(Strasbourg) Greco, the Group of States Against Corruption of the Council of Europe, turns 20 and celebrates its anniversary with a high-level conference in Strasbourg today, to take stock of the results achieved “in helping the States improve their ability to prevent and fight corruption, measure the current challenges, and predict new issues”. Then, until 21st, the plenary meeting of Greco will discuss, among other things, the EU’s request to join Greco as an observer. The European Commission for Democracy Through Law will meet in Venice (21-22 June) to deal with the situation of the Republic of Moldova in connection with dissolution of Parliament. Also on these days (17-22 June), Strasburg will be hosting an event about the “right of young people with disabilities to live independently and be part of the community”, by looking at mental health as at a disability-related matter. “Mind the gap” is an event organised by the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, in partnership with the European Network on Independent Living (Enil) and the Euro-Youth Mental Health. A workshop will be held instead in Turin about “Fighting discrimination and hate speech: is interculturalism the solution?” organised by the “Intercultural Cities” programme of the Council of Europe (18-19 June).
IBM is expanding its partnership work with Azerbaijan’s government to bring blockchain technology to customs procedures, Central Asian-focused Trend News Agency reported on June 12. Following a reported deal with the country’s central bank in October 2018 — which should see blockchain deployed in various areas over a five-year period — IBM will now use the technology to target cargo transportation. The news came from Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee, the chairman of which, Safar Mehdiyev, spoke about the plans at a press conference during the ongoing IT/TI Conference and Exhibition of the World Customs Organization. “It will be possible to obtain the necessary information from the database online, without outside interference,” he explained. Mehdiyev added: “It will be useful for both entrepreneurs and customs authorities, as it will improve the quality of customs services provided.”
Blockchain’s potential in customs procedures has long been a source of interest for governments worldwide, including the United States, which last August launched a pilot scheme with the tech of its own.Baku, meanwhile, wants to further use the new tool beyond its borders, with Mehdiyev adding there were plans involving nearby Moldova and Ukraine, along with neighboring Georgia. “In this direction, we are implementing a project with Ukraine with the support of Georgia and Moldova,” Trend quoted him as adding. Another Azeribaijani government organ in the form of the justice ministry has also expressed interest in blockchain for its own processes, Cointelegraph reported late last year.
First steering committee meeting of the project on “Strengthening anti-money laundering and asset recovery in Azerbaijan”Posted by: admin | Posted on: Май 31, 2019
The Project on “Strengthening Anti-Money Laundering and Asset Recovery in Azerbaijan” held its first Steering Committee Meeting on 30 May 2019. The meeting brought together representatives from 15 key beneficiary institutions to present the activities to be implemented under the project and discuss the expected results and timelines of the activities. The Steering Committee Meeting also emphasized the role of the committee members in facilitating efficient coordination during implementation of the project activities.
This project represents a continuation of actions to strengthen capacities to fight and prevent corruption (2015-2017) and to strengthen anti-money laundering (2018), implemented in the country within the first phase of the EU/CoE Partnership for Good Governance (PGG) programme.
Committee on Legal Policy and State Building of the Milli Majlis (Milli Majlis) has held a meeting today.
Report informs citing the Milli Majlis that the bill «On Use of the Right to Legislative Initiatives by the Citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan» was discussed at the meeting. Chairman of the Committee Ali Huseynli said that the bill was prepared by a working group formed in the shortest time on the basis of the proposal from the public.
First, the information on the bill consisting of 10 items was heard at the hearing. It was noted that this document was prepared in accordance with the provisions envisaged in the Constitution of Azerbaijan and international experience on the relevant legislation was taken into consideration. The law defines the use of the right of legislative initiative by the Azerbaijani citizens and regulates the relations arising in this area.
Then MPs Azay Guliyev, Chingiz Ganizade, Fazail Aghamali, Gudrat Hasanguliyev, Elshan Musayev, Deputy Chairman of the Committee Malahat Ibrahimgizi and CEC representative Rovzat Gasimov made their proposals.
At the end, the bill was recommended to the plenary session.
The ongoing fiscal reforms will bolster the net assets of Azerbaijan, Trend reports referring to the report by Moody’s Investors Service on the current state of the Azerbaijani economy.
Among such reforms, the agency noted a new fiscal rule and the government’s debt strategy. In particular, Moody’s noted that the new fiscal rule will also lend support to economic stability, if the authorities apply its discretionary, countercyclical provisions effectively.
“However, the economic benefits will only materialize over time, as business and consumer confidence over the effectiveness of fiscal policy builds,” the report reads.
As noted, the sovereign credit profile of Azerbaijan is supported by significant and growing position of net assets. As such, the sovereign wealth assets of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) amounted to $40.3 billion as of the end of March 2019, which is 12.5 percent higher than in late December 2017, and approximately 1.7 times higher than the the sum of the government’s direct debt and its explicit guarantees as of the end of 2018.
According to the report, Azerbaijan’s net sovereign wealth assets (the asset value after subtracting government debt) are “substantial”, when compared to similarly rated hydrocarbon producers, at around 53 percent of 2018 GDP.
The agency expects this net asset position «to increase further, fostered by the government’s fiscal reforms”.
Touching on reforms, Moody’s also mentioned strategic roadmaps adopted in December 2016, covering various sectors.
“Among these focuses, we assess tourism and transport and logistics as having the greatest diversification potential,” as stated in the report.