The policy carried out by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the direction of the successful development of cooperation and enlargement of mutually favourable economic relationship between Azerbaijan and European states has played a significant role in establishing and developing cooperation with relevant entities of European countries in the field of state property management and privatisation as well as real property and land administration besides those implemented in other spheres.
In this regard, definite cooperation measures for real property and land administration have successfully been realized between the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the State Committee on Property Issues of the Respublic of Azerbaijan.
On May 7, 2014, the delegation of the State Committee on Property Issues of the Republic of Azerbaijan under the leadership of Mr. Karam Hasanov, Chairperson of the State Committee, participated at a meeting of the UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management in Geneva, Switzerland. The status of implementation of the Sustainable Housing and Land Administration Strategy in the UNECE region for 2014–2020 adopted by the 74th session of this Committee held on 8 October 2013, and the draft text of the Charter on Sustainable Housing were discussed at that meeting. The official delegations and representatives of diplomatic missions of UNECE 56 member States took part in the discussions which were led by the SCPI representative who is Chair of UNECE Working Party on Land Administration. In the end, by taking into account some of the suggestions made by UNECE member States representatives attending the meeting, an amended version of of the Charter was adopted. Moreover, it was decided to organise the discussion of the draft once more with the participation of states’ representatives.
The meeting of real property and land administration, housing and natural resources ministers started on the same day. The event, which also included the participation of the Chairperson of the State Committee on Property Issues of the Republic of Azerbaijan, attended by: Minister for Lands and Natural Resources of Ghana, Minister of Housing and Lands of Mauritius, Minister of Earth Science of India, Minister of Natural Resources of Malaysia, Minister of Earth Sciences and Natural Resources of Canada, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, Director of UNITAR, Executive Director of Land and Property Management General Directorate of UAE Municipal Affairs Ministry and Hon’ble Commissioner of Establishments, Training and Pensions of Lagos State Government. The participants discussed the achievements they obtained and challenges they faced in their countries as well as further prospectives. The Chairperson of the State Committee on Property Issues of the Republic of Azerbaijan also delivered a presentation. He briefed on the rapid development of Azerbaijani economy as well as the necessary reforms currently carried out in the country subject to improvement of real property and land administration. At the end of the meeting, the ministers answered questions of the audience.
In the meantime, while the meeting of the UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management was being held, the Geospatial World Forum was organised by the Geospatial Media and Communications jointly with the UNECE Secretariat that took place from 5 to 9 May. During the Forum an exhibition was held where the up-to-date geospatial industry, geoengineering, land and real property administration and spatial measure-monitoring products, equipment and services were exhibited. Those were the products of Trimble, Topcon, DigitalGlobe, Hexagon, Oracle, Esri, JRC, Urisa, OGC and other internationally known worldwide companies.
Within the Forum, the international conference on “Land Information Systems for Smart Cities” was initiated. The Conference was opened by a keynote speech of Prof. Arup Dasgupta, Managing Editor of the Geospatial Media and Communications. He briefed on “a smart city” term and the important role of the efficient land information systems while erecting, improving and governing such cities. At the welcoming session, Mr. Karam Hasanov, Chairperson of the State Committee on Property Issues of the Republic of Azerbaijan, made a speech. He talked on the fact that Azerbaijan has become one of the fastly developing countries of the world thanks to the successful policy carried out by the President of the country, the wide-scale reforms having realized in Azerbaijan during the last 10 years, including the importance of the state property management and privatisation, maintainance of the state registration and unified cadastre of real property as well as address register and developing the National Spatial Data Infrastructure considered to be very topical for the country recently restored its state independence. Within the welcoming session, the SCPI representative who is Chair of UNECE Working Party on Land Administration also delivered a presentation. He stated on the mandate and objectives of the Working Party he is chair of as well as on “Concept on Formation of Smart Cities” being prepared by the Working Party for UNECE 56 member States.
The two-day international conference included the participation of high-level governmental officials, representatives of public, non-governmental and international organisations as well as the private sector and media from 89 states of the world. The Conference comprised the wide discussion of land information systems’ promotion for the proper use of natural resources and improvement of state governance by taking into account economic, social and environmental aspects within the process of erection of smart cities. In the end, stating the lessons ontained and further prospectives focused on by the Conference, the SCPI representative who is Chair of UNECE Working Party on Land Administration closed the Geospatial World Forum and International Conference “Land Information Systems for Smart Cities” and wished success to participants of the events.