Friday December 1 2023

Azerbaijan is more hopeful about NAM for maintaining peace in South Caucasus

5 July 2023 17:30 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan is more hopeful about NAM for maintaining peace in South Caucasus
Elnur Enveroglu
Elnur Enveroglu
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The Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement Coordinating Bureau themed “NAM: United and steadfast in confronting emerging challenges” commenced at Baku Convention Center.

At the meeting, which was first opened by the welcoming speech of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, also many problems of concern to the world, including Azerbaijan-Armenia relations, the opening of the Zangazur Corridor, the Ukraine-Russia war and other problematic issues were on the agenda of discussion.

At the opening of the conference, President Ilham Aliyev greeted the ministers, high-ranking delegations and heads of state who attended the event in Baku from different countries.

As mentioned by the President of Azerbaijan, with a unanimous decisions of NAM countries, Azerbaijan assumed the chairmanship for 2019-2022 and again by unanimous decision our chairmanship was extended for one more year.

The NAM Azerbaijani chairmanship vigorously protected justice and international law and the legitimate interests of Member States in line with the “Bandung principles”.

It should be noted that Azerbaijan's chairmanship of the NAM also coincided with the eve of one of the global crises, the Pandemic. At that time, many countries faced a difficult dilemma. As emphasized in the speech of the President, at a time when the world is in great confusion, NAM has successfully put behind the most intense period by uniting global efforts.

The NAM Online Summit initiated by Azerbaijan at the leaders’ level in May 2020 led to the UN General Assembly Special Session in December 2020. Furthermore, NAM’s strong opposition to “vaccine nationalism” pursued by some wealthy countries, subsequent UN resolutions for equitable and universal access to vaccines for all countries testifies to NAM’s leadership in combatting coronavirus.

The institutional development of the Movement, namely, the establishment of the NAM Parliamentary Network and NAM Youth Organization in 2021 and 2022 respectively is another achievement of the Azerbaijani chairmanship, said the President as he addressed the meeting. According to the President, Azerbaijan is also working on the establishment of the NAM women platform. With these steps towards the institutional sustainability, the country is looking to leave a successful legacy to incoming chairs.

One of the issues that attracted the most attention in the President's speeches at the Ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement was the proposal to reform the composition of the member states in the UN Security Council, as well as the message calling for joint struggle against the policy of colonialism founded by France and spreading throughout the world.

Indeed, as President Ilham Aliyev pointed out, NAM's unique influence and position in the world as a defender of multiculturalism and the largest international institution after the UN is at the center as a priority issue. Having such a reputation, NAM can play a leading role in the fundamental solution of the following issues. For example, today, the growing trend towards neo-colonialism, which is considered embarrassing in our modern times, poses a threat even to a number of NAM member states. Thanks to the influence NAM has gained, the fight against such opprobrium can be strengthened.

Yes, as the President stressed, Azerbaijan is very much concerned by the rising tendency towards neo-colonialism. Unfortunately, one of the countries that still is pursuing the neo-colonialism even in our modern time, is France. “French administered territories outside Europe are nasty remains of the French colonial empire. France must respect the sovereignty of the Comoros over the island of Mayotte as well as the rights of the New Caledonian people and other peoples in French overseas communities and territories,” the President said.

Unfortunately, France, which tries to show itself as a defender of human rights, is not able to correctly observe international laws and regulations in its domestic or foreign policy. France, whose history consists only of invasions and murders, continues its reactionary philosophy even today. France, which ignored the invasion of Karabakh for 30 years during the period when it led the Mink group of the OSCE, recently began to voice some baseless concerns due to its deep love for Armenia. In order to gain access to the South Caucasus, it sometimes makes baseless claims against Azerbaijan and sometimes unjustly defends the invading Armenia.

However, the history of France a century ago which was written with the blood of 1.5 million Algerians is obvious. France knows this and even preserves the skulls of the people it has killed as museum exhibits to commemorate them. For some reason, the younger Bonaparte Emmanuel Macron, who maintains the principle of colonialism, does not intend to return the remains of Algerian martyrs.

Unfortunately, France is trying to impose the same ill practice in the South Caucasus region by supporting Armenian separatism in Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and by means of geopolitical rivalry, foreign military presence and colonial policy of “Orientalism”.

The head of state noted that France should apologize for all of its deeds, but we wonder what France thinks? Of course, the future will show this as a result of the policy pursued by France.

The President's speech also reflected the anti-Islam tendencies, racism and similar dangerous trends that are spreading widely in Europe. Today, democracy and freedom of speech are unfortunately misunderstood in some developed European countries, such as Denmark, the Netherlands, and even Sweden. The burning of the holy book of Islam, the special hatred against Muslims and the hijab cannot be considered an act that fits democratic principles. Of course, Azerbaijan, as an Islamic country and a country that respects all religions and freedoms, condemns such behavior and calls for joint struggle against it.

In his speech, President Ilham Aliyev spoke about the 44-day victory that ceased the 30-year history of occupation of Azerbaijan. He explained the history of Azerbaijan's restoration of justice at a time when international justice was blind.

“The most significant and memorable moment for the Azerbaijani people was the historic victory in the Patriotic War. In 2020 Azerbaijan defeated Armenia on the battlefield and put an end to 30 years of Armenian occupation. Armenia as occupying country was obliged to sign capitulation act. Thus, Azerbaijan restored its territorial integrity and historical justice and itself enforced four UN Security Council resolutions of 1993. This victory of Azerbaijan is the triumph of the international law and justice.”

The head of state also brought to the attention of the participants the issue of landmine that still poses a threat to human life in Karabakh, which has been freed from occupation. Today, Azerbaijan, which is rapidly advancing in the field of reconstruction, infrastructure projects, is still facing mine threat and Armenian terrorism in Karabakh. Armenia claims that it supports the peace, but in practice it deliberately delays the negotiations for peace by carrying out provocations, which seriously affects the security in the region. It is an extremely sad fact that international organizations and the West are not only silent about everything that is happening, but even defend the wrong side. At a time when many countries of the world are eagerly awaiting the opening of the Zangazur Corridor, Armenia is preventing the realization of a big project that could benefit the world.

As if that were not enough, while Armenia admits that it recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, it does not take any steps to remove terrorist groups from the territory of Azerbaijan. Thus, the Non-Aligned Movement has proven once again that it will work even harder by consolidating all efforts in its further activities. The NAM conference held at the ministerial level in Baku also determined the form of the next steps and how to take them more successfully.


Elnur Enveroglu is AzerNews’ deputy editor-in-chief, follow him on @ElnurMammadli1

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