BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 5. Chair of the Azerbaijani Parliament Sahiba Gafarova delivered a speech at the 8th summit of the G20 Parliamentary Speakers current in Jakarta, Trend reports.
According to Gafarova, poverty, the humanitarian crisis and conflicts, social inequality, climatic changes and other modern challenges are impossible to overcome alone. One of the most useful lessons that the COVID-19 pandemic taught the whole world was that global challenges require global solutions, and that collective efforts and joint activities are essential. Parliamentarians as representatives of their peoples ought to take part in the discussions held to find the best solutions for the problems of universal concern. The legislatures’ co-operation platforms prove the undertaking and resolve to pursue joint endeavors for a better world.
"The P20 summit is very important in this sense as it is an event capable of defining what roles the parliaments could play and of determining what contributions they can make to addressing the present-day problems. This summit also matters as a muster point for parliamentarians and as a venue where various aspects of the parliament-government co-operation can be discussed in an overarching manner," she said.
Gafarova brought up another inter-parliamentary co-operation, a newly-founded one – the Parliamentary Network of the Non-Aligned Movement. She provided detailed information about this entity, the emergence of which is the result of the initiative that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had put forth as the incumbent NAM Chair.
So, the Parliamentary Network was established on the margins of the 143rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Madrid in November last year. Then, on June 30 - July 1 of 2022, Azerbaijan had hosted the Network’s Baku Conference. Its charter, official logo and flag were adopted, and its Chair and Deputy Chairs for the next three years were elected at the conference attended by the parliaments of more than 40 member-states and 8 international parliamentary organizations. It is planned to hold the next conference of the NAM PN on the sidelines of the 146th IPU Assembly in Manama in March of 2023.
Sahiba Gafarova said she was confident that the Network was going to become a serious platform upon which to promote multilateralism, dialogue and inter-parliamentary co-operation.
She added that the Network was also prepared to make an input in achieving common goals through active interaction with the other parliamentary institutions.
Gafarova said substantial steps are being taken under the Azerbaijani chairmanship to ensure the advancement of the Non-Aligned Movement itself as well. Amongst those steps are the inception of the NAM Youth Organization on the basis of the Youth Network and the installment of a NAM support office in NYC.
On the other hand, a special session of the UN General Assembly devoted to the COVID-19 pandemic was convened upon the instance of the President of Azerbaijan in December 2020.
"That as well as the adopted resolutions about ensuring an equitable, affordable, timely and universal access to the COVID-19 vaccines and the initiative of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to form a UN High-Level Panel to generate recommendations concerning post-pandemic global recovery, is our country’s contribution to international co-operation," she said.
"If we want to eliminate international-scale problems to come to fruition, we should strengthen the international institutions, enforce adopted documents and put an end to double standards and selective approaches," Gafarova said.
As an example, she brought the near 30-year occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia, in particular the occupation of 20 percent of a territory, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
She also referred to the ethnic cleansing by Armenia in those lands, which led to more than a million Azerbaijanis becoming refugees and displaced persons.
"About 4,000 citizens of Azerbaijan, civilians and servicemen alike, are still missing consequent to that conflict. Armenia, meanwhile, had demolished all of our towns and villages in the captured provinces and had vandalized all the historical, cultural and cult artefacts and sites of Azerbaijan during the years of occupation. The four resolutions that the UN Security Council passed in 1993 as well as the resolutions and decisions of the UN General Assembly, the Non-Aligned Movement, the OSCE, the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation and of other international establishments demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of Armenia’s armed forces from the Azerbaijani territories. But Armenia had ignored them all. In the end, Azerbaijan resorted to its own resources to enforce the resolutions of the UN Security Council as well as the international law’s standards and principles whilst also restoring historical justice and liberating its lands," she said.
Gafarova continued her speech to tell her audience of the on-going post-war efforts of Azerbaijan to establish lasting peace and stability in the region.
She said, Azerbaijan had offered a normalization of relations with Armenia and signing a peace treaty based upon five principles of the international law. Mutual recognition of sovereignty and territorial integrity, delimitation and demarcation of the borders will lead to peace and stability in the region.
"But Armenia demonstrates a destructive attitude to the conversations going on through international efforts. Armenia is obstructing the opening of communications and transport routes in the region. This process is equally hindered by the latest Armenian military provocations of September 13, 2022. The most important thing to do right now is to avoid making any move likely to harm the normalization of relations, because it is the only path to long-term peace in the region," Gafarova said.