Baku, October 23, AZERTAC
A preparatory ministerial meeting of the 18th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement has been held in Baku.
Addressing the meeting, Azerbaijan`s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said: “We are extremely encouraged by the level of interest of NAM Member States to attend the Baku Summit which gives us a firm conviction that the 18th Summit is going to be another success story for our Movement.”
The FM said: “As the second largest international political organization after the United Nations, our Movement provides a broad and inclusive platform for political consultations and practical cooperation. Throughout its history, NAM has played a fundamental role in strengthening international peace and security. The end of Cold War has not diminished the role of our Movement in the international relations system, but rather reinforced its significance in light of the growing challenges. Today the major task before us must be to activate the role of the Movement for making it adequate to new realities in the current geopolitical landscape by promoting and upholding its founding principles which continue to be as much valid and relevant as they were when incepted.”
“The Republic of Azerbaijan is the last entrant of the Non-Aligned Movement bas it became full-fledged member of the Movement in May 2011. In only 8 years we have managed to gain full confidence of NAM constituency to be entrusted with the chairmanship of the Movement. I take this opportunity to thank all NAM Member States for this great honor and to reiterate our strict adherence to the founding principles of the Movement.
Azerbaijan pursues an independent foreign policy and is not a party to any military alliance. At the same time, we are a rapidly developing country that puts a special emphasis on sustainable development, democratization, fostering the respect for human rights and social justice.”
Elmar Mammadyarov said: “One of the priority areas that we will pay utmost attention during our chairmanship is youth empowerment. Successful youth policies play an important role in ensuring sustainable development of the society. Outcome documents of NAM Summit and Ministerial meetings which will be adopted, addressed various aspects of youth policies such as increasing youth participation in public administration, addressing their social, education and employment problems, as well as more active engagement of youth in achieving the goals and targets of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. As a practical measure towards implementation of the objectives set out in those documents, Azerbaijan has come up with the initiative to organize the first ever NAM Youth Summit in Baku. The Youth Summit which will be held in parallel to our Meeting tomorrow brings together 40 outstanding representatives of youth from the Member States of the Movement. As a result of the 2-day deliberations they will present recommendations to the 18th Summit of Heads of State and Government of NAM. We are confident that non-governmental initiative of the NAM Youth Network to be established as a result of the Youth Summit will render valuable support of the youth to the entire NAM activities.”
“As most of the NAM Member States are developing countries, advancing economic cooperation within the Movement is of utmost importance. Moreover, promoting cooperation in such fields as energy security, environment, healthcare, labour, and promoting the interests of NAM Member States to that end within the United Nations bears great significance.
Azerbaijan has been pioneering and actively participating in regional economic projects and initiatives, such as East-West, North-South transport corridors, and is currently working on the South-West transport corridor project. Geographic location of many NAM Member States along these three corridors can contribute to further development of mutually beneficial cooperation among the Members of the Movement.
Azerbaijan is considered to be one of the world centers of intercultural and inter-religious dialogue. With its vast experience and best practices in this field Azerbaijan is keen to continue its efforts aimed at preserving and promoting cultural diversity which is one of the priorities of our Movement,” he noted.
FM Mammadyarov said: “Regretfully the continued occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia continues to represent serious threat to regional and international security and undermines the efforts of my country to utilize its full potential for sustainable development. The conflict with Armenia has resulted in the occupation of one fifth of the territory of Azerbaijan and has made around 1 million internally displaced and refugee. Since the very first day of the conflict, combat operations have been conducted exclusively inside the territory of Azerbaijan, almost in the middle of the country, affecting its civilian population and infrastructure. I wish to express the warmest gratitude to all Member States of NAM for their continued support to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders.”
“Chairmanship of Azerbaijan to the Non-Aligned Movement will coincide with the 65th anniversary of Bandung Principles (2020) and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of NAM (2021). Both anniversaries will provide an excellent momentum for the NAM Member States to take stock of the achievements made so far. On our part we commit to sparing no effort with a view to contributing to the advancement of the founding principles of the Movement,” Elmar Mammadyarov added.
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