Opening speech by H. E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, at the Mid-term Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement to be held on April 5-6, 2018, under the theme of “Promoting international peace and security for sustainable development” in Baku, Azerbaijan


Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to warmly welcome the delegations representing the member states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and all the other participants of the 18th NAM Ministerial Meeting. I am very pleased that we are coming together in Baku at this high-level meeting to consult and review the latest developments that affect our world. 

We believe that the meeting will be a next step forward in our common endeavor of building a world of justice, prosperity, peace and security based on norms and principles of international law, will make a bridge to the Azerbaijani Chairmanship to NAM for the upcoming three years and will set an important benchmark for our next summit to be held in Baku next year.

Throughout these two days the Baku NAM Ministerial Meeting will seek to address the complex and changing international security environment, regional and sub-regional political issues as well as development, social and human rights issues of Non-Aligned Countries and elaborate coherent and integrated approach of NAM to the issues of common concern on our agenda. It will provide a timely opportunity for exchanging views on how to respond in a more coordinated and efficient manner to challenges standing in front of our Movement.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Our meeting today is taking place in an important period when the international community, as well as Non-Aligned Countries encounters the new emerging challenges and opportunities for the peace, security and sustainable development. The future will present as many challenges and opportunities as the past and the Movement must continue to remain cohesive in order to address them. All these bring about new tasks in our joint endeavor of the development and re-emphasize the importance of building a greater solidarity, dialogue and cooperation within the Movement.

As an important forum, NAM strives to contribute to the world peace and security abiding by its founding principles and purposes which are respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations, non-intervention into the internal affairs of another country, refraining from acts or threats of aggression and use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country.

Respect for the rule of law at the national and international levels is necessary for maintaining international peace and security and achieving the goals of economic and social development. Therefore, we should avoid selective approaches and double-standards towards the international law.The UN Member States, in particular the Member States of the UN Security Council, should renew their commitment to respect, defend, preserve and promote the UN Charter and international law, with the aim of making further progress to achieving full respect for international law in inter-state relations.

Azerbaijan recognizes the leading role of the United Nations, first of all, in establishing and maintaining the international peace and security, as well as in sustainable development, social and human rights issues. To that end, Azerbaijan supports the idea of carrying out the reforms in the UN Security Council and increasing the role of the UN General Assembly so as the organization could work in more efficient and effective manner and be able to tackle the problems and challenges of modern world. With this in mind, since NAM represents almost two-thirds of the UN membership, the proposals on the reform of the UN came out from this group can certainly not be ignored and must be heard and respected.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Wars and armed conflicts in various parts of the world lead to political instability in some regions, large-scale displacement and unprecedented humanitarian crisis. These conflicts poses threat not only to particular regions, but also to the international security.

We are confident that the outcomes of the Baku NAM Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting on regional and sub-regional issues will contribute to the settlement of the security problems and strengthen international and regional peace and security.

As the future chairman of the NAM, Azerbaijan will seek to use this function to contribute to the peaceful resolution of the conflicts in the NAM countries based on international law, and the solid position of our Movement.

Unfortunately, unresolved conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains to be the main obstacle to the security, stability and economic prosperity in our region. For more than twenty-five years, Armenia has been using force against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. In 1993, the United Nations Security Council adopted four resolutions that reaffirm the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the inadmissibility of the use of force for the acquisition of territory and demand the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of occupying forces of the Republic of Armenia from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Sadly marking 25th anniversary of these unimplemented resolutions, Azerbaijan urges international community and the UN to support the comprehensive implementation of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

This position was reaffirmed by many international organizations, including the Non-Aligned Movement which adopted decision supporting the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and recognizing the Nagorno Karabakh region as an integral part of the Republic of Azerbaijan and demanded resolution of the conflict based on these principles. 

The unequivocal and consistent support by the international community including NAM member states for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan has been a crucial factor that makes clear to Armenia that the current status-quo achieved as a result of aggression will never be accepted.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

On the domain of economic and social development on our agenda, we would like to say that the current international economic situation continues to present opportunities, at the same time challenges and risks to the developing countries. On the one hand, in the current era of liberalization, developing countries benefit from the process of globalization, but on the other hand intensive integration of the economies of developing countries with world economy makes them highly vulnerable to the trend of international economic situation. Therefore, together we shall use the positive elements of international economic environment for the benefits of all developing countries.

Today, when we still experience the impacts of global economic slowdown, energy, transportation and other interrelated components of connectivity are becoming more promising for economic and trade growth of our countries. Therefore, it is important to highlight the development of transport and connectivity issues in general among priority areas, as an essential prerequisite for economic growth and development.

Azerbaijan in collaboration with regional and international partners has contributed to regional cooperation by initiating and implementing energy and transport projects. 

Azerbaijan has become an important partner in ensuring the energy security of the wider region through initiating and implementing sustainable energy projects. Connected the Caspian, Black and Mediterranean seas, we created a diversified pipeline infrastructure. Realization of these energy projects will diversify the energy sources, as well as enhance security of energy supply and transportation within the region and beyond.

Over the past years my country has implemented large-scale infrastructure projects in the development of the transport connectivity not only in Azerbaijan, but also across the region. In line with that the Government of Azerbaijan takes significant steps for the development of regional and trans-regional multi-modal transport corridors in partnership with other interested and neighboring States along the East-West, North-South and South-West axes which will create favorable conditions for the full-scale economic cooperation and development of trade, based on unhindered and safe movement of goods.

At the end, I do hope that our meeting here and the provisions of the Final Document of the Baku Ministerial Meeting on global and regional issues, as well as development, social and human rights matters will contribute to international security, the stimulation of regional and international cooperation and taking practical steps in economic integration of Non-Aligned Countries.

With these remarks, I wish you a very successful and productive meeting. 

Thank you! 

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