Istanbul, May 23, AZERTAC
The World Humanitarian Summit has kicked off in Istanbul, Turkey.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva attended the Summit.
The Summit started with a joint breakfast of the leaders. The participants then posed for photographs.
Co-organized by the Republic of Turkey and UN, the first ever Summit brings together a total of more than 5,000 delegates including up to 60 UN member states' heads of state and government, officials of the crisis-affected countries, representatives of international organizations, NGOs and the private sector.
The purpose of the summit is to set a forward-looking agenda for humanitarian action to collectively address future humanitarian challenges. The aim is to build a more inclusive and diverse humanitarian system committed to humanitarian principles.
President Ilham Aliyev addressed the Summit.
Speech by President Ilham Aliyev
Mr. Chairman, Madam chair, ladies and gentleman
I believe that the results of the summit will contribute to the improvement of the living standards of the people who suffer from humanitarian crisis.
We Azerbaijanis know very good what it is like to be refugees and internally displaced persons. As a result of Armenian aggression, 20 per cent of our internationally recognized territories is under occupation, more than one million of Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons.
Armenia committed ethnic cleansing and genocide against Azerbaijanis. Khojaly genocide committed by Armenia in 1992 is recognized by more than 10 countries. As a result of Khojaly genocide 613 civilians were brutally killed, among them 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly. More than one thousand people are missing. Armenia continues its policy of aggression against Azerbaijan.
In April 2016, Armenia launched new attack on peaceful Azerbaijani citizens. As a result of this attack our soldiers and officers, as well as six civilians were killed. More than 30 civilians were wounded. As a result of the shelling of our citizens and villages more than 500 houses were damaged, more than 100 houses were completely destroyed and burned. Armenian army used prohibited chemical weapons against civilians, particularly white phosphorus bomb.
All the war crimes committed by Armenia are documented and presented to international monitors. In order to protect our civilian population Azerbaijani army conducted successful counter-attack and only after that aggressor was stopped. Armenia ignores four United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the territory of Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other districts of Azerbaijan are occupied. In some cases United Nations Security Council resolutions are implemented within days if not hours. But in our case they remained on paper for more than twenty years. This is a policy of double standards towards Azerbaijan. Armenia must implement these resolutions or be sanctioned. Territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored.
Another serious threat to the whole region is an outdated Armenian nuclear power plant in Metsamor. There is information that Armenia is illegally using the radioactive waste. Former prime minister, member of parliament and other officials of Armenia declared this April that Armenia has a nuclear weapon, so-called dirty bomb. This statement must be thoroughly examined by corresponding international organizations. Armenian nuclear threat and blackmail must be stopped. Azerbaijan does its best to overcome the consequences of humanitarian catastrophe caused by Armenia.
More than six billion dollars were spent to improve living conditions of our refugees and IDPs. The level of poverty among refugees and IDPs dropped from 75 to 12 per cent. In general, poverty level in Azerbaijan dropped from almost 50 to 5 percent in the last 12 years. Azerbaijan provides and will continue to provide assistance to countries suffering from similar problems. We provided financial assistance to support United Nations Ebola response and recovery actions. We are also committed to promoting cooperation among relevant institutions and stakeholders for ensuring access of population to early warning system and disaster-risk information.