THE PRESIDENT’S ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE PROBLEM

 

The state has always focused on the solution of the problems of refugees and internally displaced persons

 In general, in the XIX century, the Azerbaijani people faced several times with the state of being a refugee and enforced displacement. Azerbaijan’s geostrategic position and rich natural resources have tempted the powers interested in this region to forcefully evict Azerbaijanis from their historical lands and Armenians’ attempt to acquire more and more lands resulted in 4 times displacement of Azerbaijanis from their native lands throughout a century.

 In the aftermath of the latest planned ethnic cleansing carried out by Armenia during 1988-1992, about 250 thousand Azerbaijanis were forcibly expelled from their historic homelands and found refuge in Azerbaijan. 20 percent of the Azerbaijani lands- the territory of Nagorno Karabakh, as well as 7 adjacent regions were occupied by the Armenian armed forces. About 700 thousand Azerbaijanis were forcefully displaced from their native hearths.

So, currently there are approximately 1 million 200 thousand refugees, internally displaced persons seeking to obtain «refugee» status (seeking for asylum)

Due to the Heydar Aliyev’s diplomacy, the real essence of Armenian-Azerbaijani, Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts, fair voice of Azerbaijan were conveyed to the international community. Armenia's aggressive policy was exposed. In 1993, Security Council adopted 4 resolutions in accordance with the law, related to a political solution to the conflict, liberation of the occupied territories, return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes.

On 1994, a ceasefire was established. In the OSCE summits held in Budapest in 1994, Lissabon 1996 and Istanbul 1999, the measures were taken in the field of peaceful and political solution to the conflict.

The execution of the unfair 907th amendment to the Freedom Support Act by the USA Congress banning direct aid to independent Azerbaijan was suspended.

The National Leader Heydar Aliyev held 25 meetings with the Armenian President, more than 200 meetings with the OSCE leadership, representatives of the Minsk Group and more than 500 meetings with head of states of 80 countries, also more than 20 meetings with public representatives of the occupied territories, refugees and internally displaced persons.

The Laws were adopted «On citizenship of the Azerbaijan Republic» in 1998, «On Status of Refugees and internally displaced persons (persons displaced within the territory of the country) » in 1999, «Social protection of internally displaced persons and persons equated with them».

  The internally displaced persons getting fee-based education at state higher and secondary educational institutions were exempted from paying tuition fees, public utilities and other services. The amount of funds directed to the solution of social problems of refugees and internally displaced persons increased 90 times between the years of 1993-2003, allowance for meal expenses increased 60 times, utility costs increased 120 times.

Care, attention and patronage policy by National Leader to our compatriots displaced internally from their lands is continued successfully by his political heir, the President of Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev.

In the years 2004-2016 Mr. President personally attended various events 31 times that held in connection with the refugees and internally displaced persons, including the majority of opening ceremonies of the newly built settlements and estates, also one international conference and two large meetings were conducted associated with the problem as well as one state program and 2 additions made to it were approved.

In 2006, 4 tent camps were liquidated in the Barda (3 tent camps) and Agjabadi regions (1 tent camp) as well as  the liquidation of 3  tent camps was completed in the territories  of  the  Saatli and  Sabirabad regions in December 2007 and the order  by   President Ilham Aliyev was implemented a year earlier. The State Program «On the solution of the refugee and IDPs problems» was approved by the Order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan No. 895 on September 17, 1998, the State Program «On improvement of living conditions and increasing employment of refugees and internally displaced persons» approved by Order No.298  on July, 2004  and  «Additions» were made  to the State Program approved by the Order No 298, dated on July 1, 2004  in accordance with the Orders  No 2475 dated on October 31, 2007, No 1346 dated on February 21, 2011.

Over the last  period,  a full legal framework has been established related to the solution of the problems of refugees and internally displaced persons in compliance with the international norms, 96 decrees and orders have been signed by the President, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted 368 orders and decisions, and Milli Majlis adopted 34 laws.

