Mr Azay Guliyev, Chair of the Council on State Support to NGOs under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
Mr Ali Hasanov, Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan for Public and Political Affairs;
Ms Bahar Muradova, Deputy Speaker of Milli Majlis;
Mr Ulvi Mehdiyev, Chair of the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I want first of all to express my deep gratitude to Mr Azay Guliyev for his invitation and for giving me an opportunity to speak at the presentation ceremony of the “SƏLİS” – the System for Fast Coordination and Project Management of the Council on State Support to NGOs under the auspices of the President of Azerbaijan.
Launching 20 new e-services for civil society organisations, the Council makes a significant step forward in ensuring transparency, accountability and efficiency of its activities.
As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated, “Public service is a critical component for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We need to pioneer new approaches, work differently, take risks and innovate.
It means seizing the potential of technological innovations to create more responsive, efficient and collaborative public services.”
Indeed, we need governance that is capable of delivering results and earning public trust; governance that is coherent and accountable; governance that is inclusive and that listens to all the country’s citizens; governance that upholds human rights and leaves no one behind.
The “SƏLİS” is an initiative that seeks to transform digital technologies and e-governance to improve not only the way the Council functions, but also the way civil society organisations can benefit from new technologies and the impact on their work.
I would like to emphasize that strengthening institutional capacities and effective public and social services is one of the strategic areas of the UN-Azerbaijan Partnership Framework for 2016-2020.
UN Agencies have contributed to Azerbaijan’s institutional development and good governance throughout its presence in the country.
There are several examples of UN supporting enhanced use of information communication technologies and automated procedures in government-provided services including ASAN which won the UN Public Service Award in 2015.
Our support has contributed to efficiency, transparency and accountability in the public sector through the delivery of services and protection of rights of citizens.
In 2018, the Partnership Framework also continued to support the Government in its efforts to ensure that social services are available to all members of society including children, women, and people with disabilities.
This included finding more effective and innovative ways of reaching those who are displaced, refugees or otherwise vulnerable, for example through mobile legal aid clinics, or better coordinated systems for child protection.
Civil society organisations (CSOs), at the national level play a crucial role in translating global agendas into national priorities, working through networks and their members.
In turn, they ensure that through their supporters and the citizens that they work with, these national priorities reflect provincial, regional and local needs, grounded in people’s lived realities.
Furthermore, CSOs has a critical role working with governments in implementing their agendas, delivering services, generating research and evidence, holding governments accountable to their commitments, and advocating for change, including around the SDGs.
More convenient and accessible e-services by the Council on State Support to NGOs, will make life of civil society organisations in Azerbaijan much easier in terms of faster application for grants, appeal, monitoring, evaluation, contracting and others.
Again, I would like to congratulate the Council on launch of the “SƏLİS” system and wish best of luck in its future activities.