President Ilham Aliyev made speech at High-Level Commemorative Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in video format VIDEO
Baku, October 11, AZERTAC
A High-Level Commemorative Meeting to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement has today kicked off in Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement Ilham Aliyev chaired the official opening part of the event.
The Non-Aligned Movement celebrates its 60th anniversary. As an important political platform in establishing and developing fruitful cooperation among 120 countries of the world, including Azerbaijan, the Non-Aligned Movement is an influential organization that demonstrates commitments to its principles in the international arena. The contribution made by this organization during the presidency of Azerbaijan to the fight against global challenges is highly appreciated on an international scale.
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President of Azerbaijan and Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement Ilham Aliyev said:
- Your Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen. As chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, the organizer of this meeting held by Azerbaijan and Serbia, I cordially welcome you to this high-level meeting dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement. Today we are celebrating a historic event, because the first conference of the heads of state and government of the member states of the Non-Aligned Movement took place in Belgrade in 1961. Before moving on to discussions, it is necessary to approve the agenda of the meeting. The provisional agenda of the meeting has been shared with the delegates. If there are no objections, the agenda can be approved. As you can see, there are no objections. The agenda was approved.
Speech of President Ilham Aliyev
Dear President Vucic,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I express my gratitude to Mr. Aleksandar Vucic, President of Serbia for hosting this High-Level Commemorative Meeting on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement. This initiative demonstrates Serbia’s respect for its historical heritage and the NAM’s principles.
Since its establishment in 1961 in Belgrade, the NAM has played an important role in the international arena with its dedicated efforts for the sake of global peace, justice and solidarity in the world.
Being the largest international institution after the UN General Assembly, the NAM is considered a genuine example of multilateralism with its cross-regional membership, uniting 120 countries from diverse historical, political, and cultural backgrounds.
The historical Bandung principles, such as the respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity, refraining from acts of aggression, and the non-interference in the internal affairs lie at the core of the NAM. Those principles remain valid and essential in the current international relations. If the Bandung Principles were upheld by all States, we would not observe the wars and conflicts.
The violation of the territorial integrity of States with the use of force is totally unacceptable. Azerbaijan fully supports the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.
In order to contribute more to strengthening peace, security, international law and justice Azerbaijan decided to join the NAM family in 2011.
In a short time, Azerbaijan gained great confidence and esteem among the Member States of the Movement, and with a unanimous decision of the NAM leaders of 2016, Azerbaijan was elected as the chair of the NAM for the period of 2019-2022.
At the 18th Summit of Non-Aligned Movement, held in Baku in 2019, I stressed that Azerbaijan would build its chairmanship priorities and activities on the basis of the Bandung principles and resolutely defend the justice and norms of international law. Azerbaijan conducts fully independent domestic and foreign policy, and effectively neutralizes all attempts of foreign interference into its internal affairs.
As the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, Azerbaijan took its role as the chair of the Movement responsibly and undertook serious efforts to ensure the Movement’s adequate and timely response to the challenges caused by the pandemic. Azerbaijan put forward a number of initiatives to consolidate global efforts against the pandemic. We initiated and held the NAM Online Summit at the level of Heads of State and Government in May 2020. As a practical outcome of the Summit, a database encompassing the basic humanitarian and medical needs of NAM Member States was created, and the World Health Organization uses the database as a reference point for identifying the existing needs of NAM Member States in addressing the pandemic.
Further to my suggestion at the Summit, which was later supported by more than 150 UN Member States, the Special Session of the UN General Assembly in response to coronavirus at the level of the Heads of State and Government was held in December 2020.
Azerbaijan also made voluntary financial contributions to the World Health Organization in the amount of $10 million, half of which was a direct assistance to the NAM Member States. Furthermore, we provided direct financial and humanitarian assistance to more than 30 countries, including NAM members, to support their fight against the coronavirus. More than 150 000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been donated by Azerbaijan to 4 countries free of charge.
Azerbaijan has been vocal in expressing its discontent against the stockpiling of vaccines by some wealthy countries and the “vaccine nationalism”. Such actions prevent most of our fellow NAM countries from protecting their population. The disparity in vaccine access is huge. According to international reports, while more than 75 percent of the world’s vaccine doses have been purchased by 10 wealthy countries, the vaccine coverage in low-income countries is less than 2 percent.
This March, with the initiative of Azerbaijan, as the chair of the NAM, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously adopted a resolution on equitable and universal access to vaccines. We are also planning to put forward, on behalf of the NAM, a similar initiative at the UN General Assembly during this session, and we count on your support.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Unfortunately, double standards and selective approaches applied with respect to the norms and principles of international law and decisions of international organizations have been negatively affecting the fair and just settlement of conflicts throughout the world. Azerbaijan has also been affected by such a selective attitude for the last three decades.
Benefiting from the double standards thriving in international relations, Armenia, in blatant violation of norms and principles of international law, was able to keep under occupation almost 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan for about 30 years; conducted ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis, both in its own territory and in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan; committed Khojaly genocide in February 1992, killing hundreds of civilians including 106 women and 63 children; violated basic human rights, including the right to return of more than one million of Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs.