Generally, at the expense of the funds allocated by the State Oil Fund and other resources in the years of 2001-2016, 95 new settlements complete with social and technical infrastructure, covering the total area of 3.2 million sq.m were constructed, the housing conditions  of  50 thousand families and 250 thousand refugees and IDPs  were improved.

In the past 21 years, 6.2 billion manats has been spent to resolve social problems of refugees and internally displaced persons. 2.8 billion manats of these funds have been provided from the state budget, 2.0 billion manats by the State Oil Fund and 1,4  billion manats by international financial institutions and international organizations operating in Azerbaijan.

240 hostels, where the IDPs settled, have been repaired through funds allocated from different financial sources and consequently, 75,000 IDPs benefited from it.
161,000 of 380,000 able-bodies IDPs have permanent jobs, 200,000 were involved in seasonal works”.

Under the program of the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support, during the past 13 years, preferential loans in the amount of  44 million manats have been granted to  the financing of investment project of entrepreneurship subjects of the internally displaced persons, also in the amount of 9,3 million manats to the investment  project that based on  new technologies.

Under the loan agreement between the World Bank and the Azerbaijani Government (“("IDPs Economic Development Support Project"), Social Fund for Development of IDPs of Azerbaijan granted of 7,7 million manats  microcredit to 11 thousand IDPs  and 46 thousand internally displaced persons benefited from it.

In general, IDP Social Development Fund of the Repubic of Azerbaijan has implemented 910 various micro-projects in the value of AZN 85,6 million manats benefiting 610 thousand persons (83% of them are internally displaced persons).

In 2016, the amount of funds spent on a displaced person was about 750 manats is the highest rate compared to all conflict zones around the world.

The poverty rate among internally displaced persons in the last 13 years has decreased from 75 percent to 12 percent.

As noted by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, at the international conference dedicated to the 10 years humanitarian organizations’ activity in Azerbaijan, held on February, the emergency humanitarian aid  during the period  of  limited opportunities, especially  in the first years  of  the restoration of in dependence had a very great]importance, international, local humanitarian and development organizations played an indispensable functioning in the Republic  played an indispensable role in the  elimination  of  humanitarian catastrophe.

Currently a variety of projects associated with the problems of refugees, internally displaced persons and low-income population are being carried out by 21 international, 14 local humanitarian and   development organizations in this field of which activities are coordinated by the Republican Commission on International Humanitarian Aid.

  At the same time, these organizations do not operate anywhere in the world for a long time as in Azerbaijan. The reason is that, the exemplary conditions have been provided for these organizations to operate absolutely freely, independently and transparently.

These opinions are sounded by international financial institutions, donors, leaders of the humanitarian organizations.

Furthermore, the works conducted in the field of preparation of the «Great Repatriation (Great Return)» draft program with international financial institutions, UN agencies, especially by UNHCR based on the relevant offers received from 32 state authorities, 14 international organizations are implemented.

As an estimable result of purposeful policy pursued by the President of Azerbaijan Republic, Azerbaijan was elected full member of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on April 26, 2012. The measures taken by the Azerbaijani Government to improve the living conditions of refugees and internally displaced persons in the country are appreciated highly by authoritative international organizations. So, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, director for the United Nations World Food Programme James. Morris, Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Mr. Walter Kälin said during visit: «Works done by the President of Azerbaijan Republic for all the refugees and internally displaced persons, including the international humanitarian organizations is an example   for many countries of the world which encounter such problems. We have a very high level of cooperation with the Azerbaijani government».

Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons by the UN Human Rights Council Chaloka Beyani, visited Azerbaijan from May 18 to 24,  2014, to assess the human rights situation of IDPs, review the progress made in this field, at the same time to offer relevant recommendations in an atmosphere of mutual exchange of ideas and other issues provoking interest.

