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Independent CSO in Azerbaijan organized pubic event on OGP. First time after country’s “inactive” status


Independent CSO in Azerbaijan organized pubic event on OGP. First time after country’s “inactive” status

In May OGP Steering Committee made Azerbaijan’s country status “inactive”.  The decision was mostly related to CSO enabling environment in country. Despite the decision the country and government would be able to continue implementing recently adopted OGP National Action Plan for 2016-2018, receive any required technical assistance and participate at OGP meetings.

To discuss details of that decision, problems in CSO-government collaboration and ways to restore country’s OGP status public event organized by independent CSO organizations was organized in Baku, on June 30th. The event was attended by representatives of international institutions, embassies, state agencies and CSOs.

It was important event to deliver message on importance of OGP membership for country, ways to restore status and obstacles that needed to be removed for that, as well as importance of improvement of   CSO-government relations and dialogue for country’s transparency image. In fact status and level of participation of different countries in international initiatives has become indication of transparency and accountability at global level. Head of EBRD told in his interview in May “To Attract Foreign Investment, Azerbaijan Should Return Status of Full EITI Member”.

Although government of Azerbaijan made some steps to improve enabling environment for CSO (freed political imprisoners and journalists, unblocked bank accounts, stopped customs checks, ceased sue cases) non-fundamental approach in solution of problems did not allow independent CSO to function as previously. One of most important problems which was funding for CSO and operating of foreign donor organizations in country was on agenda of government, as it was informed at event by representative of State Council to Support NGOs. It is expected that regulations to issue grants will be simplified and a list of donor organizations to function in country will be determined.

Kanal-13 Internet TV interviewed local expert right after the event. Together with discussing event, issues raised, importance of establishment of CSO platform was also talked about. “Established CSO Platform should be independent and do not depend on government in any way. This is OGP requirement. It is also important that this platform serves to CSO-Government dialogue as neither party can monopolize OGP. This platform will be an important mechanism to monitor implementation of 2016-2018 national action plan” – mentioned expert.

 

 

 


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