DDG Ugochi Daniel's Visit to Baku

DDG Daniel’s Baku Visit: A Successful Preparation for COP29

Baku Azerbaijan, 18 March – Ugochi Daniels, the Deputy Director General (DDG) for Operations of IOM, visited Baku from 12 to 16 March to attend two important forums and deliver the main message that climate action must prioritize people. This message, which aligns with the new global strategy of IOM, was emphasized to key actors in the Azerbaijani government and the international community, which was particularly important in the context of COP29 preparations. 
“Daily, many migrants have to choose between food, health and water. But safe water and sanitation are basic human rights and must be prioritized as part of climate action”, DDG Daniels remarked at Baku Water Week where she talked about global water challenges and climate change.
Climate Action was at the heart of her visit to Azerbaijan as more than 20 million people are displaced every year due to climate related events around the world. Nearly half the world experiences serious water shortages at some time every year. IOM is now providing water and sanitation services to more than 13.3 million people, but many more need help. Scaling up access to sustainable finance for human mobility is key for people to adapt.
DDG expressed IOM's commitment to helping Azerbaijani government enhance water security. For more than twenty years, IOM has been repairing kahrizes, eco-friendly underground water systems, that supply drinking and irrigation water to thousands of households in isolated areas. She emphasized the importance of increasing the advantages of kahrizes as a good case of applying the cultural heritage as a local climate change adaptation measure. 
DDG Daniels joined the panel discussion on ‘Financing Our Survival: Climate Justice’ at XI Global Baku Forum, which hosted 400 guests from 70 countries, such as current and former leaders, Nobel winners, and members of international organizations and civil society. She emphasized the need for inclusive financial instruments to avert, minimize, and address loss and damage caused by climate change, which is something IOM has been given co-responsibility for under COP28.
While in Baku, DDG Daniels met with several high-ranking officials from the Azerbaijani government, including Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, Chairman of State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Rovshan Rzayev, Chief of State Migration Service Vusal Huseynov, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs of the Presidential Administration Habib Mikayilli and Deputy Minister of Ecology & Natural Resources Umayra Taghiyeva. She expressed IOM’s support for the Government of Azerbaijan in getting ready for COP29 and fulfilling its international obligations to Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals and Global Compact for Migration in her meetings with government representatives.
DDG Daniels also met with EU Ambassador Peter Michalko and Country Director of KOICA Hwang Sulim and talked about how to work together more effectively to find lasting solutions that would help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
During her visit, DDG Daniels also visited a children’s shelter supported by IOM, where she met with vulnerable children, many of whom come from migrant families. These children have received protection and care at the shelter, and their stories of courage, resilience, and hope are truly inspiring.
At the conclusion of her visit, DDG Daniels met with female staff members to gain a better understanding of their unique needs and perspectives. The visit culminated in an IOM town hall, where DDG Daniels expressed her appreciation for the staff’s dedication and hard work in achieving IOM’s goals in the country.

SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals