Since becoming a member state of the Council of Europe on 25 January 2001, Azerbaijan has been actively and vigorously cooperating with all working institutions of the Council of Europe. The Committee of Ministers is the Council of Europe's decision-making body. It comprises the Foreign Affairs Ministers of all the member states, or their permanent diplomatic representatives in Strasbourg. It is considered to be the guardian of the Council of Europe's fundamental values, as human rights, democracy and rule of law, and it monitors member states' compliance with their undertakings. More detailed information about the Azerbaijan - Committee of Ministers relations is widely described in the attached paper on the chronology of Azerbaijan - Council of Europe relations.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is a consultative body of the Council of Europe and meets four times a year for part-sessions in Strasbourg. The PACE comrises 318 representatives and 318 substitutes appointed by national parliaments of the Council of Europe Countries. The parliament of each country sends a delegation of between two and eighteen representatives, depending on the country's population. Azerbaijan is represented in the PACE by a delegation of twelve parliamentarians, six of them being representatives and the other six being substitutes. The delegation of Azerbaijan is actively participating in and contributing to the work of the PACE, by attending and delivering speeches at plenary and committee meetings as well as by preparing reports of the Committees of the PACE.
For the first time, on 24-27 April, 2001, the delegation of Azerbaijan to the PACE headed by Mr. Ilham Aliyev participated in the plenary part-session of the PACE as a full member. As a result of Mr. Ilham Aliyev's constant efforts, consequences of Armenia's aggressive policy was successfully brought to attention of PACE members. Thus, during the session, the written statement titled “The recognition of genocide committed by Armenians to the Azerbaijani population” signed by 29 representatives of 9 countries represented in 5 political groups of the PACE, and a motion for the recommendation titled “The prisoners and hostages of war kept in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh” signed by 20 representatives of 14 countries was disseminated as the official documents of the PACE. The document condemned the massacre of Khodjaly inhabitants by Armenians, the occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory by Armenia, the fact of holding 783 Azerbaijanis, including children, women and elderly as hostages in Armenia and occupied territories of Azerbaijan.