Republic of Azerbaijan
Student: Khalid Al-Mutawa
The Republic of Azerbaijan is a presidential republic. The president is elected by the people for a five-year term. The president, in turn, appoints all the cabinet-level government administrators. The cabinet-level administrators are those high ranking members of government; also called the executive branch. The people of Azerbaijan also elect the National Assembly, which consists of fifty members and makes the country's laws. The elected president of Azerbaijan is the Head of State while the Prime minister is the Head of Government or leader of the cabinet. Both the Head of State and the Head of Government work independently from the National Assembly. The origin of Azerbaijan's type of government came from the principle of division of powers, which divides the State power. The executive power goes to the president, while the legislative goes to the parliament and the judicial is given to the law courts.
Azerbaijan's new constitution was adapted on November 12, 1995 and implemented on December 5, 1995. The constitution follows the international law and was written according to it. Azerbaijan has 42 political parties. Today, however, the ruling party in Azerbaijan is the New Azerbaijan Party (NAP). The NAP is Ilham Aliyev's, the current president of Azerbaijan's, political party. The NAP keeps a firm grip on the executive and legislative branches of the government; therefore, keeping most of the country's power in its hands. Before Azerbaijan shifted to a republic, i.e. in the days of communism, it faced periods of political instability. However, after Azerbaijan gained its independence from the Soviet Union it received two year of political stability; from 1991 till 1992.
A land that looks upon Russia, Georgia, Iran, the Caspian Sea, and sadly Armenia is Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is somewhat smaller than Maine, a state in USA. You will find Azerbaijan in Asia on the southern western side. As stated next to Russia, Georgia, Iran, and Armenia. Those are the bordering countries. Each one of them Azerbaijan has a different relationship with; like Armenia they are at war at all times. In total the size of Azerbaijan is 86,600 sq. km. The size of the land is 86,100 sq. km, and for the water is 500 sq. km. The geographic coordinates are 40/30 North, 47/30 East. Sadly there is no coastline for Azerbaijan. This would make traveling by sea quite a challenge
Dry, semiarid steppe is the type of climate Azerbaijan has. The natural resources are iron ore, alumina, petroleum, natural gas, and nonferrous metals, which are found all over the country. The usage of land in Azerbaijan: The arable land is 20.62%, the areas for crops is: 2.61%, and the rest used for other uses is 76.77% (noted in 2005). The irrigated land is 14,550 sq. km (dated in 2003). Luckily Azerbaijan has only one natural hazard which is droughts. As for the elevation extremes, the lowest point is: Caspian Sea -28 meters, and the highest point is Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 meters.
Now the most important natural resource for Azerbaijan is petroleum. It is used in almost every way possible. It is imported, exported, used all over Azerbaijan. Even though the economy of Azerbaijan is low the petroleum and natural gas are the main two factors that keep it in a working shape. Off course petroleum is for power and energy. As for the natural gas it is mostly used for electricity.
The natural gas is almost everywhere in the world, but mostly it is traded. For Azerbaijan the people could sell it on the street. Petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, and alumna are just s few natural resources that Azerbaijan has. Back to the natural gas its production rate is 5.13 billion cu m. And the consumption of it is 9.2 billion cu m. Azerbaijan doesnít export in it but imports and the rate is 1 billion cu meters.
As for the trading in Azerbaijan, the main country that Azerbaijan exports with is Italy. Had it NOT been for the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia Azerbaijan would be rich. Investment rate is 57.4% of GDP estimated in 2005. And the best import partner Azerbaijan has is Russia. They mostly import in Machinery and Chemicals. Azerbaijan also trades in machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals, and cotton. All the trading partners are form all over the world and they include: Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Indonesia, Romania, Georgia, Russia, Turkey, France, U.S.A, UK, Ukraine, and Netherlands. Mostly between Italy and Azerbaijan have very good trading agreements. And Azerbaijan relies on itself it is an independent country.
Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar that is what Azerbaijanis say everyday. Azerbaijan is a Muslim country. 93.4% is the rate of Muslims in Azerbaijan. As for Russian orthodox its rate is 2.5%, Armenian orthodox is 2.3%, and other religions rate is 1.8%. Azerbaijani or (Azen) is the local language; which takes up 89%. The Russian languages takes up 2%, Armenian 3%; and other languages are 6%. The national holiday started in 1918 when Azerbaijan became democratic on the 28th of May. The classical music of Azerbaijan is called Mugam (more accurately spelled muðam), and is usually a suite with poetry and instrumental interludes. The sung poetry sometimes includes tahirr segments, which use a form of throat singing similar to yodelling. The poetry is typically about divine love and is most often linked to Sufi Islam.
