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AzerbaijanRussia Interregional Forum to be held in Moscow

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The 10th Azerbaijan-Russia Interregional Forum will be held in Moscow on November 22-23, Trend reports on Nov. 18.

Azerbaijani and Russian officials and businessmen will participate in the two-day event.

The extended meetings of the Azerbaijan-Russia and Russia-Azerbaijan working councils, round table discussions on industrial, tourism, agricultural and humanitarian spheres, as well as a plenary meeting will be organized as part of the forum.

Moreover, during the Azerbaijani delegation’s visit to Moscow, the Azerbaijan pavilion will open at the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy.

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Qatar FIFA publish World Cup rights pledges

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Qatar and FIFA published Tuesday the first jointly issued legacy planning strategy ahead of a football World Cup, with pledges on labour and LGBT rights alongside protections for activists and journalists, AFP reported.

Qatar has faced intense scrutiny from rights groups over its treatment of migrant labourers working on construction projects ahead of the 2022 tournament as well as its laws criminalising homosexual acts.

The 112-page "Sustainability Strategy" also sets out commitments on making the tournament inclusive for groups including the disabled, boosting economic development, protecting the environment and promoting ethical business practices.

"A total of 22 objectives have been described in detail, together with more than 70 concrete initiatives and programmes to deliver the strategy," FIFA and the Qatari Supreme Committee organisers said in a statement.

On workers' rights, the document said Qatar would promote "decent working and living conditions and fair recruitment, including effective access" to remedial measures.

"Efforts include measures to protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all the associated workers, especially migrant workers in Qatar, and to avoid any forced and child labour."

Gulf analyst James Dorsey said the strategy "puts pressure on Qatar by definition".

"Qatar may very well welcome this and they have been involved in drafting this document," he said. "It helps them project themselves as standing up for human rights and values."

But Dorsey warned that while "FIFA has these lofty principles" it was unclear how their implementation would be monitored.

The strategy also contains a pledge to certify all stadiums and permanent offices under rigorous Global Sustainability Assessment System criteria to minimise environmental impacts.

Organisers will also improve "sustainable building standards and tools in Qatar" while seeking to use green building materials where possible, the document said.

Qatar's ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, vowed at the United Nations last year that the tournament would be carbon neutral, but gave little detail on how this would be achieved.

The document stresses that FIFA events prohibit "discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, language, religion, opinion, wealth, birth or any other status".

"As a host country for the FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar is fully aware of its responsibility to adhere to FIFA's human rights and non-discrimination" policies, the document added.

Security officers involved in the tournament would receive specialised human rights training and guidance on how to deal with media and rights activists, it said.

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said the tournament "offers us a unique opportunity to bring about positive change — one that FIFA and Qatar cannot, and will not, let slip away".

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Nearly half billion people lack decent jobs UN

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More than 470 million people worldwide are currently unemployed or underemployed, the UN said on Monday, warning that a lack of access to decent jobs was contributing to social unrest, AFP reported.

The global unemployment rate has remained relatively stable over much of the past decade, according to the UN's International Labour Organization.

But while the rate — which stood at 5.4 percent last year — is not expected to change much, overall jobless numbers are likely to inch up as slowing economies reduce the number of jobs available to a growing population.

This year, the number of people registered as unemployed is expected to rise to 190.5 million up from 188 million in 2019, ILO said in its annual World Employment and Social Outlook report.

At the same time, the UN body stressed that some 285 million people worldwide are considered underemployed, meaning they either work less than they want to, have given up searching for work or otherwise lack access to the labour market.

That amounts to nearly half a billion people and represents a full 13 percent of the global labour force, the ILO pointed out.

– 'Extremely worrying' –

"For millions of working people, it is becoming increasingly difficult I think to build better lives through work," ILO chief Guy Ryder told reporters in Geneva.

He warned that "persisting and substantial work-related inequalities and exclusion" were preventing many from finding decent work and thereby also creating better futures.

"I think that this is an extremely worrying finding," he said, adding that lacking access to decent work appeared to be part of what was spurring growing protest movements and unrest around the world.

"Labour market conditions are contributing to… this erosion of social cohesion in many of our societies," he said, referring to mass demonstrations in places like Lebanon and Chile.

According to the ILO's "social unrest index", measuring the frequency of things like demonstrations and strikes, there was an increase both at the global level and in seven out of 11 subregions between 2009 and 2019.

The ILO report highlighted that more than 60 percent of the global workforce currently work in the informal economy, often toiling for substandard wages and lacking basic social protections.

And in 2019, more than 630 million people — a fifth of the global working population — lived in so-called working poverty, meaning they made less than $3.20 per day in purchasing power.

At the same time, the ILO report warned of significant income and job access inequality, driven by things like gender, age and geographic location.

In particular, it warned that a staggering 267 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are not in employment, education or training, while many more in this group endure substandard working conditions.

The study showed that the average share of national income going to pay wages and other labour costs shrank from 54 percent to 51 percent between 2004 and 2017.

And within the waged population, the gap between the highest earners and those at the bottom is "extremely unequal", Ryder said.

The ILO report found that it took 11 years for the bottom 20 percent of wage earners to make the same amount as the top 20 percent make in a year.

"The situation is worse than we previously thought," Ryder said.

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Iran confirms two missiles fired at Ukraine airliner

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Iran has confirmed two missiles were fired at a Ukrainian airliner brought down this month, in a catastrophic error that killed all 176 people on board and sparked angry protests, AFP reported.

The country's civil aviation authority said it has yet to receive a positive response after requesting technical assistance from France and the United States to decode black boxes from the downed airliner.

The Kiev-bound Ukraine International Airlines plane was accidentally shot down shortly after takeoff from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on January 8.

Iran has come under mounting international pressure to carry out a full and transparent investigation into the air disaster.

"Investigators… discovered that two Tor-M1 missiles… were fired at the aircraft," Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation said in a preliminary report posted on its website late Monday.

It said an investigation was ongoing to assess the bearing their impact had on the accident.

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