UNHCR organizes high-level conference on statelessness in Baku

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has organized a regional conference in Baku dedicated to the statelessness issue jointly with the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan, News.az reports.

The event was organized to reflect on achievements and challenges within the framework of the ten-year-long #IBelong Campaign which will end next year, as well as to establish a platform to share updates on the implementation of the pledges announced in the high-level segment on statelessness as part of UNHCR Executive Committee Meeting in October 2019.

The conference brought together UNHCR and Azerbaijani government officials, judges, representatives of civil society organizations, as well as officials from Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, the Republic of Türkiye, and the Republic of Kazakhstan. Chief of the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan Vusal Huseynov, Country Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Azerbaijan Bik Lum, and Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsperson) of the Republic of Azerbaijan Sabina Aliyeva welcomed the participants and made speeches at the event.

During the event, various obstacles in access to fundamental rights and basic services due to lack of citizenship or documentation proving nationality were described and it was explained how the prevention and resolution of statelessness would benefit social cohesion and peaceful co-existence. The event was beneficial in terms of acknowledging and appreciating Azerbaijan’s best practices in the field of reduction and prevention of statelessness and getting familiar with the experiences and challenges faced by other countries in the region.

During the conference, a ten-minute video “The Way to Citizenship”, prepared by UNHCR Azerbaijan in collaboration with the State Migration Service, was presented. The video reflects the success stories of several former stateless men and women by demonstrating how their life positively changed after they obtained citizenship.

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