The culture of Azerbaijan has developed as a result of many influences, including its Turkic, Persian, Islamic, and Central Asian heritage as well as Russian influences due to its former status as a Soviet republic. Because of their influence Azerbaijan has become an independent country. Alized consumer culture, are strong. In the 15th century, Azerbaijani literature was dominated by Black Sheep Turkmen (Qara Qoyunlu) and White Sheep Turkmen (Aq Qoyunlu) dynasties who ruled in parts of Iran. To this period belong such literary figures as Jahanshah Qaraqoyunlu (pen name Haqiqi), Habibi and Sheykh Qasim Enver.
Azerbaijan's economy is considered to be a growing economy with stable macroeconomics. Azerbaijan has been showing notable progress after it has shifted from a command economy to a more market oriented economy. Azerbaijan's Monetary System has the main objective of ensuring the stability of the national currency. Azerbaijan's currency is called the Azerbaijani Manat (AZM).Azerbaijan's currency reserves have been increasing year after year. Oil and gas total 90% of Azerbaijan's exports. The remaining 10% is made up of machinery, cotton and foodstuff. Imports on the other hand include foodstuff, machinery and equipment, metals and chemicals. Azerbaijan's dependency is mainly on its oil revenues. In fact, it has tried to expand and make this resource grow, making the country depend entirely on petroleum. This focus on oil has led Azerbaijan to neglect its other resources. Azerbaijan's economy also depends on foreign trade especially with former Soviet Union countries like itself. Azerbaijan is currently facing a $2.253 billion debt.
Some trade and economic organizations that Azerbaijan's economy depends on are the: Council of Europe (CoE), GUAM, an observer in the World Trade Organization (WTO), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Labor Organization (ILO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD), Asian Development Bank (AsDB), Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), International Development Agency (IDA), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Finance Cooperation (IFC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), an observer in the National Association of Manufacturing (NAM), an observer in the Organization of American States, Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), World Customs Organization (WCO), World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and World Trade Organization (WTO).
Azerbaijan's military structure is made up of the Army, Naval, Air Defense and Air Forces. Aside from theses branches there are also two independent branches, which are the Board and Coast Guard. The Azerbaijan Army is being developed and trained using the increase in military budget. This development of the Army is said to be for a main reason, which is the action against the Armenian army to reclaim Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh territory. The other branch of the military is the Azerbaijan Naval. The personnel in the Naval are trained to respond to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, human and drug trafficking and any regional or global threats. The Azerbaijani Naval has also been training and exercising with guest naval forces from the U.S. and Turkey. Their exercises included securing the safety of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, which is the main oil export pipeline in the Caspian region. The collapse of the Soviet Union left behind some installations of the Cold War that can be used by the Azerbaijani Air Defense. The Azeri ground based early warning capability comes from the Gabala OTH Radar, which can track Aircraft to the range of Lebanon. The Air Defense defends it Air using a wide missile system covering the Azeri Aerospace. Some missiles are even specifically installed for defense against Armenian Aircraft. The last branch of the Azerbaijani military is the Air Force, which sends its planes to protect the skies of Azerbaijan. The Air Force has two sub departments, which are the Transport fleet and Helicopter force. All the military branches come under the headline of "The Azerbaijan Armed Forces." The Azerbaijan Armed Forces were formed months before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Also, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan greatly depended on the Soviet military stationed on its grounds. Azeris even graduated from Russian military academies. Yet, none were given any high ranks or educated more than to fill the shoes of a soldier. This left the Azerbaijan military clueless and vulnerable after the collapse of the Soviet Union. They didn't even have equipment; relying on the seldom leftovers of the Soviets. After the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, Azerbaijan asked for support from western and Islamic countries. Turkish officers have been training the Azeri armed forces. Also, Turkey and the U.S. have several military bases in Azerbaijan; as well as the Freedom Fighters from Afghanistan. Azerbaijan signed the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe in July 1992. This treaty limits the amount of excess and unconventional military equipment. Azerbaijan was also allowed to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty because it has been proven to be non-nuclear. Azerbaijan is also one of the participants in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO's) Partnership for Peace. GUAM is regional organization; its name comes from the initial letter of each member country: Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. Each of the member states have troops stationed in Azerbaijan for the countries protection from Armenia. In June 6th, 2006 Azerbaijan signed an agreement with Tajikistan on military cooperation in Baku.
Views on World Problems:
Azerbaijan is an oil rich country; however, its people believe that they have more to offer than the country's oil to the rest of the world. The country has a blended Islamic, Middle Eastern, European culture. Azerbaijan is country that respects women rights and their freedom. In fact Azeri women have never been treated in an ill manner by men, neither have they been forced to wear a head scarf since it is a religious statement and Azerbaijan is an Islamic country.
Azerbaijan has even certain views on pressing world issues such as the issue of Iraq. Azerbaijan supports the US's position entirely.
