Resource Transparency Movement in Azerbaijan
Formally, transparent revenue management from oil and gas activities has the support of the Azerbaijani government at a high level. President Ilham Aliyev pointed out in his speech at the 11th Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference in 2004 that transparency would be one of the major reasons for the country's success. Azerbaijan was also one of the first countries to sign up for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2003.
Open Government Partnership
Azerbaijan also became a member in September 2011 of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The OGP is a multilateral initiative launched in 2010 that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. As of late 2011, 28 countries had signed up.
The Presidential decree approving the OGP Action Plan delegates reponibility for implementation to two bodies - the Commission for Combating Corruption and the Cabinet of Ministers, who should regularly submit reports to the President. Civil society institutions should also be involved.
However civil society groups have also voiced their concern that tools such as the EITI and the Open Government Partnership require more active involvement of civil society if they are to drive meaningful change and not merely be a formality.
Revenue Watch Institute (RWI)
Global Transparency group Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) has an office in Baku, and Baku is also home to the affiliated Eurasia Extractive Knowledge Hub, a joint project with Baku's Khazar University. The EI Knowledge Hubs aims to strengthen governance of the extractive industries, civil society members and media in the Eurasia region, via regular trainings and establishing linkages between EI practitioners in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and other countries in the region.
In February 2013 Revenue Watch expressed concern at the arrest of Ilgar Mammado, a member of the RWI Advisory Board and leader of the Republican Alternative opposition group, for allegedly inciting protests in the Ismayili region.
Open Government Partnership: Azerbaijan
Revenue Watch: Azerbaijan: Overview
- “EITI Implementation in Azerbaijan” EITI, retrieved 20 March 2013.
- “Azerbaijan Joins Open Government Partnership” Embassy of Azerbaijan to the USA, 3 October 2011.
- “Azerbaijan” Open Government Partnership, retrieved 20 March 2013.
- “Clinton Praises Transparency Advocates During Baku Meeting” Revenue Watch Insititute, 7 June 2012.
- “Azerbaijan” Revenue Watch Insititute, retrieved 20 March 2013.
- “Eurasia Extractive Industries Knowledge Hub” Khazar University, retrieved 20 March 2013.
- “Azerbaijan: Government Detains Revenue Watch Advisory Board Member” Revenue Watch, 7 February 2013.