Global Baku Forum as reflection of ever-strengthening international influence of President Ilham Aliyev

Politics Materials 9 March 2023 09:44 (UTC +04:00)
Global Baku Forum as reflection of ever-strengthening international influence of President Ilham Aliyev
Trend’s political news desk
Trend’s political news desk
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 9. The X Global Baku Forum, which is gaining more importance and attracting more attention yearly, starts in Baku today. The X Global Baku Forum has become a unique platform for discussing global challenges. This happened thanks to the consolidation of world-class public and political figures around President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev's initiative.

"It’s an inclusive forum which accumulates opinions from different sides and I think that’s how it should be. Because we all need to work closely in order to make the world safer and more secure," President Ilham Aliyev said during the opening of the last Global Forum in Baku.

The head of state noted that discussions and the exchange of views at the Global Baku Forum will contribute to the study and solution of the most important issues on the world agenda.

The X Forum will be attended by high-ranking guests from dozens of countries, among them current and former heads of states and governments, prominent public and political figures, leading foreign experts, the leadership of the World Health Organization, the League of Arab States and other major international organizations.

During the Forum, which will last until March 11, discussions and panel discussions will be held on important issues, aspects of the formation of a new world order, as well as prospects in the field of global security and upcoming tasks.

The Global Baku Forum has established itself as an extremely convenient and authoritative platform for developing new approaches and having productive discussions. This can be considered as the embodiment of the foreign policy strategy of President Ilham Aliyev, since the Azerbaijani leader, while pursuing primarily national interests, always makes significant efforts to find common ground, views, and ways to rapprochement. Today's world, torn apart by wars and crises, needs unity of action more than ever, despite differences in views and positions.

This year Forum's topic is "The World of Today: Challenges and Hopes", and it describes in the best possible way not only what political elites and experts around the world are concerned about today but also Azerbaijan's unique experience in confronting these challenges.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have totally broken the world order, causing the largest global crisis of recent decades. Certainly, first of all, this crisis is characterized by energy security, and this is where Azerbaijan has something to share with the world.

Thanks to the policy of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan is playing a growing role in mitigating the consequences of the energy crisis in Europe. For instance, in 2023, Azerbaijan plans to export at least 11.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe.

Moreover, there is an agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan on doubling gas supplies through the Southern Gas Corridor to 20 billion cubic meters per year by 2027, which is based on a memorandum of cooperation signed in July last year. This project will make it possible to quickly and inexpensively pump increased volumes of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe. Furthermore, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria, also joined this project at the initiative of Bulgaria.

Additional gas supplies from Azerbaijan provide competition in the European market, thereby contributing to lower prices for consumers. A good example of this is the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector, with the launch of which prices in the country have fallen by 34 percent since October 2022.

An equally serious problem for the whole world is the ongoing food crisis.

Nearly 830 million people face food security issues and more than 3 billion cannot afford healthy food. These challenges are compounded by rising costs, supply chain disruptions and climate change. Amid this, Azerbaijan is, basically, the most convenient route for deliveries.

Located between North-South and East-West transport corridors, Azerbaijan is, indeed, an important transport and logistics center of the region. International transport corridors through the country are both distance and time-beneficial. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and the Baku International Sea Trade Port further expand the capacities of these routes.

Moreover, the importance of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), or the so-called Middle Corridor, is rapidly growing, and Azerbaijan here is also a vital link. This route from China to Europe plays a significant role in the current global agenda. Ways that Europe can take to Central Asia are very limited. At the moment, the Middle Corridor is the shortest and least expensive route to Europe.

Being a strategic center between Europe and China and having a developed aviation, rail, pipeline and maritime infrastructure, Azerbaijan is becoming a new leading logistics hub amid the change in global supply chains in Eurasia. In this regard, the country can make a huge contribution to overcoming the difficulties related to the food supply as well.

But, of course, one of the most important tasks facing the Forum participants is to find new formats and ways to build trust and cooperation in a rapidly changing world. It is no coincidence that Baku has become one of the centers of global geopolitical thought, where these solutions are being sought.

The utmost international influence of President Ilham Aliyev, the initiatives and projects he put forward many years ago, which have become vital for Europe and Asia right now - all this becomes for the world confirmation that it is Azerbaijan a place where solutions to global problems can be found.