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Ali Hasanov: Azerbaijan has strong potential for achieving its goals [UPDATE]

16 June 2017 [16:35] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Amina Nazarli

The 14th International Baku Conference of Ombudsmen, titled “Fundamental Principles of Sustainable Development Goals: Equality, National Priorities and Cooperation”, was held in Baku on June 16.

The conference was attended by Assistant to the President for Public and Political Issues, Department Head Ali Hasanov, Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman) of Azerbaijan Elmira Suleymanova, Vice-Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Bahar Muradova, Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfas Garayev, other officials, MPs and foreign participants, Trend reported.

Elmira Suleymanova, addressed the conference with an opening speech, saying that the policy, comprehensive reforms conducted by President Ilham Aliyev, give effective results in the field of human rights protection.

Azerbaijan is a stable country, and human rights here are fully provided, she noted, adding that the Azerbaijani model of multiculturalism is an example to the world.

Suleymanova stated that the development concept “Azerbaijan 2020: Vision for the Future” and other state programs, being implemented in Azerbaijan systematically and planned, are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and serve the all-round development of the country.

Hasanov, in turn, noted that an important condition for the states that have joined this global initiative is the availability of the necessary resources in order to achieve the sustainable development goals.

“The successes achieved by Azerbaijan in the years of independence, the current level of development show that our country has strong potential for achieving its goals,” said Hasanov.

He added that today, Azerbaijan is a country with a strong economy, a stable political, legal and social protection system, secure and stable socio-political environment, as well as a state with a renewed infrastructure integrated into international organizations.

Hasanov further said that Azerbaijan achieved great success in the areas of providing human and civil rights and freedoms, development of civil society.

“Freedom of assembly, speech, opinion and press, as well as other freedoms are provided in the country, international standards in the sphere of human rights are observed. Over the past years, the Republic of Azerbaijan has developed cooperation with authoritative international structures working in the field of human rights, has supported more than 50 international documents in the field of human rights protection, and has achieved important successes in implementing international commitments in this field,” he said.

Today more than 3,000 NGOs, hundreds of media outlets, 55 political parties, communities belonging to different religions operate freely in Azerbaijan. The specific weight of Internet users exceeds 80 percent, Hasanov added.

“Ensuring human and civil rights and freedoms is considered as a nationwide task in the Republic of Azerbaijan, and national action plans on the protection of human rights are adopted and implemented taking into account the goals of sustainable development, major international priorities in the areas of protecting human rights and democracy, and the rule of law. The amendments made to the Constitution following the referendum held on September 26, 2016, served to create additional guarantees for the further expansion and reliable protection of citizens’ rights,” noted Hasanov.

He said that the development concepts and strategies, programs and projects prepared in Azerbaijan are usually in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This shows that the Azerbaijani state is building its policy taking into account global challenges and trends, added Hasanov.

Speaking at the event, Minister Garayev stressed that one of the main objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals is cultural authenticity. Therefore, the protection of the centuries-old traditions, cultural and spiritual wealth of the Azerbaijani people and its promotion in the world is of great importance.

He reminded that no cultural heritage belonging to any people was damaged or demolished in Azerbaijan.  

“However, Armenia demolishes national wealth and cultural monuments in the occupied Azerbaijani lands. This example clearly shows who is guilty of this conflict,” he said. “In the occupied territories of Azerbaijan our neighbors try to appropriate cultural monuments.”

At the event, Mubariz Gurbanli, Chairman to the State Committee on Religious Associations said that 96 percent of Azerbaijani population is Muslims and 4 percent is non-Muslims.  

About 2,200 mosques, seven synagogues, 14 churches both Catholics and Orthodox are operating in the country, according to Gurbanli.

“Every year, certain amount of money is allocated for various religious communities from the Azerbaijani state budget. All these are indicators of sustainable development,” he said.

UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan Ghulam Isaczai, for his part, said that the UN welcomes the establishment of the National Coordination Council for Sustainable Development in accordance with President Ilham Aliyev’s decree.

“This demonstrates highest level commitment of Azerbaijan’s to Sustainable Development goals,” he noted. 

Chairperson of the State Committee of Azerbaijan for Family, Women and Children Affairs Hijran Huseynova, stressing that the sustainable development is among priorities of the state policy, spoke about measures taken in issue of gender equality, women and children.

She noted that women make up more than half of the population and the state pays huge attention to increase their active role in the society, and especially to create favorable conditions for women entrepreneurs.

The conference will be followed by plenary session until June 17.  


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