18 February 2015
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women today considered the fifth periodic report of Azerbaijan on its implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Introducing the report, Hijran Huseynova, Chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Women and Child Affairs of Azerbaijan, spoke about measures to improve women’s participation in conflict prevention and the ‘1325 Coalition’ to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women in Peace. The 2010 Law on Combating Domestic Violence and other legislative developments, including amendment of the minimum age of marriage for men and women to 18 years, were outlined. Ms. Huseynova spoke about measures to combat violence against women, and to improve education and women’s employment. Azerbaijan had taken concrete measures to improve women’s representation in society and challenge traditional stereotypes, working closely with non-governmental organizations.
In the ensuing discussion, Committee Experts commended Azerbaijan for positive progress made, particularly legislative. They expressed concern about new legislation restricting the operation of non-governmental organizations including those working in the field of women’s rights. Measures to tackle trafficking in persons, early marriage and domestic violence were enquired about, as well as support to vulnerable displaced persons. The delegation was asked how the distinct needs of women and girls affected by conflict were met, in light of the recent outbreak of fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Concerns about Azerbaijan’s very high abortion rate and the possibility of sex-selective abortions were raised, as well as access to contraception and family planning services.
Yoko Hayashi, Committee Chairperson, in concluding remarks, commended Azerbaijan for its efforts and encouraged it to take all necessary measures throughout its territory to address the various recommendations of the Committee, for the benefit of all women and girls in the country.
Ms. Huseynova, in closing remarks, said much remained to be done, but the Committee’s expertise and recommendations were highly valued by the Government of Azerbaijan, and provided useful guidance which could only help it in overcoming existing gaps.
The delegation of Azerbaijan included representatives of the State Committee for Family, Women and Child Affairs of Azerbaijan, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Ministry of Economy and Industry, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Statistical Committee and the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
The Committee will next meet in public at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 19 February to consider the combined eighth and ninth periodic reports of Ecuador (CEDAW/C/ECU/8-9).
The fifth periodic report of Azerbaijan can be found here CEDAW/C/AZE/5.
Presentation of the Report
HIJRAN HUSEYNOVA, Chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Women and Child Affairs of Azerbaijan, presenting the report which covered the period 2008 to 2012, first commended the Committee on its adoption of General Recommendation 30 on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations which had better equipped Azerbaijan to fulfil its obligations under the Convention. Measures were being taken to remedy the unsatisfactory level of women’s participation in conflict prevention, particularly through education. To support the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women in Peace, a coalition of women representatives of Parliament, State agencies, non-governmental organizations, political parties and the mass media – known as the ‘1325 Coalition’ – had been established. The Government was also seeking technical assistance on the subject.
Summarizing developments relating to Azerbaijan’s implementation of the Convention, Ms. Huseynova said in 2010 the Law on Combating Domestic Violence was adopted in response to the Committee’s recommendation, and a further eight laws were amended. In November 2011 the minimum age of marriage for women and men was amended to 18 years, in accordance with the Convention, and early and forced marriage was prohibited. Cases of violence against women decreased from 4,489 in 2010 to 1,803 in 2013, and the National Action Plan on human rights adopted in 2011 included rehabilitation programmes for female victims of domestic violence. Three shelters for women victims of violence were opened in 2013, 11 regional Family Support Centres carried out important community work such as prevention of early marriage, support for incomplete families and promoting gender equality; and in 2014 seven non-governmental Support Centres were accredited to provide social assistance to domestic violence victims. In cooperation with the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Azerbaijan was building an online database of cases of violence against women and improving its data collection and analysis capabilities.
The poverty rate among women had decreased from 49 per cent to 5.9 per cent in 2014. Many measures had been taken to improve women’s employment, particularly among rural, refugee and displaced women, and to provide funding sources for women entrepreneurs. Today 69.2 per cent of working women were in the private sector and 30.8 per cent in the public sector; additionally 18 per cent of entrepreneurs were women. Education was key for women’s empowerment, particularly for rural women, and to that end the Government had tripled the education budget to US$1.5 billion and integrated gender studies courses into college and university curricula. The number of women holding leading positions in the education system had increased to 41.2 per cent and the principals of 1,202 schools were women.
