Strengthening position in international organizations is one of the key priorities of Azerbaijan`s foreign policy doctrine
Q: On December 23 another municipal elections were conducted in Azerbaijan. You monitored the election as a representative of the New Azerbaijan Party. How do you assess the elections?
A: I regard the municipal elections as another successful step towards strengthening and deepening democratization process in Azerbaijan. All conditions have been created for conducting the municipal elections in a fair and open manner in accordance with high democratic standards. The elections marked high turnout, with the number of voters increasing in comparison with the previous municipal elections.
In general we can say that these elections met all democratic standards. Municipalities play an important life in the country`s socio-political life. The stronger Azerbaijan is, the more opportunities municipalities have.
And the New Azerbaijan Party has made great success in these elections too. This proves that there is no alternative to the New Azerbaijan Party in the country.
Q: How would you characterize the year 2014 in terms of foreign policy and international reputation?
A: The success of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy is obvious. Azerbaijan’s current economic development, its increasing significance for the countries in the region and in the world, high development level of partnership with a number of states and cooperation with international organizations, strategic partnership with the leading countries in the world, its election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, its presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and open expression of its political position on many issues is the success of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy.
In this context, the importance of the spread of truths on Azerbaijan on a global scale, exposure of the Armenian lies and prevention of some purposeful anti-Azerbaijan campaigns is increasing in the foreign policy. Along with the use of the classic methods in the foreign policy, Baku also effectively utilized the “soft power” factor to become an exemplary state in the region.
Q: You are a member of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE. What can you say of the organization`s attitude towards Azerbaijan?
A: For Azerbaijan choosing the right direction of foreign policy remains one of the main factors in preserving and strengthening the country's independence. As Azerbaijan is located in very difficult, as well at strategically important region so while determining own foreign policy it has from one hand, to protect its national interests and maintain its status as the leading state, and on the other hand to maintain an equal partnership relations with all countries having interests here and with its neighbors in the region as well.
Since becoming a member state of the Council of Europe on 25 January 2001, Azerbaijan has been actively and vigorously cooperating with all working institutions of the Council of Europe. As a result of continuous efforts of Azerbaijan, in 2005, at its January part-session the PACE adopted Resolution and Recommendation on the conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The Council of Europe has assisted Azerbaijan in deepening democratic reforms, developing democratic institutions, strengthening European values, strengthening the protection of human rights and freedoms. In this context, the government of Azerbaijan maintains fruitful cooperation with the Council of Europe. We also enjoy good relations with other member states of the organization.
At the same time, Azerbaijanis making a considerable contribution to enriching the European family thanks to its history and cultural values. The year 2014 marked continuation of positive trends in the relations between Azerbaijan and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Baku`s hosting the meeting of the PACE Standing Committee this year was a remarkable event. Our delegates took an active participation in PACE`s events in Vienna, London, Paris, Strasbourg, Rome and other countries. They promoted the international community`s awareness of Azerbaijan`s realities, particularly the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Armenia`s provocations.
At the same time, this year I was elected chairperson of the PACE Sub-Committee on Gender Equality. Previously, for two years I chaired the Sub-Committee on Racism and Xenophobia. This clearly shows that Azerbaijan`s achievements in these areas are highly recognized.
Q: The government attaches particular importance to protecting women`s rights.
A: The growing role of women in Azerbaijan`s socio-political life is one of the most remarkable achievements of our national statehood history. This success is based on rich traditions of the activity of women in politics in Azerbaijan on the one hand, and women policy priorities of the Azerbaijani government on the other.
Protecting the fundamental human rights and freedoms, particularly those of women are one of the key priorities for the Azerbaijani government. Being the leader of the South Caucasus, Azerbaijan is today considered a model in terms of ensuring human rights and freedoms and gender policy.
There is very strong political will and legal framework for the protection of women`s rights in Azerbaijan, for ensuring their active involvement in the country`s socio-political life.
In this regard, I would also like to emphasize the activity of the New Azerbaijan Party, which sets an example to other political parties in terms of promoting women`s role in society and decision-making. At recent municipal elections, the large part of our party`s candidates were women and youth.
Q: As a member of the Board of Trustees of the Knowledge Fund, we would like you to highlight major goals and future tasks of the fund…
A: The establishment of the Knowledge Fund under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan is one of the significant measures towards the development of education. Aiming at enlightening the population, delivering the substance of internal and external policy of the state, public-political and socioeconomic processes to the public, the Fund backs the development of knowledge, skills, professional level and outlook of youth.
Encouraging the adaptation of education system in the Republic of Azerbaijan to the European standards, these activities contribute to the development of human capital in the country.
The fund has already embarked on several projects such as “Sister Schools”, “Docendo discimus", "Master and student”, “Azerbaijani science abroad”, “Auditorium +”, “Episode” and others.