On 20-21 October 2016, the delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan led by H.E. Mr. Khalaf Khalafov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, participated in the 118th session of the Human Rights Committee in Geneva, which considered the fourth periodic report of Azerbaijan on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Delegation composed of high-level representatives from the several governmental organizations.
During his introductory statement Mr. Khalaf Khalafov informed the Committee about the measures taken by the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan concerning the implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The statement included information about the legislative and practical developments by the Government in the numerous spheres, such as the improvement of judiciary, prevention of human trafficking, combating against corruption, improvement of life conditions and increase of employment rate of refugees and IDPs, as well as the strengthening of the civil society space. Mr. Khalafov also informed the Committee members about the ongoing occupation by the Republic of Armenia of the 20% territories of Azerbaijan, in particular the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts, as well as about the fate of more than one million Azerbaijanis who became refugees and IDPs as a result of this occupation and ethnic cleansing policy. It was considered as a flagrant violation by Armenia of international law and the relevant UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.
In the course of the interactive dialogue the Human Rights Committee welcomed the submission of the fourth periodic report of Azerbaijan, which also included information on the issues raised by the Committee in its previous concluding observations. The Committee welcomed the open and constructive dialogue with the high level delegation of Azerbaijan, as well as the reassurance by the delegation about the readiness of Azerbaijan to further full implementation of the Covenant. The Human Rights Committee also commended Azerbaijan for its contribution to the multiculturalism and cultural diversity being a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional country.