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Representatives of the Open Government Partnership Visit Baku, Azerbaijan, May 2017

OGP Support Unit |

On May 22 – 23, 2017, members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee and the Support Unit, will travel to Baku, Azerbaijan as part of OGP’s Response Policy process.

The OGP Steering Committee decided to make Azerbaijan inactive on May 4, 2016 due to unresolved constraints on the operating environment for Non-Governmental Organizations. (The investigation was originally triggered by a letter of complaint sent in March, 2015, by three civil society organizations.)  It was agreed that “the government of Azerbaijan will have a maximum of one year to address the concerns raised by civil society organizations. Azerbaijan will be labelled as inactive, will be ineligible to vote in OGP elections and will only be able to attend OGP events as an observer for learning purposes. It will continue to receive Steering Committee and Support Unit assistance, including from OGP Working Groups, multilateral partners and peer exchange visits.”

The delegation is composed of: Mukelani Dimba, OGP Civil Society Co-chair and Executive Director of the Open Democracy Advice Center (ODAC); Radu Puchiu, Co-chair of OGP Criteria and Standards Subcommittee and State Secretary at the Prime Minister Chancellery of Romania; Paul Maassen, OGP Director of Civil Society Engagement, and Alonso Cerdan, OGP Deputy Director of Government Support and Exchange. They will meet with representatives of government, press, academia, the diplomatic corps and civil society to discuss progress made since May 2016

The May visit to Baku will inform a Technical Report on Progress on the Action Points by the government of Azerbaijan. OGP’s Criteria and Standards subcommittee will then assess progress made and prepare a recommendation on the next steps in the Azerbaijan Response process for consideration by the OGP Steering Committee, which will be meeting on June 27-28 in Washington DC.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON OGP RESPONSE POLICY:

  • The Policy on Upholding the Values and Principles of the Open Government Partnership, known as the Response Policy, was adopted September 25, 2014. It is triggered when the Steering Committee, the chair of the Criteria and Standards Subcommittee or the OGP Support Unit receives a letter of concern regarding a situation of relevance to OGP. The OGP’s Criteria and Standards Subcommittee is then asked to initiate an evaluation of the merits of the concern.  If a concern is found to have merit, a short notice is circulated to the OGP Steering Committee members informing them of the decision. At that point a variety of steps can be undertaken to help address the issues raised in the concern. Should none of the suggested interventions have the desired impact, the Criteria and Standards subcommittee then recommends to the full OGP Steering Committee that the country be made inactive for a period of one year, in order to address the original concerns.

  • For more information on how the Response Policy works see: Response Policy

  • For more information about why the Response Policy was created read OGP Agrees New Response Policy by Joe Powell, October 27, 2014

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON AZERBAIJAN AND OGP:

  • March 2015: CIVICUS, Publish What You Pay, Article 19: LETTER

  • April 2015: Government of Azerbaijan publishes response letter. LETTER

  • May 2015: Review Team delivers findings. REPORT

  • July 2015: OGP Criteria and Standards Subcommittee releases Outline of Proposed Action Points for the Government of Azerbaijan. OUTLINE

  • February 2016: OGP Criteria and Standards Subcommittee reaches resolution on Azerbaijan. REPORT

  • April 2016: Original filers submit letter of support. LETTER

  • May 2016: Government of Azerbaijan submits letter of rebuttal. LETTER

  • May 4, 2016: Full OGP Steering Committee reaches resolution on Azerbaijan, designating it inactive. RESOLUTION and MEDIA BRIEFING

  • June 2016: Next steps and clarification on what inactivity means shared by SU with the government of Azerbaijan. OUTLINE   

  • May 4, 2017: Original filers submit letter of support. LETTER

  • May 18, 2017: Government of Azerbaijan Consolidated Report. REPORT

  • Azerbaijan Country Page, OGP website

Media Contact:

For questions please contact: Dietlind Lerner dietlind.lerner@opengovpartnership.org