Azerbaijan president suggests forming UN high level panel on global recovery from COVID-19

BAKU, Mar 2 (APP): Chairman of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on Thursday suggested establishing a UN High-Level Panel on Global Recovery from COVID-19 to elaborate recommendations on global measures for the post-pandemic period.

The NAM chairman, in his address at the plenary session of Summit of NAM Contact Group in response to COVID-19 being held here, said Azerbaijan would continue to provide financial and humanitarian assistance to NAM countries in need and call to support the post-pandemic recovery of Africa and Small Island Developing States.

The summit was attended by several heads of state and the top leadership and government of about 70 countries, NAM members.

The Azerbaijan president also announced that his country, as the first donor, was allocating 1 million US dollars for both Global Calls.

He said that right after the beginning of the pandemic, NAM took the initiative to mobilize global efforts to counter COVID-19.

He said Azerbaijan provided coronavirus-related financial and humanitarian support to more than 80 countries, most of those from our NAM family either through bilateral channels or World Health Organization.

“The pandemic had a negative impact on the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The global efforts should be reinforced to prevent, inter alia, backsliding on targets and to catch up with the 2030 Agenda,” he remarked.

Elaborating the international issues, Aliyev said that the goal of NAM was to defend justice and international law.

He called for further strengthening the South-South cooperation guided by the principles of respect for sovereignty, national ownership, equality and mutual benefit. Its agenda is set by countries of the South themselves in line with their national needs and priorities, not imposed by the outside world, the Chairman of NAM said.

“Azerbaijan strongly supports the institutional development of the Non-Aligned Movement,” he emphasised and told the gathering that Azerbaijan initiated the establishment of the NAM Parliamentary Network and the NAM Youth Organization, the head of state noted:

“Our goal is to create institutional sustainability and to leave a successful legacy to the members who will take over the chairmanship after Azerbaijan.”

With 120 members, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is the second largest international institution after the UN General Assembly, he added.

President Aliyev said the international security architecture, which has existed for the last several decades, was currently facing dramatic changes, and multilateralism was at stake. The erosion of international law norms and principles further threatens the international order, he added.

“More cases of violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity and intervention in the internal affairs of states are observed. The decisions of the leading international organizations are not either implemented or the selective approach and double standards are being applied,” he commented.

He said as the second largest international institution after the UN, NAM should play a more visible and efficient role in the international arena and actively participate in reshaping the new world order.

He also called for the implantation of UN’s resolutions and suggested the composition of the Security Council should be expanded to make it more representative and more geographically fair.

“Some Security Council resolutions have been implemented within days. However, in the case of Azerbaijan, Armenia ignored the four Security Council’s resolutions demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal of its armed forces from the territories of Azerbaijan for almost 30 years,” he commented.

“In 2020 Azerbaijan itself restored its territorial integrity and historical justice by military-political means and enforced the Security Council resolutions’ implementation. Probably, it was the first case in the world since the establishment of the UN”, he noted.

He said Azerbaijan conducted large-scale reconstruction work in the liberated territories with its own financial resources. The government of Azerbaijan spent about US$4 billion for reconstruction work in 2021-2022. This year, we plan to allocate at least 1.7 billion USD for this purpose.

“One permanent seat should be given to the Non-Aligned Movement, and the country holding the position of chair of the Movement should have this seat on a rotating basis,” he suggested and called on NAM member countries to start consultations on this issue.

“We also support the allocation of permanent seats for Africa in the Security Council,” he suggested.

President Ilham Aliyev also appreciated the NAM countries for their firm stance in supporting the position of Azerbaijan and not allowing one-sided and biased anti-Azerbaijani statements to pass in the UN Security Council both in 2020 and 2022.

In his address, President of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Csaba Korösi said that the pandemic taught the world that no one was safe until all were safe.

“Because closing our borders and taking individual measures are not enough. The only way out of the pandemic was through solidarity not only within the borders but across them too,” he remarked.

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