On 25 October 2017, Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD) has organized the Final Symposium for the projects funded by the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):

– Reinforcing the Protection of Rights and Improving the Living Conditions of the Disabled People in Azerbaijan through Civil Society – Media – Government-Private Sector Collaboration
– Alliance for Social Progress – Improving Quality, Efficiency and Transparency of Social Policies in Azerbaijan

The event started with an opening speech by the chairman of CESD, Vugar Bayramov, who greeted the participants. Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan Natig Mammadov, Head of Delegation of the EU to Azerbaijan H.E. Ambassador Kestutis Jankauskas, Resident coordinator of United Nations in Azerbaijan H.E. Ambassador Ghulam M.Isaczai had made their remarks and shared their opinions about the results of the project. The opening remarks were continued by the Members of the Parliament in Azerbaijan Azer Badamov and Aydin Huseynov.

Following the opening speech, the results and findings of the project were presented by the coordinator for both of the projects Ahmad Alili of the Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD).

The participants of the final symposium were informed on the generous role of EU and UNDP for improving the living conditions of the disabled people in Azerbaijan.

For the last two years, within the framework of aforementioned projects, the events were organized in Ganja, Samukh, Goranboy and Shamkir regions of Azerbaijan, which had significant contributions to the enhancing welfare of the disabled people living in the rural areas, increased the capability of civil society representatives, which are in direct touch with this group of people, and established platform for institutionalised dialogue between CSO members and government officials.

A the end of the session, the participants were granted with a chance to question the results and findings of the project and present their opinions. The members of the disabled people communities took a chance to express their gratitude for the project and reveal the points which still needs improvements. Davud Rahimov, head of Union of Disabled People Organisations, pointed out to the required changes to the legislation. A wheelchaired person attending the event – Ilham Maharramov – have revealed the lack of infrastructure in the cities for them to move around. They were heard by the representatives of government and Parliament attending the event. The deputy-minister of Labour and Social Security of Population N.Mammadov has not agreed with these statements, saying there are enough works done for adopting the infrastructure to the needs of wheelchaired people.

In the following sessions, chaired by Galib Togrul, coordinator of Capacity Needs Assessment and Development Plan for the civil society organisations, Saday Abdullayev, head of a department at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Rashad Hasanov from Center for Economic and Social Development shared their views on social policy reforms in Azerbaijan.

The event, which was held in ‘Sharg’ hall of Baku-Marriott hotel was attended by the representatives of a wide range of governmental bodies, members of Parliament, representatives of various embassies and international organizations, civil society members and media.

CESD & LINKS hold Confidence-Building Conference in Baku on November 6th, 2017

On 06 November 2017, Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD) and London-based LINKS (DAR) hosted a roundtable discussion on “Can Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) contribute towards a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?” in Baku, Azerbaijan. The event was organised in the framework of the European Partnership for the Peaceful Resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) conflict.

The event was attended by several Members of Parliament of Azerbaijan, representatives of the Azerbaijani community of NK, ambassadors and representatives of diplomatic missions, representatives of international organisations, CSO members, independent researchers and young peacemakers.

The event was held under the Chatham House rule.

The welcoming speech was presented by Dr. Vugar Bayramov, Chairman of CESD, and introductory remarks were given by Dr. Dennis Sammut, the Director LINKS (Dialogue-Analysis-Research).

During roundtable discussions, Members of Parliament Mr. Asim Mollazade and Mr. Rasim Musabeyov expressed their ideas regarding the diplomatic resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Other speakers, including Eldar Nazamov, a prominent politician and former Presidential aide to Heydar Aliyev, the head of “Umid” Party, Igbal Agazade, the representative of the NK community of Azerbaijanis, Mr. Nadir Bayramov, international relations researchers, Mr. Elkhan Shahinoglu and Mr. Mukhtar Hajizade also shared their ideas.

The roundtable was concluded by the head of LINKS (DAR), Dr. Dennis Sammut.

CESD (www.cesd.az) is a Baku-based international think-tank, founded to positively influence policy-makers’ decision-making. CESD has been ranked as the top think-tank in Central Asia and the Caucasus by UPenn. In recent years, CESD has been involved in research concerning regional economic cooperation programs, regional conflicts, and the benefits of peace. Its staff members have been part of different consortiums and working-groups to pave the way for the peace in the South Caucasus.

The Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD) in partnership with the German Institute for Democracy, Media and Cultural Exchange (IDEM) organized a Training of Trainers (ToTs) program to equip Azerbaijani journalists, students of journalism, and civil society members with both the skills and the appropriate methodologies needed to empower them to further develop themselves and the their colleagues in the media sphere of Azerbaijan on August 13-17th, 2018. The intensive, 5-day program taught by 2 German trainers experienced in international media practices combined a mix of methods to impart lasting lessons on those engaged in Azerbaijan’s media sphere.