BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct.4
The member states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) have been able to unite in the face of a common enemy [COVID-19 pandemic] despite having different views on some issues and therefore it’s necessary to explore other potential areas to further strengthen the unity, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said, Trend reports.
Bayramov made the remark at the opening session of the Inaugural Meeting of Non-Aligned Movement Youth Network held on Oct.4.
According to him, in terms of exploring new potential areas to further strengthen the unity, the NAM Youth Network would be an additional contribution to the organization’s activity.
Welcoming the event participants, the minister pointed out that it’s a distinct honor for Azerbaijan as the incumbent chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement to initiate the establishment of this network at this historic moment when we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the movement.
"As you are aware, at the NAM Baku Summit in 2019, the heads of state and government of NAM Member States supported the establishment of NAM Youth Network for enabling the youth representatives of NAM Member States to exchange ideas and visions on current challenges that they face in ensuring sustainable progress and to identify how these difficulties could be overcome through concerted and adequate responses of their States," he further said.
"Proceeding from this understanding Azerbaijani Chairmanship has worked out the concept of NAM Youth Network which is expected to gradually transform to one of the most effective youth organizations at the global scale," Bayramov noted. "The world today is home to the largest generation of young people in history – 1.8 billion. Close to 90 percent of them live in developing countries, where the Member States of Non-Aligned Movement constitute an absolute majority."
"Connected to each other like never before, young people contribute to the resilience of their communities by proposing innovative solutions and driving social progress. At the same time, they continue to face multifaceted challenges, including, among others, access to quality education, healthcare, and decent work, forced displacement, different forms of discrimination and marginalization, all of which impede them to achieve their full potential," he noted.
"The way how young people navigate their way and overcome these challenges is critical for the progress of mankind. Youth development and youth engagement are essential elements of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well," the minister added. "Azerbaijan believes that the formation of NAM Youth Network with a solid structure and clear, result-oriented vision will enable the NAM youth community to address the youth development-related challenges more effectively and to convey the unified messages of NAM youth to the international community in a more systematic way."
"NAM Member States expect the Youth Network to represent the interests of NAM youth at different international forums, in close cooperation and partnership with relevant UN agencies and youth-related institutions, and to help to raise awareness among the youth about the important mission that NAM is carrying in light of the growing challenges to peace and security," he stated. "As it’s seen, your mission is not less important and difficult than ours as official authorities of NAM Member States. Nevertheless, we trust you and are confident that acting in unity you will overcome all the challenges ahead of you and will operate the Network as much smooth and effective as possible."
"One of the chairmanship priorities of Azerbaijan to the Non-Aligned Movement is to promote the values of multilateralism in ensuring concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world. While assuming this significant and responsible capacity of NAM Chairmanship, Azerbaijan stated its resolute commitment to the promotion of multilateralism and Bandung Principles," he also noted.
"Unprecedented and unexpected magnitude of challenges caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 was a litmus test for effective multilateralism. Gladly, through its timely, united, and effective responses in addressing the pandemic our Movement once again demonstrated its continued role and validity in the multilateral realm," Bayramov said.
"In these very challenging times, our ability to mobilize and put forward practical solutions received broad international recognition. World leaders and heads of reputable international organizations commended Movement’s exemplary and standout solidarity in face of the crisis," he pointed out. "Our solidarity has demonstrated that despite fragmented approaches among the NAM Member States on certain issues of global concern, we are able to mobilize against common enemies. Therefore, we are of the view that we need to explore more on potential other areas for further cementing our unity. NAM Youth Network, in this regard, will be an additional invaluable asset for our Movement."
"Agenda of the Inaugural Meeting includes many important issues that are instrumental to lay the firm foundation of the NAM Youth Network. With your innovative thoughts and ideas, I am sure, you will produce an effective outcome at the end of these two days for setting up a Network corresponding to our expectations," he also added.
"As you know, this year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of NAM. On October 11-12, 2021 in Belgrade, Serbia and Azerbaijan will co-organize a High-level Commemorative Event dedicated to the 60th anniversary of our Movement. Leaders of founding members of NAM, as well as foreign ministers of all NAM Member States, have been invited to the event," the official further stated. "It will be an excellent opportunity for the Member States to take stock of the joint achievements made in the past 60 years and reflect upon how we, the Member States, with a shared vision and combined strength, should respond to the multifaceted and emerging challenges that we continue to face."
Availing myself of this opportunity, I recommend the Inaugural Meeting to work out the recommendations of the NAM Youth Network for the Commemorative Event. I believe that such recommendations will be extremely useful and will constitute excellent food for thought for the NAM Member States in designing their future policies. I wish you a very productive meeting and successful deliberations in the upcoming two days, he said.
"Given the restricted environment in organizing physical meetings due to Covid-19 pandemic we were obliged to organize this meeting on a virtual format. As soon as the circumstances allow we would be pleased to welcome you all in Azerbaijan," concluded Bayramov.