NGO representatives, who are members of the Open Government Platform, the head of the department of Labour and Citizenship Status of the Ministry of Justice, Rahim Rahimov, MP and National Coordinator of the Open Government Partnership international organization, Vusal Huseynov have participated at the meeting.
Coordinator of the Open Government Platform, Alimammad Nuriyev noted that Azerbaijan was one of the first countries joined OGP and adopted two national action plans: “Civil Society took an active part in the preparations of Open Government National Action Plan for the years 2016-2018 and organized public hearings. Most of the proposals of the civil society were taken into account. On September 9, 2016, according to the NAP, with the participation of 31 NGOs representatives and 9 state bodies the Government- Civil Society Dialogue Platform on Open Government Initiative was established. The aim of the platform is to provide comprehensive support to the Open Government Partnership Initiative in Azerbaijan and to develop government-civil society dialogue. The establishment of the platform gives new opportunities to expand the activities of the Open Government Initiative and the active participation of civil society in these issues.”
A.Nuriyev said that the membership of the organization is open to everyone and civil society organizations, parliamentarians and government officials will be able to join the platform.
Coordinator of the Platform said that Azerbaijan implements recommendations of OGP since Steering Committee has decided to make Azerbaijan inactive in May 2016. He noted that re-establishment of the status of a full member is very important for civil society in Azerbaijan.
Director for Civil Society Engagement at the Open Government Partnership, Paul Maassen expressed the difficulty in decision regarding to Azerbaijan: “This decision did not intend to remove Azerbaijan, but to introduction of wider reforms to promote OGP.” P. Maassen noted that during one last year the government has taken important steps on implementations of recommendations: “The creations of the platform is a great achievement. NGOs have been working to make changes to the legislation and we have information about it. The decision will be made regarding to Azerbaijan in June. The government-civil society dialogue is very important and we encourage it. We want to do a lot of work in this direction in Azerbaijan.
During the meeting, P. Maassen stressed that they would like to hear proposals and ideas about government-civil society dialogue and enabling environment for NGOs activities.
Platform members, in particular, noted the simplification of procedures for foreign donors and improvement of legislation regarding to NGOs are major problems that they focus on.
During the speeches, members of the Platform called for the restoration of the status in the Open Government Partnership.