Regarding women’s representation in society, the Government had taken concrete measures to challenge stereotypes and encourage women to actively participate in political and public life, particularly in rural areas. It worked closely with non-governmental organizations to do so, said Ms. Huseynova, noting that 46 per cent of the members of the leading New Azerbaijan Party were women. Following the 2014 elections, representation of women in municipalities had increased from four per cent in 2004 to 35 per cent. As a result of a Special Order issued by President Aliyev, women were appointed to the post of Deputy Head of the regional executive body in 76 of the 86 regions. Despite the global economic crises, the continuation of the conflict and violation of ceasefire agreements which led to many innocent victims, Azerbaijan would continue to improve the position of women in the country and was ready to overcome every challenge to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, concluded Ms. Huseynova.
Questions by the Experts
A Committee Expert commended Azerbaijan for its good progress in building on its constitution, adopting legislation on gender equality and in particular the 2010 law against domestic violence, and the 2011 repeal of discriminative legislation on the minimum legal age of marriage. There had been many other positive developments in terms of legislative amendments. However, the report lacked some details, although this morning’s presentation was very informative. The Expert asked about legal amendments passed in 2014 which reportedly restricted the operation of non-governmental organizations in Azerbaijan, including those working in the field of women’s rights. Azerbaijan’s acceptance of a recommendation at its Universal Periodic Review to promote the independence and operations of civil society and non-governmental organizations was recalled.
Raising the National Action Plan on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 and women in peace and security, an Expert asked how the authorities were working with non-governmental organizations, and whether women were being included in peace-making negotiations as delegates at senior levels.
The recent outbreak of fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region was being fuelled by an arms race in which both countries, Armenia and Azerbaijan, were building up a huge military arsenal, said an Expert. Emphasizing that she was not questioning Azerbaijan’s military spending, the Expert asked whether the Government was also allocating adequate resources to address the distinct needs of women and girls affected by the conflict.
How were female internally displaced persons being supported, asked an Expert, recalling that the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights had expressed concern that many internally displaced persons lived in substandard conditions. To what extent was the Government promoting the meaningful involvement of displaced women in decision-making processes?
The National Institutional Mechanism on Gender Equality played a key role and was one of the most important indicators of gender equality in Azerbaijan, said an Expert, asking how the work of the mechanism was disseminated and for clarification on the role of the family assistance centres.
Response by the Delegation
Responding to the question about non-governmental organizations, a delegate said when Azerbaijan first became independent civil society coverage was patchy, but today it was a real and vibrant force through the country, working on many projects. The various resources available to non-governmental organizations were described, such as a specific funding programme for gender issues. Any Government programme needed support from all sides, but there needed to be some orientation: it was not effective, for example, to have 50 or 60 organizations all wishing to work on early marriage, said the delegate. Organizations had to consider where their work could have most impact. Legislation regulating grants for non-governmental organizations was being improved, said the delegate, adding that non-governmental organizations working in the field of children and family had received Government grants amounting to 11 million Azerbaijani manat since 2006.
A network of gender focal points had been established which included representatives both in the State sector and in non-governmental organizations. However, it was realized that to be effective those focal points needed to have the authority to influence decision-making processes.
In the context of the National Action Plan on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 and women in peace and security, a delegate said the programmes for the occupied territories and internally displaced persons had a gender dimension. The creation of the ‘1325 Coalition’ with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), included representatives of the internally displaced person community. Ongoing training was now bearing fruit as many members of the ‘1325 Coalition’ worked in parliament or held other influential positions. The ‘1325 Coalition’ in particular advocated for Azerbaijani women to play a greater role in conflict prevention and resolution decision-making at the national, regional and international levels, and to empower women refugees and internally displaced persons in peace-building processes.
In order to ensure that the National Institutional Mechanism on Gender Equality was effective almost all higher educational facilities in Azerbaijan taught gender studies as an optional subject. That gave the Mechanism an extra impetus, as not only young women but also young men had a strong interest in studying gender issues, and the 11 Centres for Family Assistance were used not only by women but also by men, said a delegate. A new development concept ‘Azerbaijan 2020’ included measures to prevent gender violence, create equal opportunities for women in the labour market, promote women at work in general and expand their opportunities to occupy leading positions. A draft decree on ‘Adoption of Rules of Overseeing the Provision of Gender Equality’ was currently being considered by the Ministerial Cabinet, she added.
