulated the Government of Azerbaijan for organizing this important event, in particular at a time when migration has become a burning issue in the region.

On 30 September, Mr.Koller and Ms. Zokhiolt attended the UN Country Team meeting, with the participation of Cihan Sultanoģlu, Chair of the Regional UN Development Group Team, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS (RBEC). Heinz Koller shared information on recent ILO activities in the country with the UNDP Team and UNCT members. He noted the role of the ILO-UNDP cooperation in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 8 on decent work and productive employment.