For Immediate Release
On November 30, 2012 East-West Management Institute (EWMI) in partnership with the Council of State Support to NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan held a national conference on “Citizen Participation: International and National Best Practices”. The conference was organized by International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), one of the partners implementing the Socio-Economic Development Activity (SEDA), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and co-financed by the Government of Azerbaijan.
The main purpose of this conference was to promote citizen participation reforms in Azerbaijan. Participants discussed existing laws and regulations, ongoing legislative efforts, and the international best practices. Through a discussion of the draft law on citizen participation, on-going reforms, and international best practices in citizen’s participation, the conference participants were able to see Azerbaijani reforms from a comparative perspective.
"We believe that this conference will serve to further the efforts by the Government of Azerbaijan and civil society organizations to encourage citizens to benefit from existing opportunities for participation at all levels of government decision-making”- said Michael Greene, USAID/Azerbaijan Mission Director. He also expressed the hope that “the conference will help define the way forward for improving the legal framework and putting in place mechanisms for citizen participation to benefit the Azerbaijani citizens and their government”.
The conference provided a very good opportunity to discuss Azerbaijani experiences in refining the legal framework and establishing mechanisms for citizen participation at the local and central government level. The sharing of experiences of other countries that have established such mechanisms to advance citizen participation also enriched discussions.
“During the past years NGO Council promoted a number of ideas on developing laws on citizen participation, including the draft law on “Public Participation” and we have submitted a number of initiatives to the Parliament for their review and discussion”- said Azay Quliyev, Chairman of the Council of State Support to NGOs.. He also noted that “the experts, lawyers and representatives from various civil society organizations with rich experience on citizen participation will foster this issue through their discussions”.
The event brought together around 80 representatives from local civil society organizations, Parliament, Council of State Support to NGOs, USAID, OSCE, World Bank, BP and others.
Last updated: December 10, 2013