The number of women in the justice system had increased from 996 in 2013 to 1,153 to date, and that number represented 20 per cent of all employees, a delegate said. The number of female judges had increased from 52 in 2013 to 65 in 2015, of whom six worked at the Supreme Court, and 60 women worked in the Office of the Prosecutor, amounting to 12 per cent.
Questions by the Experts
Azerbaijan had carried out many commendable actions, particularly in terms of new legislation, said an Expert. However, laws were not self-implementing, and laws promoting gender equality were particularly difficult to bring to life. That fact was particularly heightened in cultures where patriarchal norms, traditional practices and stereotypes that implied unequal social and domestic roles were alive and kicking. Azerbaijan was particularly fortunate that it did not suffer from a lack of financial or human resources or political commitment - it had an enlightened political leadership, an educated population, and financial resources. In which case, why was there no publicly-available National Action Plan on Women’s Equality? That worrisome picture led one to question the political will to put substance into the formal legislative framework.
Traditional attitudes between men and women were difficult to change, and led to violence and discrimination against women. The State Committee for Women and Children in Azerbaijan worked relentlessly to tackle such stereotypes, noted an Expert, asking what was being done to dissuade the media from its continual use of stereotypical portrayals of women, and to revise educational materials, such as school text books, which continued to be overloaded with gender stereotypes.
What did the 2008 survey on violence against women reveal in terms of prevalence in urban and rural areas, asked an Expert, also asking for more data on complaints and convictions under the law on combating domestic violence.
Did Azerbaijan plan to ratify the Istanbul Convention (the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence) particularly as it took part in the original negotiations for the treaty?
In its previous concluding observations and recommendations the Committee welcomed that Azerbaijan’s gender equality laws expressly permitted temporary special measures; was the Government considering utilizing such measures?
There had been significant progress in tackling trafficking in persons, said an Expert, asking about support for victims. The term ‘street children’ was a negative one, as in fact they were ‘homeless children’ and a group that was very vulnerable to exploitation. Civil society played a very important role in combating trafficking, she added, as they were most in contact with people affected by the phenomenon.
Despite the Committee’s 2009 recommendation the report was silent on the issue of prostitution, and no research had been carried out into the root causes of it. Women operating as prostitutes were usually poverty-stricken, and often drug addicts. What support was provided to them?
Response by the Delegation
A 2000 law included wording which allowed for the compulsory nomination of women to high posts; although it was not quite temporary special measures, it had an effect – not only in the public sector but also in the private and commercial sector. Following the Presidential decree 76 women were appointed to the position of Deputy Chief of the Region, the delegate added. Many women did not put themselves forward for promotions and senior posts, she said, and so the Government worked directly on the ground to empower women. There were quotas for women with disabilities, she added, with around 100 jobs available.
It was proposed by the New Azerbaijan Party that the candidate lists for the 2015 parliamentary elections would have 40 per cent women, said the Head of Delegation; the proposal was currently being discussed and a positive outcome was hoped for.
It was indeed difficult to implement laws, but work was ongoing to counter gender stereotypes. In partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Union, training courses were being carried out, many of which involved the media. Awareness-raising on issues such as early and forced marriage was carried out in partnership with the media, said a delegate, giving the example of radio programmes broadcast on the issue.
The President recently said there would be no problem for Azerbaijan to join the Istanbul Convention; the Head of the Delegation said she thought Azerbaijan would soon accede to the Convention.
There was no State in which trafficking in persons was not a dangerous phenomenon, said a delegate, and tackling the scourge was a national priority. In 2013 there were 97 cases of trafficking and 54 victims identified. Legislation had to be strengthened, and support for victims had been improved, including through establishment of a rehabilitation fund and a 24-hour hotline available in English, Russia and Azerbaijani. The delegate provided statistics on the number of calls made and complaints lodged. A coalition of 33 non-governmental organizations worked on prevention of trafficking. Today Azerbaijan was more of a transit than a destination country, said a delegate, noting that many statistics on trafficking cases were publicly available on Government websites.