However, Armenia did not face any sanction for its military aggression and refusal to implement the four resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council in 1993, which demanded immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of armed forces of Armenia from Azerbaijan’s occupied territories. No difference was made between the aggressor state and the state that has faced an occupation. On the contrary, Armenia was consolidating the occupation, committing war crimes, conducting illegal settlement and illicit exploitation of natural resources and destroying the cultural and religious heritage of Azerbaijani people.
Inspired by impunity, Armenia went even further through threatening Azerbaijan with a new war for new territories and resorting to military provocations along the state border and the former line of contact.
On September 27th 2020, Armenia launched a large-scale military attack against Azerbaijan. In response, Azerbaijani Army conducted a counter-offensive operation in its own territories and liberated its occupied territories.
Totally defeated in the course of the 44-day Patriotic War, Armenia had to sign an act of capitulation on 10 November 2020. Azerbaijan, by itself, ensured the implementation of the abovementioned UN Security Council resolutions; resolved the 30-year-long conflict and restored its territorial integrity and historical justice by military-political means. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is left in the past.
We reiterate our appreciation for the constant support of the NAM countries to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. The support of seven NAM countries as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council during the Patriotic War was of great value for us. They did not allow the UN Security Council to be misguided with the adoption of a one-sided press-statement neglecting the UN Security Council resolutions of 1993. Thus, these countries demonstrated their firm adherence to the NAM’s principled position stemming from its documents.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
During the time of occupation, Armenia deliberately destroyed cities and villages, all cultural and religious sites of Azerbaijan in the occupied territories. The aim of Armenia was to erase the traces of Azerbaijani people living in these territories for centuries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year, the Member States of the Movement unanimously decided to extend Azerbaijan’s chairmanship for one more year until late 2023. We highly appreciate this as the sign of recognition of Azerbaijan’s successful and effective steering of the Movement. Azerbaijan will continue to work towards further strengthening the solidarity within the NAM and uplifting the Movement’s political weight and global visibility.
We have suggested convening a high-level meeting of the NAM Member States to exchange views and formulate the position of the Movement concerning the post-COVID-19 period. It would be rational for the NAM to advocate for the creation of a UN High-Level Panel on Global Recovery from the Covid-19.
Azerbaijani chairmanship takes steps to develop cooperation among parliamentarians of the NAM Member States.
A week ago, the chairmanship inaugurated the NAM Youth Network.
I suggest that the NAM Member States think about the idea of NAM’s institutionalization. Azerbaijan, in its capacity as the chair, will hold consultations to collect views of the NAM Member States to this end.
To conclude, I assure you that Azerbaijan as the chair of the NAM will spare no effort to further strengthen the NAM’s role in addressing global challenges in the international relations and defend justice, international law and the legitimate interests of the NAM Member States.
Thank you for your attention.
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President Ilham Aliyev: And now I have the honor to hand the floor over to the co-organizer of the event, my dear friend, President of the Republic of Serbia, His Excellency Mr. Aleksandar Vucic, for an address to the participants. Please, Mr. President.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic: Dear friend, Mr. Aliyev.
Thank you for your introduction and participation in organizing this magnificent meeting. I am grateful to you for your contribution to this cause.
The Serbian President noted that the idea of establishing the Non-Aligned Movement was based on peace. He stressed that peace plays the role of a fundamental principle for the development of cooperation in the political sphere, in the field of culture or economy.
Once again expressing gratitude to the President of Azerbaijan for supporting this event, Aleksandar Vucic said: Thank you, my dear friend Ilham Aliyev. I am truly sorry that you are not here with us today. I convey my warmest greetings to Azerbaijan. Thank you again.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much, my dear friend, Mr. President Vucic. I also regret not being there with you. However, I believe that distance is not an obstacle to our friendship and solidarity. Once again, I would like to personally express my gratitude to you for holding such a meeting and for the excellent organization of this event, as well as the excellent initiative you have put forward. Thank you for the great speech. I appreciate your leadership. I do hope to see you in person soon.
And now I would like to give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly. Please.
Abdulla Shahid: In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious and Merciful. President of the Republic of Serbia, His Excellency Mr. Vucic, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, His Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am truly honored to be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement together with you. I express my approval to the governments of Serbia and Azerbaijan for the joint organization of this meeting. I want to specifically emphasize the leadership of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which presides over the Non-Aligned Movement at a very difficult time.
Abdulla Shahid stressed that the Non-Aligned Movement encourages peace, cooperation and friendship on the planet.
