For Immediate Release
On April 2, 2013 the Council of State Support to NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), held a public discussion of the draft "Law on Public Participation.” The event was organized by International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) within the framework of the Socio-Economic Development Activity (SEDA), co-financed by the Government of Azerbaijan and USAID, and implemented by the East-West Management Institute (EWMI).
The main purpose of this event was to present the latest draft to the national and international civil society, and to collect opinions and comments from organizations and groups that are affected by this law. The draft law provides the Government of Azerbaijan with tools to conduct consultations with citizens, such as public councils, public discussions, public hearings, studying public opinion and public expertise. The draft law plays an important role by gathering in one act existing tools, and improving their regulations.
“The draft law that participants of this event are going to discuss today is an important act, which can further improve state governance in Azerbaijan,” said Azay Quliyev, chairman of the Council of State Support to NGOs. He also noted that the law “... proposes several important mechanisms for consultations, which are broadly used in the United States and European countries, and if adopted, would serve Azerbaijan well.”
“USAID has been honored to assist the working group of Azerbaijani experts, led by the Council of State Support to NGOs, with drafting and organizing public discussion of the law on citizens’ participation, through SEDA. We are pleased that the draft law is endorsed by the Azerbaijani government, and will be submitted to the Parliament,” said USAID Azerbaijan Mission Director Michael Greene. He also added that USAID stands ready to continue to assist with the improvement of legislation on citizens’ participation, and to share experience with the implementation of such laws to make the public more active and effective contributors to state governing.
The event provided a very good opportunity to explore core elements of citizen participation and enabled to gather opinions and feedback from stakeholders on the latest draft, which will be considered by Parliament members and the government, and will hopefully be incorporated into the draft before the Parliament votes on it.
The event brought together around 100 representatives from local civil society organizations, the Parliament, the Council of State Support to NGOs, USAID, OSCE, World Bank, BP, and others.
Last updated: December 10, 2013