Prostitution was a painful issue and a real problem in Azerbaijan, and indeed affected all countries, said the Head of Delegation. It was a ‘hidden’ problem but the Government sought to assist victims, who had inevitably endured some breakdown in the social sphere to end up in prostitution. A research centre carried out analysis into the root causes and all State structures were involved in the prevention-focused response. Many prostitutes were ‘legally illiterate’ and so were provided with free legal aid. In 2008 there were 120 cases of forced prostitution and in 2013 there were 73 cases, so a downward trend was evident. The war was a major root cause of trafficking and prostitution. Azerbaijan had occupied territories which were not under its control; there perpetrators of trafficking did not fall under the jurisdiction of the law and Azerbaijan had asked international organizations to provide monitoring in those areas.
There were 120 Gender Focal Points, explained a delegate, making up a significant network, but there was now a challenge to raise their status to give them opportunities to influence decision-making. The Prime Minister decided to create a monitoring group, similar to the President-decreed monitoring group for children that was already in existence. There was also a drive to strengthen local gender focal points that could have a direct impact on the ground.
Follow-Up Questions from the Experts
Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to give women the right to vote, and since 2001 had been a committed member of the Council of Europe on women’s issues, said an Expert, all of which gave greater depth and meaning to democracy in the country. The appointment of a woman to lead the Ombudspersons Office in 2002 was a great step forward. The actions of the First Lady of Azerbaijan were also notable, as were Ms. Huseynova’s own work. However, on the subject of women in decision-making positions, the Expert said the 16 per cent of Members of Parliament who were women was far too low. Furthermore, there was a lack of women diplomats working in the Foreign Service. There were very few women Chief Executive Officers of private companies. The implementation of quotas may not be ideal but they were certainly effective. The proposal for 40 per cent of candidates to be women in the upcoming elections was good but carried no guarantees that those women candidates would be elected. To simply wait for awareness-raising campaigns to bear fruit would take too long.
The protection of women journalists and women civil society activists was raised by an Expert who said it was important for freedom of expression to be protected by women as well as men.
Response from the Delegation
The issue of quotas was frequently raised, said the Head of Delegation, and Azerbaijan was assessing the experiences of other countries. Many countries took a long time to decide what role women should play in society – the question was how professionally ready were women to hold a senior post and how to ensure women were competitive. How long did it take France, for example, to achieve equal participation of men and women in Government? Azerbaijan was on the path to parity but it needed people to have professional qualifications to hold high office.
There was an Association of Women’s Journalists which periodically held joint events with the Government. It was very important to ensure that journalists used only the facts to describe a situation, said a delegate, and the Government worked with the association to improve the professionalism of journalists. If there was any sort of legal offence committed by a journalist then they were treated just like anybody else, objectively.
Questions by the Experts
Early marriage in many cases could cause drop-out of school and there was a high and prevalent rate in Azerbaijan, particularly among girls in the ninth to eleventh grades, noted an Expert, asking if there were any statistics available.
Gender discrimination in employment was prevalent, said an Expert. Women overwhelmingly worked in low-paid and informal jobs; they were more willing to accept low-paid work without security, often to ensure their jobs were not in conflict with their family and childcare commitments. Was the Government taking any provisions to address this problem, such as free early years childcare, promotion of the sharing of domestic duties between man and women and compulsory paternity leave?
The gender pay gap was alarming, said an Expert. The total wage gap was 57 per cent. In the health sector women were the majority of employees but their average monthly salary constituted 37 per cent of the men’s salaries. It was alarming that women working in the fields of oil and gas production earned on average 38 per cent less than men, and women working in in chemical industries were paid 31 per cent less than men. The Labour Code did not appear to comply with the International Labour Organization Convention on equal remuneration for men and women for equal work of equal value.
There was rising unemployment among young people, persons with disabilities and immigrants, particularly women in those groups, which was a matter of concern which had been addressed by other United Nations Committees. What was being done about it?
