EITI Board Meeting Has No Consensus on Azerbaijan

Discussions on Azerbaijan in Bogotá did not reach consensus on March 8 at the meeting of the International Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) on the further status of the country. In this connection, the discussions will continue on March 9.

This was reported on the page on Facebook by the member of the international government who participates in the EITI meeting and at the same time the coordinator of the Council of the NGO Coalition of Azerbaijan Gubad Ibadoglu.

According to him, on March 8 it was decided to suspend EITI activities of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and the Solomon Islands.

As for the situation in Azerbaijan, this issue is "the most difficult at the meeting."

In this regard, the interests of countries and companies are different. The report presented to the board members indicates that EITI is now being applied in 51 countries. The greatest difficulties arise in Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Indonesia, Myanmar, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Tajikistan, East Timor and Yemen.

In April 2015, the status of Azerbaijan was lowered to the candidate country due to government obstacles in the activities of NGOs. At the same time, a plan of correctional measures was proposed, which would allow the restoration of Azerbaijan's full membership. In October, the Board gave Baku time until March 2017. However, no real steps were taken.

At the same time, Baku used a large group of pro-government NGOs to lobby its position in EITI.

For example, pro-governmental NGOs claim that the authorities fulfilled the requirements of the EITI Board to simplify the system of registration of grants and donors, lifted bans on the departure of civil society activists from the country, and released their bank accounts,

However, other NGOs exposed these allegations, proving that the authorities had not done anything substantive and the activities of independent NGOs are still impossible. -03D06-

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