BAKU: Committee On Elimination Of Racial Discrimination Considers ..

March 10, 2005

[March 10, 2005, 11:56:24]

As learnt correspondent AzerTAj from the Foreign Minister~Rs press
service, on March 6-7 the United Nation~Rs Committee on the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination has considered the report of Azerbaijan on
its implementation of the provisions of the International Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Presenting the report was Khalaf Khalafov, the Deputy Minister of
Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, who said his country had been very
active in improving national legislation and strengthening political
institutions while bearing in mind the principles of universal access
to human rights. The conflict in Nagorny Karabakh between Armenia and
Azerbaijan, Mr. Khalafov said, had a negative impact on Azerbaijan’s
efforts to implement the principles of the Convention. Today there were
more than one million refugees and displaced persons in Azerbaijan and
one-fifth of the country was occupied by Armenian forces. The Deputy
Minister affirmed his country’s belief that Azerbaijan should be a
single home for all its citizens, providing the opportunity for all
to pronounce and preserve their national identity by way of promoting
and protecting their human rights.

In the course of the discussion, which was held over two meetings,
issues concerning the Office of the Ombudsman and the types of cases
handled by it; the State party’s fight against human trafficking;
Azerbaijan’s rules on citizenship; the rights of national minorities in
general; employment rights and other social matters; and the rights
of refugees, stateless persons and the displaced in Azerbaijan,
in particular those coming out of the conflict in Nagorny Karabakh
between Armenia and Azerbaijan were raised among other subjects.

In preliminary remarks, the country Reporter for the report, Committee
Expert Tang Chengyuan, commended the Government of Azerbaijan for the
positive steps it had undertaken with regard to the Office of the
Ombudsman; its fight against human trafficking; and its assistance
to refugees and displaced persons, in particular refugees from the
conflict in Nagorny Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Among
other things, he noted the Committee’s need to receive additional
information on ethnic groups living in Azerbaijan.

The Committee will present its final conclusions and recommendations
on the third and fourth periodic reports of Azerbaijan, which were
presented in one document, at the end of its session, which concludes
on 11 March.

The delegation of Azerbaijan also included representatives of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry
of Internal Affairs; the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection; the
Ministry of Health; the Ministry of Economic Development; the Office
of the Prosecutor General; the Department for National Policy of the
Office of the President; and the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan to
the United Nations Office at Geneva.