XVI Baku International Conference of Ombudspersons
The 16th Baku International Conference of Ombudsmen was held on June 18, 2019.
The conference on “Role of Ombudsmen in Achieving Just Peace and Sustainable Development Goals” was organized by Ombudsman Office with support of the National Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan for UNESCO.
Firstly, national anthem of Azerbaijan was played.
Elmira Suleymanova, the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, opened the event with her speech. She noted that all potential is mobilized for improvement of social welfare of its citizens in independent Azerbaijan.
Successful steps are taken not only in economic, social spheres, but also towards protecting the rights of citizens, which is one of the directions the Azerbaijani President paid most attention. Establishment of the Ombudsman institution is an evident proof of the attention of the state to the protection of rights.
Ali Ahmadov, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of National Coordination Council for Sustainable Development, stated that ombudspersons have great contribution to achieve peace and SDGs. Speaking about SDGs, he noted the principle “Leave no one behind”. He mentioned that Azerbaijan effectively implements the program, as the First Voluntary Review has been submitted to the UN in 2017 and the Second will be soon presented in New-York. It was told that there is no sustainable development without reliable peace and no reliable peace without sustainable development. Although, Azerbaijan is a peaceful country, its lands are under occupation for nearly 30 years. 20% of our territory was occupied by Armenia; more than a million compatriots became refugees and IDPs having their rights violated.
Bahar Muradova, Deputy Chairman of the Milli Mejlis, noted that multiculturalism, solidarity became lifestyle for the citizens in Azerbaijan, which brings world countries together for this purpose. Touching upon Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, she asserted that unconstructive approach of Armenia is one of the basic problems in settlement of this conflict. Armenia also threatens SDGs by maintaining the activity of Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant.
Ghulam Isaczai, UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan, spoke about SDGs in his speech, noted the activities related to their implementation. He mentioned about the significant role inherent to NHRIs in the protection of human rights.
Hijran Huseynova, Head of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs, pointed out that children’s and women’s rights compose a significant part of human rights. She stated that the women enjoyed the voting rights in Azerbaijan in 1918. Adoption of laws for ensuring gender equality, increased rates in women entrepreneurship contributing to development of the country were also regarded in the speech.
Elnur Sultanov, special envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Secretary-General of the National Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan for UNESCO, delivered a speech informing about the relations of Azerbaijan with international organizations. He noted the cooperation with the UNESCO, actions taken for the implementation of SDGs within this framework.
During the plenary session of the conference, the Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova, Chief Ombudsman of Turkey Şeref Malkoç, Counsellor to the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Tolmachov, Deputy of the Minister of Economy Sevinj Hasanova, Ombudsman of Tatarstan Republic Sariya Saburskaya, Ombudsman of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Ulkar Bayramova, Ombudsman of Kabardino-Balkaria Boris Zumakulov, Serbian Ombudsman Zoran Pasalic, Deputy Public Defender of Georgia Georgi Burjanadze, Ombudsman of Dagestan Jamal Aliyev made speeches on certain topics.
There was also exhibition of children’s paintings and publications of the Azerbaijani Ombudsman Office.
The conference continued with sessions including other reports by authorized representatives of state bodies and other organizations.