President Ilham Aliyev has said that as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) chairman Azerbaijan will spare no effort to defend justice, international law and NAM member states’ legitimate interests.
He made the remarks in a vide format address to the High-Level Commemorative Meeting to mark the NAM’s 60th anniversary held in Serbia’s Belgrade on October 11.
“ Azerbaijan as the chair of the NAM will spare no effort to further strengthen the NAM’s role in addressing global challenges in international relations and defend justice, international law and the legitimate interests of the NAM Member States,” the president said.
Speaking about the Bandung principles, that is respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, refraining from acts of aggression, and the non-interference in internal affairs, Aliyev described them as valid and essential in 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,” he underlined.
Aliyev recalled that at the 18th summit he 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,” he stated.
Speaking about the double standards and selective approaches applied with respect to the norms and principles of international law, he stressed that Azerbaijan has been affected by such a selective attitude for the last three decades.
He recalled that 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 Azerbaijan’s territory for about 30 years and conducted various war crimes against Azerbaijan.
Aliyev emphasized that no difference was made between the aggressor state and the state that has faced an occupation.
“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. … 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,” the president stated.
Aliyev reiterated his appreciation for the NAM countries’ constant support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty during the 44-day war.
“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,” he said.
Cooperation within NAM
Aliyev spoke about Azerbaijan’s initiatives to consolidate global efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic as the chair of the movement. The president recalled his initiative to hold 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 WHO uses the database as a reference point for identifying the existing needs of NAM Member States in addressing the pandemic,” he said.
Further to the president’s suggestion, the special session of the UN General Assembly in response to COVID-19 at the level of heads of state and government was held in December 2020.
Aliyev also recalled the country’s voluntary financial contributions to the WHO in the amount of $10 million, direct financial and humanitarian assistance to more than 30 countries over COVID-19, and donation of more than 150,000 doses of the vaccine to four countries free of charge.
“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,” he said.
Aliyev underlined that Azerbaijan will continue to work towards further strengthening the solidarity within the NAM and uplifting the movement’s political weight and global visibility.
Azerbaijan joined the NAM in 2011. With the unanimous decision of the NAM leaders of 2016, Azerbaijan was elected as the chair of the NAM for the period of 2019-2022.
This year, NAM member states unanimously decided to extend Azerbaijan’s chairmanship for one more year until late 2023.