bakuThe 4th Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) International Conference was held on February 16-18, 2009 in Doha, Qatar. The Azerbaijan delegation represented by Samir Sharifov, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Shahmar Movsumov, Chairman of the National EITI Committee, a member of the EITI Board and the Executive Director of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Adil Mammadov, Head of EITI Secretariat of Azerbaijan and members of the NGO’s Coalition on Improving Transparency Initiative in Extractive Industry participated at this Conference.

During the first day of the Conference, the Board discussed approval of Azerbaijan as the first EITI Compliant country.

It was mentioned that Azerbaijan has instituted a regular process of disclosing, reconciling and publishing company payments and government receipts; Azerbaijan is the first country to complete validation, the EITI's quality assurance process which verifies compliance with EITI principles and criteria. Taking all these into account the EITI Board designated Azerbaijan as EITI Compliant country. Thereby Azerbaijan became the first EITI Compliant country among 26 candidate countries.

The Board congratulated the government of Azerbaijan for its commitment and leadership and commended all stakeholders for their collaborative and constructive approach to EITI implementation. The promotion of Azerbaijan from Candidate to Compliant country status marks an important milestone for the EITI. “EITI Award 2009” for Azerbaijan’s commitment to EITI principles and criteria and its achievements in EITI Implementation was awarded to Azerbaijan.

George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Institute and the Soros foundations network, participating at the Conference congratulated Azerbaijan, appreciated Azerbaijan’s achievements and supports to EITI and expressed his hopes that other EITI implementing countries will follow Azerbaijan’s experience.

At the Conference Azerbaijan was reelected as EITI International Board member for the next two years.

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