The Commissioner

Elmira Teymur gizi Suleymanova is a famous scientist and public figure.  She was born on 17 July, 1937 in Baku city.

In 1954 she finished the secondary school N134 in Baku. In 1954-1959 she studied in the Chemistry faculty of the Azerbaijan State University and graduated from it with honors diploma.

Since 1959, she had been working as a laboratory assistant, junior researcher, senior researcher, and head of laboratory at the Institute of Petro-chemical processes of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) named after Y.H. Mammadaliyev.

She entered the postgraduate course at ANAS in 1967 and she defended her thesis on Petrochemicals.

She is a Doctor of Chemical science since 1980. In 1970 she became a senior researcher and in 1988 a professor; she is a member of New York Academy of Sciences since 1997. 

An author of more than 260 scientific publications, over 40 innovations, supervised 5 doctors and 16 candidates of sciences.

E.Suleymanova worked as a scientific secretary of Chemistry sciences of ANAS (1967-1971), Deputy chief of Coordination Committee on Petrochemicals (1970-1995), a member of Coordination Council on the same issue under the USSR Academy of Science, and a member of the editorial board of the All-union scientific journal "Petrochemicals" (1986-1990), a member of “Bilik” Society Board on Chemistry issues and a head of its Baku branch, a member of Expert Council on chemistry of Republic Sumpreme Attestation Commission (1998-2000).

Has received honorary titles of Honorary chemist ","Inventor of the USSR ", was rewarded with the Orders of "the Badge of Honour" (1986),  "GLORY" (2007) and "HONOUR" (2017)  and  Labour veteran and other medals.  She is a laureate of a prize named after academic Y Mammadaliyev. In 2008, she was rewarded the officer class "the Red Cross of the Order" of the Republic of Poland by the President of Poland. In 2016 was elected honorary general director of International Biography Center.

From 1980, she has contributed to promotion of women’s movement in the country. Passed a courses on Women’s Leadership at the Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand). In 1990-1994 was a vice-president of Woman Organization of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan Women and Development Center, of which Elmira Suleymanova was a founder, president and since 2002 a honorary president, is the representative of the UN Research and Training Institute on Development of Women for Azerbaijan and is in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. The center that was founded in 1994 and registered in 1995 is the only NGO awarded this status.

During her presidency of AWDC, E. Suleymanova was elected as a member of Women in Development International Association, Monitoring Group on Asia-Pacific region, International Peace Bureau, International League of Women for Peace and Friendship. In general, she is a member of more than 15 international organization, and cooperates with different UN agencies like UNHCHR, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNIFEM, UNDPI, and others.

She has initiated and conducted a number of projects on issues of refugees and IDPs, migration of local people in cities and villages of Azerbaijan, woman abuse in families, rehabilitation of refugee children, reproductive health and family planning.

She founded and leaded Azerbaijan Children and Youth Network (2000), Leadership School within that Network (2001) and NGO Alliance for Protection of Women, children and youth (2000).

About 1500 alumni of Azerbaijan Children and Youth Network, Ombudsman’s resource center on child rights passed a course on learning and teaching child rights to their peers in compliance with UN Convention on child Rights. As a result of this successful work, E. Suleymanova was elected as a national coordinator on child rights and worked in Regional Committee of Eastern Europe and CIS Countries NGOs at UNICEF in 2000-2002.

In 2001 she created the first Resource Center for elderly people in the country, now this center also functions as the Ombudsman’s resource center.

She is one of the Leaders of the International Women’s Movement. She was honored by the Rochester University (New York, USA), as a defender of women and girls’ rights and one of 100 World Women Heroes who are role models for them. (1998).

Participated at the UN General Assembly Special Sessions and Global Conferences on Human Rights (Vienne, 1993), Population and Development (Cairo, 1994, Haque, 1999), the Annual Sessions of UN Commission on Women’s Statues (1995-2002), Habitat (Istanbul, 1996, New-York, 2001), Social Development Issues (Geneva, 2001), child rights (New York, 2002), etc as a member of Government or NGO delegation.

Participated with presentations in special sessions conferences  on Human rights (Vienna 1993) Population and Development (Cairo, 1994, Haag, 1999) women issues (Beijing, 1995, New York, 2000) Habitat (Istanbul, 1996, New-York 2001), Social development (Geneva, 200) child rights issues (New York, 2001) of UN General Assembly as the representative and coordinator of state and non-governmental organization and worked at regional organizations.

She was the representative of several congresses of women held before Azerbaijan gained its independence, also of first (1998), second (2003) and third (2008) congresses of Independent Azerbaijani women.

She was a member of the Pardon Commission at the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2000-2002), is a member of the Coordinating Council of the World Azerbaijanis since 2000. She participated in the second and the third congresses of World Azerbaijanis.  

Due to her high professionalism and great reputation in the society Elmira Suleymanova was one of three candidates nominated by Heydar Aliyev, the country president to the position of Human rights Commissioner (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan. During the voting at the Parliament with participation of 112 parliamentarians, on 2 July, 2002 E. Suleymanova, who has rich experience in human rights, won votes of 111 parliamentarians and was elected as the first Ombudsman of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

She has been honored with the International Peace Prize. (New-York, 2003). E. Suleymanova was included into the list of nominates to the project “1000 Women- for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize” by the international coordinators of the Nobel Peace Prizes Committee located in Oslo and her name was published in the book “1000 Women of the World”.

Azerbaijani Ombudsman is the member of the International and European Ombudsmen institutes, Asian ombudsmen Association, also the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC). Ombudsman represented the Office in more than 70 conferences on human rights held all over the World and built effective cooperation with international organizations.

On 5 March 2010, E. Suleymanova was re-elected by the Parliament among the three candidates nominated to the position of the Human Rights Commissioner by the country President.

On 2 December 2008, the Commissioner for Human Rights was designated the function of National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) by the Presidential Decree dated 13 January, 2009 on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The Constitutional Law on making amendments to the Constitutional Law on Ombudsman was adopted by the Parliament on 21 December 2010 during the first voting and was adopted by the Parliament on 24 June 2011 during the second voting, as well as signed by the President by the Decree No. 1674 of 8 august 2011.

Following the additions and amendments to the Constitutional Law, in line with the provisions of the UN OPCAT, the functions of Ombudsman as an NPM were legally determined. Under the mentioned Law, the Commissioner was also designated to control the implementation of the provisions of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Access to Information.

The Azerbaijani Ombudsman is a member of the European NPM Network by the Council of Europe Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law as well as Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and participates in relevant international events.

By the Decree No. 2/387 of the head of the President Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated 14 May 2011, the Ombudsman was also empowered to function as an independent monitoring mechanism as stated in the Article 33.2 of the CRPD.

In 2012 compliance of work of the Ombudsman Office with the Paris Principles was confirmed once more and the Office was re-accredited with the highest “A” status by the UN International Coordination Committee (ICC).

The National Action Program on to raise effectiveness of the protection of human rights and freedoms in the Republic of Azerbaijan was approved by the Presidential Decree dated 27 December 2011. E. Suleymanova is the head of the Working Group on the coordination, monitoring and campaign of that successfully implemented program which was a logical continuation of the National Action Plan on human rights of 2006.       

In November 2015 at the meeting of Directors’ Board,  she was elected as the vice president of Asian Ombudsman Association for next two years.