On 25 and 26 October, the 35th EITI International Board meeting took place in Astana, Kazakhstan. During this meeting, key agenda topics included the protection of civil society organisations and activists by the EITI and the decision on whether or not to suspend Azerbaijan, after its EITI status was downgraded in April 2015 due to restrictive legislations on civil society activities. By the end of the two day meeting, the EITI Board decided to give Azerbaijan a renewed opportunity to show that the country remains committed to the transparency initiative.
“PWYP hopes that genuine long term change in how Azerbaijan treats its independent civil society organisations will be reflected in laws that respect fundamental civil liberties, including freedom of association and expression. Genuine reforms will contribute to enabling a meaningful public debate around the governance of natural resources in the country,” says Elisa Peter, Executive Director of PWYP.