Accession of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe

Resolution (96) 32 on Azerbaijan

 

Doc. 7645

18 September 1996

 

REQUEST FOR AN OPINION

FROM THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS TO THE ASSEMBLY

Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 11 September 1996 at the 573rd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies


            The Committee of Ministers,

            Mindful of its decision, expressed at its 8th Session in May 1951, to consult the Parliamentary Assembly before inviting a state to become a member or associate member of the Council of Europe in conformity with the provisions of the Statute;

            Considering that the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in its letter of 13 July 1996 addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, expressed the wish to be invited to become a member of the Council of Europe and declared its readiness to adhere to the principles stated in Article 3 of the Statute;

            Having noted with satisfaction the interest shown by the Republic of Azerbaijan in acceding to the Organisation,

            Invites the Parliamentary Assembly to express its opinion on the matter and brings the following considerations to the attention of the Assembly at this stage:

            Firstly, the Committee of Ministers wishes to inform the Assembly that a consensus exists among its members in favour of Azerbaijan's accession to the Organisation as soon as the requirements of the Statute have been met, namely the implementation of the principles of pluralist parliamentary democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. This implies that the legislative and judicial system of the country should be brought into line with the principles of the rule of law.

            The Committee of Ministers wishes also to recall its reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1247 (1994) on the enlargement of the Council of Europe, in which it stated inter alia:

            “Future candidatures will be examined on their own merits and on the same basis as the states in the preceding paragraph. In particular, the three Transcaucasian countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are known to want closer links with the Council of Europe. The Committee of Ministers recalls the Conclusions of the Chair of the special meeting held in Istanbul in September 1992 which concluded that a closer relationship 'would demand not only the implementation of substantial democratic reforms, but also their commitment to resolve conflicts by peaceful means'.”.

            In his letter of 13 July 1996, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan indicated that his country would be prepared, like any other member state, to become party to the European Convention on Human Rights. The Committee of Ministers has welcomed this statement of intention, and expects the Government of Azerbaijan to express its readiness to recognise the right of individual petition and the compulsory jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. The Republic of Azerbaijan would thus have to give practical effect to the obligations under the Convention throughout the whole of its territory at the various levels of the administration.

            The Committee of Ministers also declares its readiness to intensify its talks with the Azerbaijan authorities and step up its support in the form of co-operation and assistance programmes in order to facilitate and expedite as far as possible Azerbaijan's transition to democracy with a view to its rapid accession to the Council of Europe.