BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 13. As the X Global Baku Forum came to an end, it would have been impossible not to note the success of the event. Considering the emerging new challenges the world has to face, Azerbaijan is coming up ready with its initiatives. Thanks to the great efforts of President Ilham Aliyev, over the last ten years, the Global Baku Forum has gained trust of the world leaders, became a place for global forces to come and jointly discuss critical issues on the agenda, try and find solutions, share views and experience.
The Forum was attended by 4 current presidents, 2 prime ministers, 6 speakers and ministers, heads of five UN agencies, 25 former presidents, 21 former prime ministers, deputy foreign ministers of 23 countries, and a total of 360 representatives from 61 countries. A very limited number of such venues in the world can boast so many honored guests. And every year this number of those who want to seize the opportunity and participate in this event only grows.
Addressing the participants on the first day of the event, President Ilham Aliyev noted that the program of the Forum is very comprehensive, covering all kinds of topics related to Middle East, Africa, or Western Balkans, as well as those issues that are on top of international agenda.
"The level of participants, the intellectual potential of Global Baku Forum is in line with the leading international conferences. And of course, this is a reflection of very thoughtful and productive activity of the co-chairs and the whole Board," President Ilham Aliyev said.
Panels organized after the opening ceremony discussed a number of issues threatening global security.
One of the topics, which was broadly discussed at the Forum, was the search for peace and stability and the resolution of conflicts. Azerbaijan is among those countries that was able to resolve a 30-year long conflict in a 44-day war, and liberated its lands from Armenian occupation. Today, after the second Karabakh war, Azerbaijan can also be an example of how to successfully rehabilitate the post-conflict zones. Azerbaijan is currently implementing major infrastructure projects in Karabakh and Eastern Zangazur. This attracts many partners around the world. When companies like BP, for instance, are one of the first to join this process, it means that they believe in Azerbaijan as in the peacemaking.
Another important issues that the Forum participants touched upon, was the role of energy and transport corridors in Eurasia. The energy crisis that hit Europe last year and continues today, has boosted Azerbaijan’s role in resolving this problem. As President Ilham Aliyev said in his address to the Forum participants, Azerbaijan has always been a reliable partner in this regard. But now, more that 10 European countries have already queued to get access to Azerbaijani gas. Again, amid this crisis, Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to which the European Commission reached out and inked a memorandum for gas supplies increase.
Energy transition is an issue that the Forum participants could not skip. Switching to clean energy sources is one of the pillars of Azerbaijan’s 2030 strategy.
"Since we had the last - 9th Global Baku Forum, Azerbaijan signed contracts and MoUs with several leading energy companies of the world, which will provide creation of 25 gigawatts of green energy in Azerbaijan, solar and wind. So, this is a remarkable achievement, which will transform Azerbaijan into a very important supplier and player on international green energy market. We are planning to export green hydrogen. The IFC already approved the final assessment of our offshore wind potential in the Caspian Sea, which is 157 gigawatts, not to mention about 40 onshore," President Ilham Aliyev said at the Forum.
As for transport corridors, basically, Azerbaijan is the best place to discuss this issue. Being on the crossroads of the East and West, Azerbaijan is one the advantageous countries in this regard. The Zangazur corridor, the initiative that the country is currently implementing, will act as both energy and transport corridor. Just this one project will create major opportunities for everyone in the wider region.
So, considering all the above, it is no wonder that the Global Baku Forum has gained such influence among the leaders of the world. Tackling so many issues within this single event speaks of the significance of it. All this proves once again that Azerbaijan, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, is focused on the right goals, and Baku's initiatives will be taken into account in the new world order.