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On November 19th 2019, an inception event marking the launch of the “Awareness raising campaign to promote active ageing” component of the “Building society for all ages: promoting wellbeing of the elderly persons in Azerbaijan through active ageing” project implemented jointly by UNFPA Azerbaijan and Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population (MLSPP) took place at Baku Book Center. The event was dedicated to promoting the idea of active ageing and inclusion of elderlies in the social life.

The event was attended by the representatives of the UNFPA Azerbaijan country office, MLSPP, State Statistical Committee, as well as Sustainable and Operative Social Security (DOST) Agency functioning under the ministry, State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ASAN), “Uchuncu Bahar” Initiative Group and elderly persons aged 65 and above.

In his opening speech, Dr.Farid Babayev, head of the UNFPA Azerbaijan country office, emphasized the long-term and fruitful cooperation between UNFPA and the government of Azerbaijan including in the sphere of ensuring well-being of all groups of the population. n. According to Dr. Babayev, the current project is aimed to complement the Government efforts to promote the “active ageing” concept by contributing to the improved well-being of the elderly persons in Azerbaijan. “This will be achieved through the series of interrelated activities on producing improved data, increased public awareness on the issue of ageing, and piloting relevant interventions aimed at supporting the elderly to live healthier, more independent lives through the provision of social services using participatory approach”, stated Sr. Babayev in his speech.

Addressing the audience, head of MLSPP’s social security policy department Mr. Babek Huseynov said that one of the main vectors of the successful social policy pursued by the President of Azerbaijan Republic H.E. Ilham Aliyev is the increasing social care to the elderly population, as a result of which elderly citizens of the country are provided with reliable social protection services.  Continuing his speech, Mr. Huseynov pointed out significant measures taken towards improvement of the pension system in the country. According to him, the ministry’s social service institution designated for the persons reaching the retirement age is equipped in accordance with the modern requirements and its second building has recently been put into exploitation. Thanks to noble contribution of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, works are currently underway to enhance and strengthen the care provided to the residents of this institution as well. Another innovation in the sphere of social services is the establishment of the service centers functioning throughout a day and intended for the elderly people, which were created at the request of the ministry. Mr. Huseynov also informed the audience about the “Silver Volunteer” program implemented by the DOST Agency under the ministry. Concluding his speech, he stressed the importance of launching the first-ever awareness raising campaign on the topic of active ageing and inclusion of the elderly people within the framework of the joint project implemented with UNFPA Azerbaijan.

During the event Ms. Narmin Ganiyeva, the cofounder of the “Uchuncu Bahar” Initiative Group, briefed the audience on the awareness-raising component of the project, followed by success stories of the activists of the “YAŞA” Center established by the Group.

The event ended with a craftwork exhibition organized by the pensioners spending their leisure time at the “YAŞA” Center.