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The Republic of Azerbaijan has been pursuing an independent foreign policy since regaining its independence in 1991. This policy is aimed at regularly strengthening and developing the Azerbaijani statehood and protecting national interests.
Azerbaijan has built its foreign policy on the norms and principles of international law, including respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and non-interference in internal affairs.
As an independent state, the Republic of Azerbaijan is a member of a number of international organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Commonwealth of Independent States and many others. Azerbaijan is also constantly developing cooperation with organizations such as NATO and the European Union, as well as its activities within the anti-terrorist coalition. The Republic of Azerbaijan is also one of the founders of the GUAM regional group. By participating in these organizations and regional initiatives, the Republic of Azerbaijan pursues its national interests. Today, the Republic of Azerbaijan is recognized as an active actor and regional power that contributes to the establishment of cooperation in the modern system of international relations as the implementer of transnational projects, global security issues, energy security in Europe. Also, Azerbaijan's role as a corridor between Western and Eastern civilizations, as well as North and South, demonstrates its reputation as an important country. Surely, everyone knows that such achievements of Azerbaijan are the result of a pragmatic and rational foreign policy.
Ensuring human rights and freedoms by becoming an integral part of democratic development in the modern world, the highest manifestation of the moral, legal and political ideals of mankind is considered the main criterion of civil society. The factors that determine and perpetuate the independence of each state depend primarily on the rule of law, the quality of judicial reform and the full harmonization of justice with international requirements.
The rapid socio-economic development of our republic has led to the further expansion of its foreign relations and the coverage of new areas. The globalization of economic and social processes has facilitated conditions for the emergence of more organized, transnational and dangerous forms of crime. The expansion of international relations, the integration of our country into the world community, the possibility of preventing new forms of crime as a result of joint efforts of states make it necessary for law enforcement agencies, including the Prosecution authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijan to cooperate closely with relevant agencies. All this has led to a significant strengthening of the activities of the prosecution authorities of the republic in the field of international relations.
The Azerbaijani Prosecution concludes cooperation agreements with relevant foreign bodies and international organizations in accordance with the legislation and participates in the implementation of the obligations set forth in international agreements to which our country is a party.
Significant dates in the formation and development of international relations of the prosecution authorities:
January 1993 - International Legal Division was established within the Legal Support Department.
January 25, 1993 - The first international agreement of the Independent Azerbaijan Prosecution, the Agreement on legal assistance and cooperation between the Prosecutor Generals’ Offices of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation was signed.
February 1994 - The International Legal Division was established being removed from the Legal Support Department.
1997 - The Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan became an organizational member of the International Association of Prosecutors. In September 2018, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan - Director of the Anti-Corruption General Directorate with the Prosecutor General, now Prosecutor General Kamran Aliyev was elected Vice President of the organization.
2000 - to date - the international relations have expanded, bilateral agreements on cooperation with the prosecution bodies of China, Austria, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Tajikistan and others states were signed.
September 29, 2006 - By the order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the International Relations Division of the Prosecutor General's Office, operating since 1994, was reorganized and renamed into the International Relations Department. The main tasks and functions of the Department: to prepare proposals of an international legal nature and ensure the implementation of other measures aimed at establishing and developing business relations with prosecution bodies of foreign countries, ministries of justice, foreign and internal affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the National Central Bureau of Interpol in the Republic of Azerbaijan, law enforcement agencies; to cooperate with prosecution bodies and other law enforcement agencies of foreign countries within their competence, maintain relations with diplomatic missions of foreign countries via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the prescribed manner; to participate in the creation of a legal framework for cooperation with prosecution bodies of foreign countries, together with departments and divisions of the Prosecutor General's Office, scientific and educational institutions, in agreement with the relevant state bodies, represent the Prosecutor General's Office in other bodies, etc.
June 14, 2011 - The International Relations Department was restructured and the Extradition and Legal Assistance Division and the International Legal Cooperation and Protocol Service were established within the department.
January 2013 - The first publication of the International Relations Department, "Methodology of extradition, international legal assistance and criminal prosecution" was published.
June 10, 2020 - The Department of International Legal Cooperation of the Prosecutor General's Office was established by the Order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated June 10, 2020.
Along with a number of international agreements to which the Republic of Azerbaijan is a party, the prosecution authorities, along with other state institutions, have serious responsibilities, and the fulfillment of these responsibilities is a priority in all areas of activity of the prosecution authorities.
The prosecution authorities have always paid special attention to the implementation of the obligations arising from the international commitments of our country, and a number of important measures have been taken in this area in recent years.
By signing and ratifying numerous and important international treaties and conventions supported by the developed countries of the world community, our state has made appropriate commitments, benefited from the highest values set by the international community, and ensured human and civil rights and freedoms on a higher and guaranteed level. The prosecution authorities have a number of responsibilities and functions to identify and apply legal procedures to solve problems related to the absolute and exact implementation of the provisions of international treaties and conventions to which Azerbaijan is a party, the compliance with the norms established by international law, the development and implementation of joint programs to combat crime, the coordination of search operations and investigative actions and the implementation of other issues.
