Azerbaijan, Baku, June 5 /Trend, S.Agayeva/
Azerbaijan is a country that makes significant steps towards democratisation of its society and protection and promotion of human rights, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at the ceremony to commemorate 20 Anniversary of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) on 5 June.
"It is especially successful in making progress in judicial and legal reforms. New judges, especially from the young generation, new court buildings, regular trainings and seminars, modern penitentiary facilities, better communication and more transparency are only some of those elements. It is worth mentioning that there are a number of programmes carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, Prosecutor's General Office and judicial bodies of Azerbaijan with the support by the CoE, including the Venice Commission, and other international partners, such as the EU and OSCE. This helps to the promotion of human rights and freedoms," Mammadyarov said.
The minister said that Azerbaijan has always attached great importance to the co-operation with the Venice Commission.
"It is my pleasure to be today with you in this beautiful hall to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Venice Commission. Established in 1990 amidst the profound changes that were taking place in our continent, the Commission's role has been crucial in adoption and harmonisation of national constitutions and laws in line with the standards of the Council of Europe. Azerbaijan has always attached great importance to the co-operation with the Venice Commission and we are thankful for its valuable work in helping us to improve our legislation," Mammadyarov said.
According to the minister, it is an encouraging fact that having crossed the European legal space, the Venice Commission with its rich expertise, openness, high reputation and a very professional staff, has been able to reach the countries as far as the Latin America and Japan.
"Nowadays, as an internationally recognised institution, it continues to successfully contribute to the dissemination of the European constitutional heritage within and far beyond Europe and plays a unique role in legal aspects of crisis management and conflict prevention," Mammadyarov said.
Indeed, conflicts threaten the stability and security of our continent and undermine the main principles and objectives of the Council of Europe, the minister said
"They endanger human security, sustainable development and normal relations between the countries of the affected regions. It is therefore crucially important to commit ourselves to achieving lasting solutions to these conflicts. The Republic of Azerbaijan remains strongly adhered to the norms and principles of international law, and exactly on this basis we are eager to continue the negotiations carried out within the OSCE Minsk Group framework for peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Devoted to the European values, Azerbaijan envisages the settlement process through the withdrawal of all Armenian troops from all occupied Azerbaijani territories, return of the displaced population to their places of origin, including Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, as it was before the outbreak of the conflict, reestablishment of favourable environment based on democratic standards for peaceful co-existence of Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. All these can create favourable condition for the definition of a legal status of self-rule in the Nagorno-Karabakh region within the Republic of Azerbaijan to be worked out with the direct and equal participation of both Armenian and Azerbaijani communities and in the framework of lawful and democratic process," the minister said in his speech.