Touching upon the significance of the special session of the UN General Assembly on the fight against coronavirus held on the initiative of Azerbaijan, Abdulla Shahid said: These efforts were explicitly demonstrated during the special session of the General Assembly dedicated to COVID-19 in December 2020. It was initiated by member states of the Non-Aligned Movement. The special session called for an internationally coordinated response to the pandemic and provided a unique opportunity to share experiences. The Non-Aligned Movement's support for a multilateral approach in the fight against COVID-19 coincides with my views associated with the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
After underlining the importance of Azerbaijan's chairmanship in the Non-Aligned Movement, President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid said: Let me praise the Government of Azerbaijan for the attention it has paid to youth during its chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement, in particular, the creation of the Youth Network of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Modular Simulation Training Center of the Non-Aligned Movement. Youth development and gender equality are also a priority for me as President of the General Assembly.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much, Mr. President of the UN General Assembly, for your speech.
I now have the honor to give the floor to the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, His Excellency Miroslav Jenca, to present a pre-recorded video message of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, His Excellency Antonio Guterres, to the participants of the meeting.
Miroslav Jenca expressed his gratitude to Azerbaijan and Serbia for the excellent organization of the event and hospitality.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres noted in his video message that the Non-Aligned Movement united two-thirds of the UN member states, adding that the organization plays an important role in ensuring peace and security on the planet.
Stating the importance of prompt vaccination of the population of all countries, the Secretary General emphasized that G20 countries needed to mobilize efforts to implement the strategy of the World Health Organization on global vaccination.
President Ilham Aliyev: I express my gratitude to His Excellency Secretary General for the statement.
Dear colleagues, we will now watch a short film prepared by our Serbian friends. It is dedicated to the first summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Belgrade 60 years ago.
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A short film about the first summit of the Non-Aligned Movement was demonstrated.
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President Ilham Aliyev: Dear friends. On behalf of all of us, I would like to express deep respect to the memory of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement, thank them for their views, solidarity and the work done. They laid the foundation for this institution, which has been proving effective for 60 years and has a great future.
Dear Colleagues. We will now turn to the first plenary session of the anniversary forum. We are honored that the President of the Republic of Ghana, one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is with us today. I invite His Excellency to present his address.
The President of Ghana stressed the importance of the high-level meeting dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement, noted the importance of respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of countries. In addition, he stressed the importance of joint efforts to combat the pandemic.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, Your Excellency President of the Republic of Ghana, for your speech.
Our next speaker is a member of the Presidium of one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, another founder of the Non-Aligned Movement – Bosnia and Herzegovina. Your Excellency Mr. Milorad Dodik, please.
Milorad Dodik: On behalf of the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I would like to cordially congratulate Serbia and the President of Azerbaijan, His Excellency Mr. Aliyev for the noble decision to hold an event dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade. Mr. Chairman, please allow me to express our respect for this Movement.
Stressing that after the last meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement held in October 2019, the world had faced one of the most severe crises, the coronavirus pandemic, Milorad Dodik said that the problems of poor countries had been somewhat forgotten during the pandemic. He expressed concern about such problems as military conflicts, climate change, the migration crisis, economic inequality, terrorism and extremism.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, Your Excellency Member of the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for your statement.
I would like to invite the Prime Minister of the Algerian People's Democratic Republic, His Excellency Aymen Benabderrahmane. Please.
Algerian Prime Minister Aymen Benabderrahmane expressed his gratitude to Azerbaijan and Serbia for organizing the event and noted the significance of the Non-Aligned Movement.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, Your Excellency Prime Minister of the Algerian People's Democratic Republic, for your speech.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to remind you that an observer status in the Movement was granted to the Russian Federation with the unanimous support of member states at the last meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement at the ministerial level held in July 2021. On behalf of everyone, I would like to congratulate the Russian Federation on the observer status. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, is with us today. He will speak as the foreign minister of an observer country in the Non-Aligned Movement. The floor is yours, Minister.
Sergey Lavrov: Dear President Aliyev, President Vucic, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues and friends. First of all, I would like to thank the President of Azerbaijan and the President of Serbia for organizing this anniversary meeting.
Sergey Lavrov expressed his gratitude to the member countries for the unanimous decision to grant the Russian Federation an observer status in the Non-Aligned Movement. He communicated the address of the President of Russia.
President Vladimir Putin stressed that the Non-Aligned Movement plays an important role in international issues, noted that the organization stands guard over the principles of unconditional equality of all countries and respect for their sovereignty.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, Minister Lavrov, for your speech.
Also with us today is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, the only special guest country represented at the level of Minister, Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu. I would like to give the floor to Mr. Cavusoglu. Please.
Mevlut Cavusoglu: Thank you, President Aliyev, President Vucic, Presidents, Excellencies, friends.
Let me convey to you the greetings of President Erdogan. I am very pleased to speak to you at this historic meeting. Let me express my gratitude to Azerbaijan and Serbia for the invitation. I congratulate Azerbaijan on its successful chairmanship.
The Turkish Foreign Minister stressed that issues such as economic inequality, reforms in the UN and an inclusive approach to global problems, which were highlighted in the organization's first declaration 60 years ago, were still relevant.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, Your Excellency Mr. Cavusoglu, for your statement.
Ladies and Gentlemen. This concludes the morning part of the plenary session of the anniversary forum. The meeting will be resumed in accordance with the program after the break. I am announcing a break.