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Azerbaijan withdraws from EITI

Azerbaijan has announced its withdrawal from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) after being told that corrective actions for greater civil society engagement had not been completed.

The corrective actions were issued in October 2016 after the EITI Board concluded that Azerbaijan had made meaningful progress in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard, but that it had not made satisfactory progress on civil society engagement.  

At its board meeting on 9 march 2016 EITI Board agreed that whilst profess had been made on these actions they had not yet been fully completed.

In a statement the government of Azerbaijan said: “We strongly believe that as a result of significant changes made to the current regulations Azerbaijan was able to accomplish the implementation of all corrective actions. We consider Board’s decision on suspension of Azerbaijan as an unfair one.”

The mandate of the EITI has been significantly shifted far from transparency and accountability in extractive sectors, the statement continues. “The irrelevant facts introduced by different advocacy groups on various occasions show that the Initiative failed to stick to its original mission and objectives.”

In its statement the government said it would continue to disclose all the information related to revenues received from extractive industries but it wished to be removed from the list of EITI implementing countries with immediate effect.

“We are leaving an organisation, not the principles, Azerbaijan did not withdraw from the principles of transparency and accountability in the extractive industries. We are committed to those principles and will continue to disclose every material information on our revenues,” Shahmar Movsumov, executive chair of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund said, as reported by the FT.

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