Statement by H.E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development
New York September 22, 2016
Ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the President of the General Assembly for organizing today’s very important event, which I hope will allow us to exchange views on how to better promote international cooperation for the realization of the right to development.
Azerbaijan attaches a great importance to the Declaration on the Right to Development. I would like once more to confirm my Government’s adherence to the principles enshrined in the Declaration.
Last year, here in New York we witnessed the historic adoption of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development which constitutes the central part of development agenda at both national and international levels. Post-2015 development agenda pledges to leave no one behind and to reach the furthest behind first. The Declaration also addresses the structural impediments that disadvantage the poor and prevents them from benefiting the effects of development. This substantive convergence between the Declaration and the 2030 Agenda is remarkable and encourages international community to pay more attention to the practical implementation of the principles of the Declaration.
Over the past years, Azerbaijan has achieved impressive results on many Millennium Development Goals targets, especially on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, ensuring universal primary education and promoting gender equality. Currently, Azerbaijan is adapting its national sustainable development strategy taking into account the Sustainable Development Goals targets, aimed at developing a more sustainable, inclusive and diversified economy.
The Government has been implementing large-scale programs on improving good governance, strengthening rule of law, ensuring respect for human rights, providing facilitated access to public services, inclusive and equitable education, gender equality and empowering women, enabling access to affordable energy and protection of environment, aimed at improving well-being of its population and ensuring the full enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights by the citizens. Azerbaijan has considerably improved its rating in human development index among 187 countries moving from the 91st place in 2004 to 78th in 2015 and advancing from medium to high human development group.
As the Declaration stipulates, States have the duty to cooperate with each other in ensuring development and eliminating obstacles to development. Besides undertaking appropriate measures within the country for the realization of the right to development, Azerbaijan actively undertakes international development efforts, particularly through Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Azerbaijan International Development Agency-AIDA. As an emerging donor, Azerbaijan responds to humanitarian and socio-economic challenges faced by the developing countries through AIDA and other channels.
As the newly elected ECOSOC member, Azerbaijan will help advancing the realization of the Declaration on the Right to Development during its membership at the Council.
I thank you.