European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Convention on the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Conventions on Extradition, and Extradition of Persons, Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime, Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, Civil Law Convention on Corruption, Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, Convention Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and the last three Additional Protocols to it, Conventions adopted by the UN General Assembly: Convention on Abolition of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Convention on Non-Application of the Period of Criminal Prosecution for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of Prostitution of Others, Convention on Combating Nuclear Terrorism, Convention on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Convention on Combating Bomb Terrorism, Convention on Combating Hostage-Taking, Convention on Combating Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, Convention on Combating Illegal Actions Against Civil Aviation Security, and Convention on Combating the Financing of Terrorism, as well as the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols on the Prevention, Elimination and Punishment of Trafficking in Human Beings, in particular Women and Children, and the Protocol on the Illicit Trafficking of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children and child pornography, ratified by the Republic of Azerbaijan, are international documents that are more or less relevant to the activities of the prosecution bodies.
The Republic of Azerbaijan has acceded to the CIS Conventions on Legal Relations and Legal Assistance in Civil, Family and Criminal Matters of 1993 and 2002, and has signed bilateral agreements on legal assistance with many countries.
The provisions of these conventions cover both traditional and new areas of international cooperation in the field of criminal prosecution, and are aimed at preventing the most dangerous manifestations of crime, money laundering or other property obtained by criminal means, human trafficking, torture and inhuman treatment, terrorism and its financing. All this and the implementation of international law in national legislation has led to the implementation of the activities of the prosecution authorities in accordance with the new requirements.
As a result of judicial and legal reforms carried out in accordance with the requirements of the main international instruments in the field of human rights and democratic institutions, the Azerbaijan prosecution was renewed and transformed into a democratic institution. By developing international ties in the field of combating crime and protecting human rights, it is duly represented in the global legal community.
The Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan attaches great importance to cooperation with law enforcement and other competent authorities of other countries and international organizations. It is constantly working to improve the efficiency of these relations, improve the practice of providing legal assistance, combating crime, implementing international treaties and conventions on the protection of human rights and freedoms.
Establishing relations with foreign prosecution bodies, courts, judicial and law enforcement agencies, international organizations, the Prosecutor General's Office ensures the fulfillment of obligations arising from international conventions and agreements to which our country is a party, considers legal assistance requests and participates in the development of international documents.
The establishment of effective relations with the prosecution bodies of the world countries is further developed through the visits of the heads of the prosecution offices of different countries and the cooperation programs signed during these visits.
During the period of reforms since 2000 in the field of organizing the legal framework, which is one of the activities, programs and agreements on cooperation were signed with the Prosecutor General's Offices of a number of countries, including Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Lithuania, Moldova, Uzbekistan , China, Austria, Thailand, Bulgaria.
Cooperation within the framework of the International Association of Prosecutors takes a special place in the international relations of the Azerbaijani Prosecution. The meeting of the Executive Committee of this prestigious organization, which covers more than 80 countries, held in Baku in May 2001 became an important event both in the life of the organization and in the life of our country, which was moving towards building a law-based state. The reception of the delegation led by the former president of the International Association of Prosecutors Nicholas Cowdery by Heydar Aliyev, the national leader of the Azerbaijani people, became the most significant event of this international event and laid a solid foundation for further strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation. The Prosecutor General's Office was directly involved in numerous activities of the association in Paris, Sydney, Seoul, London and other cities. This cooperation makes a valuable contribution to the achievement of the highest goals, such as crime prevention and the rule of law, protection of human rights and freedoms. At the same time, Azerbaijani prosecution participated in many events of the Prosecutor General's Offices in Europe.
National leader Heydar Aliyev, who received the heads of the prosecution offices of the world leading countries, including Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Australia, South Korea, as well as high-ranking prosecutors of other countries who are members of the Executive Committee, assessing our cooperation with this organization, said: "I am confident that our cooperation within the International Association of Prosecutors will make a valuable contribution to achieving the highest goals, such as crime prevention and the rule of law, protection of human rights and freedoms".
At the conference of the Association "The Role of the Prosecutors in Ensuring Human Rights", held in London, the decisions made at the Baku meeting were approved as the scope of the organization's activities.
Taking into account the active participation, initiative and effective representation of the Republic in the work of the Association, on April 9-10, 2018 the 45th meeting of the Executive Committee of the Association was held in Baku.
On September 7-14, 2018, at the 46th Meeting, 23rd Annual Conference and General Meeting of the IAP Executive Committee in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kamran Aliyev, a member of the IAP Executive Committee since 2010, was unanimously elected vice-president of the organization.
Also, the Azerbaijani Prosecutor's Office was awarded the Certificate of Honor of the Association, taking into account the contributions of the justice and prosecution authorities of our country and the high level of relations, as well as the successful organization of the 45th meeting of the Executive Committee in Baku.
The Coordination Council of Prosecutors General of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was established on December 7, 1995 by a joint decision of the Prosecutors General of the CIS member states. By the decision of the Council of Heads of State on the Coordination Council of Prosecutors General of the Commonwealth of Independent States dated January 25, 2000, the Council was given the status of an interstate body of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
One of the important areas of effective international cooperation is the activities of the Azerbaijani Prosecution in the Coordination Council of Prosecutors General of the CIS member states at the regional level. The prosecution authorities took an active part in the activities of the organization in the territories of the CIS countries. Such events include cooperation of law enforcement agencies in the fight against transnational organized crime, international terrorism and other manifestations of extremism, corruption, as well as illegal drug and psychotropic substances trafficking.
In the context of strengthening the position of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the international level, developing cooperation with international organizations, achieving great success in the field of bilateral and regional cooperation, targeted measures are being taken to further expand the international relations, to develop relations with prosecution bodies of the world countries, and to establish effective cooperation with influential international organizations.