The UPR process is considered to be the most valuable experience in the field of monitoring the fulfilment of international human rights obligations within the UN system. The Universal Periodic Review takes place at UN Geneva every five years, and the implementation of international commitments in the field of human rights is evaluated by UN member states and recommendations from other States.
It provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situation in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations, as well as the challenges and constraints they are facing in so doing UPR Working Group has considered three periodic reports of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2009 - 2018.
Consideration of the third periodic report of Azerbaijan took place during the 30thsession of the UPR Working Group on 15 May 2018.
During the consideration, the delegation of Azerbaijan headed by Ambassador Khalaf Khalafov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs presented the National report of Azerbaijan on measures undertaken to advance protection and promotion of human rights in the country and listened to comments and recommendations of more than 100 UN Member States, most of which emphasized substantive progress Azerbaijan has achieved in protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms since the second cycle UPR of Azerbaijan held in 30 April 2013. At its 17th meeting, held on 17 May 2018, the Working Group adopted the report on Azerbaijan.
On the margins of its 39th Session, on September 20, 2018, the UN Human Rights Council considered and unanimously adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Azerbaijan. During this plenary consideration, Ambassador Khalaf Khalafov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan informed the Council about views on conclusions and recommendations received at the UPR Working Group level. In his statement, Deputy Minister underlined that Azerbaijan has created a working group at the deputy minister level among concerned ministries and agencies to serve as a national mechanism for the purpose of further strengthening oversight on implementation of the recommendations of the UN treaty bodies and the UPR. The working group would continuously function as a national mechanism for reporting and follow-up, to be coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He further emphasized that this working group would enable an analysis and assessment of the results of fulfilment of Azerbaijan’s obligations under international human rights instruments, and recommendations presented in the framework of UPR.
In the ensuing discussion, speakers applauded the important steps that Azerbaijan had taken to promote and protect human rights in all areas of life, in particular in ensuring social justice for all its citizens, the commitment to strengthen its national human rights institution, and the attention given to the fight against domestic violence and the promotion of gender equality.
Azerbaijan has expressed its intention to provide a mid-term report on the implementation of the third cycle UPR recommendations as previously done for the first and second UPR cycles.
On 25 December 2018, in reply to the letter of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet about the conclusion of the review of the third periodic report of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov emphasized the importance the Government of Azerbaijan attaches to the co-operation with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, as well as with the UN treaty bodies. Moreover, the Minister underlined the constant measures taken to guarantee the rights stipulated and recognized in the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and in the international legal instruments to which the Republic of Azerbaijan is a party. In this regard, the Minister highlighted the importance of the State Programme on the development of the justice sector in Azerbaijan for the years of 2019-2023 approved by the Order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev on 18 December 2018.
The first meeting of the Working Group acting as a national mechanism for reporting and control over the implementation of the recommendations, was held on 2 July 2019 in Baku under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The recommendations addressed to Azerbaijan during the Universal Periodic Review and by the UN treaty bodies were discussed at the meeting, and a work plan for effective follow-up and implementation of the recommendations was elaborated.