At the same time, in his statement in Geneva  regarding the results of visit to our country, the UN Special Rapporteur Chaloka Beyani insistently emphasized  achieving peace agreement for attainment  a fundamental solution  to the  problems  of the  internally displaced persons, establishment  of  peace in Azerbaijan and  full restoration of the rights of internally displaced persons, especially provision of voluntary and safe return  to their lands  preserving  dignity  as well as  urged  the international community  to support  this issue. 

Also, in the statement Chaloka Beyani mentioned that, it is urgent to reach a peaceful settlement to the conflict in order to resolve the protracted situation of internal displacement, which has lasted more than 20 years in Azerbaijan. Peace and development rights-based approaches to durable solutions for IDPs go hand in hand and one cannot fully be reached without the other. In this regard, a development rights-based approach to durable solutions for IDPs in Azerbaijan therefore requires peace as a matter of urgency.

Under the regular instructions of President of Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev,  the implementation of  relevant  measures related to bringing of  realities  on Armenian-Azerbaijani,  Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to the  attention  of  the world community  is being continued.

It should be emphasized that, since the first day of activity, Heydar Aliyev Foundation make major efforts in communicating the facts on the conflict to the word.

An Internet portal entitled 'Azerbaijan' has been established at the initiative of Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva - the Heydar Aliyev Foundation President, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador and member of the National Assembly is of great importance. large volumes  of data concerning Azerbaijan  can be obtained through the  portal.

While posting information on Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Khojali genocide, relevant information explaining Armenian aggression and providing response to Armenian-propagated false claims, the Internet portal is instrumental in providing the means whereby global community can be closely acquainted with Armenian atrocities.

Due to special efforts of Mehriban Aliyeva Azerbaijan realities are demonstrated all over the world. Heydar Aliyev Foundation which pays special attention to the works performed in this direction, since 2005 it publishes “The Karabakh Realities” collection in various languages. The collection addressed to the international community at first was published in Azerbaijani, Russian and English languages. Also, the collection of “The Karabakh Realities” was presented to the readers in German and Hungarian languages.

Promotional materials have been pervaded in many foreign countries up to now and turned into ideological tool in delivering the realities of Azerbaijan to the world.

The commemorative events dedicated to Khojaly massacre have been held in Washington, New York, Warsaw, London, Beijing, the Hague, Dubai, Kiev, Moscow, Berlin, Strasbourg, Brussels, Bucharest, Geneva, Ankara, Istanbul, Prague, Paris, Rome, Tbilisi, Sarajevo and other cities since 2005.

Under the organization of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the books and brochures dedicated to Khojaly massacre are published, films are shot and delivered to the global community.

Leyla Aliyeva, Vice President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, General Coordinator of Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Intercultural Dialogue and Cooperation played an important role in delivering truth about the Khojaly genocide to the world community.

“Justice for Khojaly” campaign initiated by Leyla Aliyeva on the anniversary day of occupation of Shusha on May 8, 2008 is being continued successfully in more than 80 countries with the participation of hundreds of volunteers.

In large cities of the world, the streets and parks are named Khojaly to the memory of victims of Khojaly genocide.

Reconstructed “Park of Friendship” and memorial in the memory of victims of Khojaly genocide were opened in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on 24 February, 2012, the President of Foundation Leyla Aliyeva provided the urban commune with detailed information regarding the Khojaly genocide and video clips reflecting the genocide were presented to the event participants.

As a result of conducted purposeful measures, 12 states-Pakistan (February1, 2012), Mexico (2 February 2012), Colombia (24 April 2012), Romania (12 February 2013), Czech Republic (19 February 2013), Bosnia and Herzegovina (26 February 2013), Peru (2013), Cibuti (2017) parliamentary and 22 states of USA (Massachusetts, Texas, North Carolina, New Jersey, Georgia, Maine, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Indiana, Arizona, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, Connecticut, Florida, Yuta, Nebraska, Havay, Montana. Aydaho) recognized the massacre as an act  of genocide and   adopted a special  resolution.

A monument  was  erected in the  "Tlakskoake-Xocalı" square  located  in the  central historic  region  of  capital city Mexico in the memory  of Khojaly genocide victims.