Women were more disadvantaged in terms of old age family security due to career breaks to raise children, part-time work to care for children and the gender pay gap. What was being done to improve women’s pensions and other financial benefits? Would the retirement age, which was currently different for men and women, be reviewed?
The draft law on reproductive health was still pending approval, said an Expert, noting that the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women had recommended its adoption as soon as possible. That draft law had gone through several readings in parliament but had never been adopted. What was its status?
Despite the National Reproductive Health Strategy focusing on issues of reproductive choice and family planning, little progress had been achieved. Little information about contraceptive methods and family planning was available.
Azerbaijan had one of the highest abortion rates in Central Asia. Abortion was said to be one of the main methods of fertility control. What was being doing to provide public access to and education on modern contraceptive methods to prevent women from having to use abortion as a family planning method?
Efforts by Azerbaijan to identify and treat women living with HIV AIDS had improved since the last dialogue, but the considerable burden of social stigma held by the women was heavy, commented an Expert.
There had been a decrease in the infant mortality rate but there was a discrepancy between data provided by United Nations agencies and the Azerbaijan Statistics Committee, said an Expert. What was being done to improve post-natal and infant care and reduce the number of home deliveries taking place among poor and uneducated women?
Response by the Delegation
Azerbaijan sought a balance for women between career progression and having a family. Many women wanted work that did not have long hours to enable them to spend more time with their children. However, the number of women in employment had increased threefold since the last report, and today more than 50,000 women worked in the public sector, confirmed a delegate. The Government energetically promoted female entrepreneurship to allow women to choose their own work and flexible hours, and have more financial freedom. More women were taking higher education courses in non-traditional courses, and more women were entering traditionally masculine fields of employment, such as banking and management.
A delegate outlined social support measures for women’s employment. He spoke about labour protection and said mothers were entitled to take 216 days of maternity leave and not have their contract broken during the first three years. Women or men who were bringing up children alone, or who had adopted a child, were allocated 60 days of ‘social leave’. If pregnant or breastfeeding, women were entitled to be transferred to ‘lighter work’ tasks without a reduction in their salary. There was also a provision which did not allow for women to work in certain very difficult or harmful jobs, such as in underground tunnels, or for women to carry very heavy objects. Women who had children under three years of age were not allowed to work certain night shifts, and women with children up to 14 years of age had an extra two days leave per year. Women with more than two children or who had a child with a disability were allowed an extra five days leave per year.
There were 538,000 people with disabilities living in Azerbaijan and of those 258,000 were women, 48.3 per cent. Azerbaijan was one of the first countries which, in 2008, ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities carried out an overall positive assessment of Azerbaijan’s implementation of the Convention in 2014.
On 26 February Azerbaijan would mark the anniversary of the Khojaly massacre which was razed to the ground. All of the women and children in the town had to leave. Some people who survived suffered from post-conflict syndrome. In 2012 a special centre for psychological help was opened by the Ministry of Health which also provided assistance to victims of trafficking and other forms of violence and exploitation.
In 2012 around 200,000 registered abortions took place, said a delegate. It was a problem, and to reduce the number of abortions the Ministry of Health had developed new family planning protocols devoted to teaching women about modern contraceptive methods and raising awareness about the harmful effect of abortions on women’s health. A list of basic medicines would include new forms of contraception. The Family Code was to be adapted to include medical checks for women entering into marriage. The draft reproductive health bill included a paragraph on reproductive technologies, including sperm banks. There were more corrections to be made before it could be considered by parliament. There was an educative programme aimed at youth in high school on reproductive health and family planning, and a pilot project aimed at children in middle schools was being implemented.
The Government was formulating a legal basis for effective prevention of HIV/AIDS which placed great attention on protecting women living with HIV/AIDS from discrimination and stigma.
The State guaranteed the right of all citizens in Azerbaijan to a free education. Regarding the impact of early marriage on schooling, and related drop-out rates, a delegate informed the Committee that since October 2010 the Ministry of Education had given training and pedagogical materials to teachers and students in 11 districts on issues such as early marriage and reproductive health. Children from vulnerable families received grants to pay for their uniform and text books.
