Baku, June 2, AZERTAC
“Civil society dialogue in Azerbaijan”, a joint project of the Council of Europe and European Union, has been launched in Baku.
In his remarks at the event, the Azerbaijani President`s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov expressed hope that the project would yield the expected results. He highlighted the key functions of NGOs in democratic societies, and noted the importance of close cooperation between government bodies and NGOs.
The Presidential Assistant said the Azerbaijani government had always attached importance to the activity and development of NGOs and civil society organizations.
Ali Hasanov said the Council for State Support to NGOs and Azerbaijan Youth Foundation under the President were established in the country. He said AZN 33 mln had been allocated so far for the implementation of more than 5,000 projects so far.
Director of the Directorate Democratic Governance on culture and diversity of the Council of Europe Claudia Luciani said interesting discussions were held on this project in Strasbourg last year, which was part of the action plan of the Council of Europe for Azerbaijan for 2014-2016.
She hailed the Azerbaijani government`s support for the implementation of the project. Ms Luciani said Azerbaijan was an important country for the Council of Europe as a member state.
Azerbaijani Deputy Justice Minister Togrul Musayev described the country`s cooperation with the Council of Europe and its agencies as fruitful. He said important reforms were carried out in the country with the participation of European experts.
Head of the Council of Europe`s Office in Baku Dragana Filipovic thanked the Azerbaijani government for supporting the project. She said the civil society organizations had played a key role in the economic, social, and cultural life of Azerbaijan after the country regained its independence.
Dragana Filipovic said “Civil society dialogue in Azerbaijan” project fully met standards of the Council of Europe.
Head of EU Delegation in Azerbaijan Malena Mard praised the project as a good beginning, and noted the importance of open society in long-term development. She noted there would be great opportunities for sharing experience as part of the implementation of the project during the two years.
Executive Director of the Council for State Support to NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Rauf Majidli said NGOs made an active contribution to all spheres of social life. He said Azerbaijan`s endorsing an NGOs concept marked a turning point in the activity of non-governmental organizations in the country.
The project would be implemented in partnership with the Presidential Administration, Ministry of Justice, Council for State Support to NGOs under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and NGOs.