Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends and colleagues,
I would like to thank you for joining us today in celebrating two remarkable dates in the history of Azerbaijan – the National Holiday – Republic Day – and the twenty-fifth anniversary of Azerbaijan’s membership in the United Nations.
Since its admission to the United Nations, despite economic hardships and continuing aggression against my country and its devastating consequences, Azerbaijan has transformed into an economically and politically dynamic modern State and has proved itself as reliable partner. We highly appreciate the support of the United Nations to Azerbaijan during that period.
Azerbaijan has consistently demonstrated its strong commitment to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter and international law, and has staunchly supported the Organization and has actively contributed to its activities.
During this short period, Azerbaijan has been elected to the two principal organs of the United Nations, namely, the Security Council (2012-2013) and the Economic and Social Council (2003-2005, and since 2017 for the following three years term), as well as has been a member of the Commission on Human Rights (2005-2006), the Human Rights Council (2006-2009) and the Organization’s other elected bodies and agencies.
Azerbaijan is the main author of a series of resolutions adopted within the United Nations on humanitarian, human rights, economic and cultural issues.
My country is fully committed to maintaining international peace, security and stability and is making sustained efforts towards that end.
Having a clear-eyed understanding of the particular challenges the world and our region are facing nowadays, Azerbaijan will continue contributing to the establishment of lasting peace and stability in the South Caucasus and beyond on the basis of the generally accepted norms and principles of international law and the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.
As the Secretary-General pointed out in his address to the Security Council earlier this year, “challenges to national sovereignty and territorial integrity are reminders that we must collectively work to preserve and strengthen a rules-based international order so as to maintain peace and security, in accordance with the Charter”.
Azerbaijan is committed to the political settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of international borders. That is what international law requires and the Security Council and the General Assembly unambiguously demand in their relevant resolutions on the conflict. As a country suffering from the occupation of its territories and the forcible displacement of hundreds of thousands of its citizens, Azerbaijan is the most interested party in the earliest resolution of the conflict, which would ensure peace, stability and development in the region.
Azerbaijan fully complies with obligations arising from the relevant international instruments on disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as has consistently contributed to international counter-terrorism efforts.
Notwithstanding global economic crisis and other challenges, we have maintained the country’s gradual economic growth and continue to undertake efforts towards developing inclusive and diversified economy. On 6 October 2016, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, issued an Executive Order on the Establishment of the National Coordination Council on Sustainable Development, instructing it to identify national priorities and their indicators until 2030, in line with the global development goals and targets, adapt the relevant State programs and strategies to the SDGs and prepare annual national SDG progress reports.
Azerbaijan has also paid particular attention to addressing the needs of the developing and least developed countries, as well as those recovering from natural disasters. Over the years, we have provided humanitarian and other assistance to a number of countries from different regions.
Azerbaijan attaches primary importance to the promotion of intercultural and interreligious dialogue at the national and international levels. We declared 2016 the Year of Multiculturalism and 2017 the Year of Islamic Solidarity in Azerbaijan.
In recent years, my country has organized a number of high level international events, such as the 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in April 2016, with the theme “Living together in inclusive societies: a challenge and a goal”.
Azerbaijan’s role as a natural bridge between cultures and civilizations has also manifested in hosting the first European Games in 2015 and, most recently, the Islamic Solidarity Games, as well as in organizing other important international cultural and sports events.
Azerbaijan has been and will remain an active and strong partner genuinely contributing to joint efforts towards peace, security and sustainable development.
In concluding, I would like once again to thank all of you for being with us today and to wish you all the best and enjoyable evening.