In 2011, monument for the victims of Khojaly genocide was unveiled in the city of Berlin of Germany.   

In 2013, memorial for the victims of Khojaly genocide was erected in Ushak city of Turkey.

On March 27, 2014 the opening ceremony of “Khojaly Monument and Khojaly Museum” complex was held in the Kızılcahamam region of Ankara.

The Czech Republic was the first member of the European Union to have officially condemned Armenia for the massacre of civilians in Khojaly, and have recognized this as a crime against humanity, the Parliament of the Czech Republic became the first legislative body of the European Union. On February 7, 2013 the Foreign Relations Committee of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic unanimously adopted a document condemning Armenia for brutal killing by the Armenian military units of 613 defenceless civilians in the occupied town of Khojaly 21 years ago.

On June 20, 2014 the three-volume book titled "Leyla Aliyeva: "Justice for Khojaly!" (new strategic model against international Armenian terror) was presented. The presentation of the three-volume book written by the writer and publicist, Honoured Journalist Vasif Samadov and Doctor of Philosophy in Political Sciences Rovshan Valizadeh was organized jointly by the Institute for Human Rights of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), the State Committee on Deals of Refugees and IDPs, the International Advocacy and Awareness Campaign "Justice for Khojaly" and “Caspian Izvestia” International Information Agency.

At the same time,  the  books and  short  films related to the  Armenian-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict  made by the State Committee for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons are  demonstrated in the world  countries  through the embassies and the world  community  is  informed in such a way.

Over the last 12 years, more than 1200 meetings have been held with the representatives of foreign countries, international financial institutions, humanitarian organizations and detailed information has been provided about the conflict and Khojaly tragedy.

To this end, in 2012, the delegation led by the Deputy Prime Minister, the chairman of the State Committee on Affairs of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, Mr. Ali Hasanov visited 5 countries (in House of Representatives of Belgian Federal Parliament on March 22-23, meeting with the leaders of the Mexican Senate and senators on August 22-23, in the 63rd session of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva on October 1, in the Parliament of Finland  on November 6-8, in the Senate of Spain on November 22, in the Senate  of Andorra  on December  13-14).

  In order to bring the realities about the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh conflict constantly to the attention of the world community, book titled “Information on about one million refugees and internally displaced persons formed as a result of ethnic cleansing policy in Armenia and occupation of 20 percent of territories of Azerbaijan by Armenian armed forces” and   the book titled as “President’s care to refugees and IDPs”, which was devoted to the care paid to refugees and IDPs by Ilham Aliyev.

The 52 minutes long large scale movie of “Longing for Homeland and Unfading Hopes” devoted to the historical roots of the problem, to the current problems of refugees and IDPs and to the measures taken for elimination of their problems, was prepared and broadcasted in all TV channels. Besides, another movie of 15 minutes long was prepared in 8 languages for spreading in foreign countries, as well as the website of the State Committee on Refugees and IDPs Issues was prepared in 2 languages. 

Besides, “Information on measures taken in the field of improvement of social welfare and existing problems of refugees, internally displaced persons seeking to obtain «refugee» status (seeking for asylum from 3 countries) in Azerbaijan Republic   as a result of “Armenian-Azerbaijani, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict” is published each year in Azerbaijani and English and in 2012 it was published in Azerbaijani, English and Spanish languages.

The President of the Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly stated that, Azerbaijan will never allow the establishment of the second fictitious Armenian state on its historical territory. Nagorno-Karabakh will never be independent.

We believe that, Ilham Aliyev will solve this problem, as a result of his decisive efforts the country's territorial integrity will be restored, Azerbaijanis will return to their home lands in dignity and live in their native lands again.

 
 
idpsCopyright © 2017
STATE COMMITTEE ON
REFUGEES AND IDPS ISSUES
OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN
The address of committee: Baku, Tbilisi Ave., 129
Tel/fax: (99412) 430 09 21, 430 09 25
Email: info@refugee.gov.az