On the 18th of February the Civil Society Defense Committee held its next meeting at the CNIS office.
The participants evaluated the strategy and activities of the Committee directed to the prevention of the signing into the law by the President of the legal amendments adopted by the Milli Majlis on the 16th December 2013. They stressed that in spite of the successful mobilization campaign and the whole series of consistent activities during this period and support of the major international actors, both governmental and non-governmental, the President Aliyev has signed the amendments, with some small changes, into the law. This urged the Committee to review its strategy and tactics and come to the following conclusions:
1. The Committee managed to mobilize a large scale campaign with participation of more the 80 NGOs, who signed the petition to the president, held a vigil in front of and had a meeting in the presidential administration, organized and participated in the Civil Society FORUM, along with foreign embassies, international organizations, media. A few influential international organizations, such as CIVICUS, published their solidarity statements. The wider public was also informed about the issue through numerous publications in the local media.
2. The government, however, again failed to demonstrate its readiness to a real dialogue with the civil society. The participants suggested that the dialogue should be conducted with high officials, preferably with the president of the Republic.
3. The number of reforms related to the structure and functioning of the Committee were suggested
– including related to procedures and standards, as well as development of action plan according to trhe new situation.
March 3, 2014