Speaking about support for rural women and girls, a delegate outlined sustainable development programmes in Azerbaijan which provided water, electricity and gas supplies for all households and schools.
Follow-up Questions from the Experts
An Expert said that the report stated that Azerbaijan had the highest abortion rate in Central Asia, but said nothing about sex selection, which might often be due to the preference of sons. Sex selection was a symptom of gender inequality and patriarchal oppression. What was the Government’s position on abortion for the sole purpose of elimination of female foetuses? Did it recognize that some women faced overwhelming pressure to abort female foetuses, sometimes against their will?
Response from the Delegation
The Government was working actively to raise awareness on the risks of sex-selective abortions, particularly in academic centres. It was a particularly sensitive issue, but while it appeared there was a male preference in Azerbaijan that was the wrong impression. In fact, the reverse was true; there was a view of parity between men and women in the country.
Regarding pensions, a delegate said in 2014 the maximum pensionable age was 59 years, but from 1 January 2016 it would be raised to 60 years. The average age of working women in Azerbaijan was 48 years of age.
Questions from the Experts
Regarding the financial empowerment of women, a delegate said that according to World Bank data, in 2011 only 15 per cent of adult women in Azerbaijan had a bank account. Only three per cent of women working in the private sector owned their own business. That meant women could not provide collateral for loans because gender stereotypes held that women were not able to manage their own money. What about employment for rural women?
Concerning early marriage, an Expert said the troubling phenomenon of girls as young as 12 and 13 years leaving school to get married continued, despite the amendment to the Criminal Code. How were those legislative changes being enforced and who would be punished – was it any person who enabled the marriage?
Unregistered marriages, which were usually religious marriages known as Kabin continued to be a serious problem. The issue was particularly grave for children of such marriages who were considered ‘illegitimate’ and born out of wedlock, and could not be registered with the State. Perhaps the sanctions should be made stricter, commented the Expert.
Response from the Delegation
Economic and social development was very important for Azerbaijan, not least in respect to the elimination of discrimination against women. A third conference on economic development of women would take place later this year. Several projects to promote the economic opportunities of rural women were running, which included training and the provision of grants. So far they had helped 35 women find employment.
A delegate expressed surprise at the reported statistic about women with their own bank accounts, as that was not her knowledge. In fact every working woman received a free bank account and bank cards, financed directly by the Government, into which their salary was paid.
A delegate responded that the State had no information of any marriages involving children as young as 12 or 13: the earliest marriage it was aware of was a girl of 16 years. Furthermore, there was a welcome decreasing trend in early marriage, partly thanks to growing awareness of the sanctions held in law. A delegate outlined awareness-raising activities, particularly taught in school, to educate children on the issue.
Azerbaijan was a secular State and did not have any understanding of religious marriage, confirmed a delegate. A religious marriage had no legal consequences, or significance, he added. No person could sign a marriage document unless they were officially registered to perform a marriage: any person who violated that rule could be sanctioned with up to four years imprisonment in the case of an underage person, or a fine of up to €400,000. Awareness-raising and legislation was clearly working because a reduction in the number of underage marriages had been seen. In 2014 there were 80,000 marriages in Azerbaijan and only 0.3 per cent of those involved a bride of 17 years old.
The authorities worked hard to ensure all births countrywide were registered. Children born to parents who only had a religious marriage and were not registered still had the right to parental support; a woman could ask, through the courts, for alimony even if not married to the father.
YOKO HAYASHI, Committee Chairperson, thanked the delegation for the constructive dialogue which had provided more insight into the situation of women in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan was commended for its efforts and encouraged to take all necessary measures throughout its territory to address the various recommendations of the Committee, for the benefit of all women and girls in the country.
HIJRAN HUSEYNOVA, Chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Women and Child Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, said the Government of Azerbaijan was open to continuous dialogue with the Committee regarding the challenges in connection with implementation of the Convention. Much remained to be done, but the Committee’s expertise and recommendations were highly valued by the Government of Azerbaijan, and provided useful guidance which could only help it in overcoming existing gaps. Any outstanding information or data would be forwarded to the Committee, she added.
For use of the information media; not an official record