UNECE released yesterday in Baku its Country Profile on the Housing Sector of Azerbaijan.
In opening remarks at the launch event held in Baku, Mr. Marco Keiner, Director of the UNECE Environment, Housing and Land Management Division, addressed some of the trends in the housing sector of Azerbaijan and highlighted specific challenges facing this country. “Local and regional governments should be given greater independence for designing and implementing local housing policies, based on their local needs”, he said. He further emphasized that housing maintenance and management must be given high priority to keep the housing stock in a safe and decent condition: “Azerbaijan is also facing great challenges when it comes to informal settlements. We support the Government’s concern for these issues”. He highlighted that the Country Profile recommends the development of effective legislation and mechanisms for targeting existing illegal housing and preventing further illegal construction.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Dovlatkhanov, Deputy Head of the State Committee of Architecture and Town Planning of the Republic of Azerbaijan, affirmed that Azerbaijan would use the Country Profile “as a toolkit to address existing institutional and legislative gaps and implement sound housing policies in our country”.
Government representatives then detailed the implementation of the new Housing Code of Azerbaijan, enacted in October 2009, which covers several of the recommendations contained in the Country Profile study. Particular emphasis was made on the need to establish a single Governmental agency responsible for the development and implementation of national housing policies and programmes.
The Government of Azerbaijan has also implemented programmes focused on improving energy efficiency in buildings and increasing the rational use of energy in the construction sector. In that connection, it was noted that the Government could use the recently adopted Action Plan for Energy-efficient Housing in the UNECE Region to facilitate the implementation of measures aimed at removing barriers to energy efficiency in the housing sector.
The key objective of the Country Profile launch event was to promote the report among policymakers and relevant stakeholders and to define future steps towards the implementation of its recommendations. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Azer Khanlarov from the State Agency for Control over Safety in Construction under the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and involved participants from all the relevant sectors dealing with housing and construction, including Government officials, developers, local authorities and international organizations.
For more about the UNECE country profiles, please visit: http://www.unece.org/hlm/prgm/cph/welcome.html
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Note to editors
The UNECE Country Profiles on the Housing Sector represent a tool for Governments to analyse their housing policies, strategies, institutional, legal, financial and socio-economic frameworks and to compare it with the progress made internationally. These studies have led to changes in old legal frameworks and the development of new legislation; stimulated the development of new projects; triggered the renovation of the housing stock; encouraged new research and activities within member States and the United Nations; and increased public awareness on important issues such as housing management and energy efficiency in housing.
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