Azerbaijan, however, is on the lower end of the power spectrum. Hence, it is more of a follower than a leader. Today it follows the actions of the US, trying to please it. Azerbaijan is concerned about Iran's nuclear power and the Palestinian issue and it hopes to resolve them in a peaceful manner to ensure world security. However, the country does follow a more US-like approach in facing the issues. Azerbaijan's actions to please the US are to ensure its economic future with it. Moreover, Azerbaijan is more concerned in resolving its own Nagorno-Karabakh territory problem than to start gaining power and playing a leading role in the world.
Azerbaijan is part of the following international organizations, groupings and blocs: AsDB, BSEC, CE, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer).
Azerbaijan was the first Muslim Republic in the world. Soon after the collapse of the Russian Empire in World War I, Azerbaijan proclaimed itself as the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic; this was in 1918. However, it was not entirely independent. The British government and the occupational force was guiding its way, although, it didnít recognize Azerbaijan as a republic it still cooperated with the government. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, however, only lasted two years; until 1920.
After that the Soviet Red Army invaded the country and Azerbaijan became part of the Soviet Union. It was proclaimed a Soviet Socialist Republic. During that year the country's major threat and problem, the Nagorno-Karabakh territory, started to evolve. This territory is inhabited with a majority of Armenians; yet, it is part of Azerbaijan. During World War II, Azerbaijan played a significant role in fueling the Soviet Union with gas and oil, its # 1 resource. Although many Azeris fought and died fighting the Germans under the Soviet flag, Germany never set foot in Azerbaijan. The Soviet Union not only invaded Azerbaijan but also Iranian Azerbaijan, a region in Iran with a majority of Azeris. The Soviet Union even thought of unifying the two Azerbaijans and making them one. Pressure, however, from of Western powers led to the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Iranian Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan continued to be part of the Soviet Union and controlled by the government in Moscow until it gained its independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, becoming part of the Common Wealth of Independent States. After ridding itself from one problem, Azerbaijan turned to face a larger issue. Disputes with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory grew into massacres. Armenian troops entered the region and declared it an independent republic, just as Azerbaijan removed the Communist Party and proclaimed itself the Republic of Azerbaijan. Although a cease-fire has been reached, both sides have killed minorities from the other side. Azerbaijan is not ready to give in, it wants to reclaim Karabakh either by peace or force and the issue has yet to be resolved.
These two years of stability were cut short by the currently most major problem in Azerbaijan. Armenia took total control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region as well as 20% of Azerbaijan's territory. The Nagorno-Karabakh region is an Azerbaijani territory, which is predominantly populated by an Armenian majority. This region has been aiming for its independence from Azerbaijan for decades. It is today occupied by Armenian military forces that Azerbaijan has fought against. This region has caused a massive war in the early 90's; hence, affecting Azerbaijan's political stability. Although there is a current cease-fire between the two countries, this issue is increasing Azerbaijan's political instability. Azerbaijan will not rest until it has regained what it believes to be its rightful territory. A side effect of this situation is the way Azerbaijan's government is handled. The type of government is trying to shift from an authoritarian to a democracy; however, the focusing on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue has caused them to neglect this. This shift is believed to bring more political stability into the country because of the way elections and campaigns have been interfered with.
Issue 1: Review of the Implementation of the Durban Conference
The Durban 2001 world conference against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. It was held in South Africa in the city of Durban, on the date of august 31, till September 7 2001. This world conference was held to try to stop racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. In 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the international community has made some important advances in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. National and international laws have been started and numerous international human rights instruments. A treaty to ban racial discrimination has been signed. Progress has been made and UDHR and the UN are still trying to stop all these problems.
As for Azerbaijanís relations to the conference many things happened to Azerbaijan. Like in the issue of racial discrimination the enemy Armenia has taken a part of Azerbaijan. Armenia has taken Nagorno- Karabakh, an area that was rightfully an Azerbaijani area. So Azerbaijan has been involved a lot in the conference. But still Azerbaijan must retaliate. Also Azerbaijan is helping in every way possible to help on the other issues like racism. Although a lot of Azerbaijani people speak Armenian they are treated like one another.
Issue 2: Palestinian Refugees
Today there are more than 3.7 million Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps throughout the Middle East and many more exiles worldwide. The issue is Palestinian victimsí right of return to the occupied territories and their right to restitution as well as compensation. The United Nations is trying it's best to that problem. But it has been a difficult task while USA is always vetoing and issue against Israel. Still the UN has made quite a progress, like getting most of the refuges a new home. And the rest still wait and have faith of getting back what's rightfully theirs. And the UN is doing an excellent job.
Azerbaijan is helping the refuges but not a lot. Since Palestine is a Muslim country and an Arabian Azerbaijan helps even more. Azerbaijan sends food and water, build shelters. Azerbaijan is helping out because it doesnít want the past to repeat itself like Azerbaijan and Armenia, and other countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other than that Azerbaijan is just working on its problems and helping Palestine.