By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijan's chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has been extended for one more year, the Foreign Ministry reported on July 14.
The decision was taken under the political declaration adopted at the online NAM Mid-Term Ministerial Conference held under Azerbaijan's chairmanship on July 13-14, 2021.
Azerbaijan, whose three-year chairmanship of the NAM is due to expire in 2022, responded positively to the NAM member states' appeal to extend the chairmanship for another one year after Uganda, which will become the next chair of the Movement, announced that it can take over the chairmanship one year later, the ministry said.
The declaration welcomed the Uganda government's proposal to hold the next NAM summit in Uganda in late 2023.
Meanwhile, in line with Russia's appeal, this country was assigned observer status in the NAM.
The main purpose of the conference "The Non-Aligned Movement is at the center of multilateral efforts to combat global challenges" was to discuss the progress achieved in the fight against global challenges through the NAM members' joint efforts and further steps to be taken in this sphere.
The conference was attended by foreign ministers from 33 countries, high-ranking representatives from the NAM member states and observer countries.
NAM's activities under Azerbaijani chairmanship
In his opening video address to the conference, the president informed about the successful initiatives implemented under Azerbaijan's NAM chairmanship. He said that efforts would be continued to strengthen the NAM's international prestige and influence under Azerbaijan's chairmanship.
Aliyev informed the NAM member states about the 44-day Karabakh war and its consequences, which ended with the liberation of Azerbaijani territories from Armenia's occupation. The president stressed that Azerbaijan's victory was a victory of international law, justice, and the NAM's fundamental values.
Speaking about the atrocities committed by Armenia on Azerbaijani territories during the occupation for about 30 years, the president thanked the NAM member states for their constant support for the country's territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of its borders during the occupation and the Karabakh war.
After Aliyev concluded his speech, a report on the activities carried out during Azerbaijan's 21-month NAM chairmanship was heard.
Then the ministerial conference discussed and adopted its political declaration, which contains a number of items of special importance for Azerbaijan, along with the expression of the NAM member states' position on topical issues on the agenda.
Thus, the NAM member states, through its political declaration, appreciate President Ilham Aliyev's initiative to convene a special UN General Assembly session to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and thanked Azerbaijan for the successful NAM chairmanship in a difficult period on a global scale, as well as for the readiness to preside over the Movement for another 1 year - until the end of 2023.
In addition, the declaration contains a number of successful initiatives implemented by Azerbaijan as the NAM chairman. It welcomed the summit-level meeting of the NAM contact group in response to COVID-19 held on May 4, 2020, a special UN General Assembly session in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, held on 3-4 December 2020, and the UN Human Rights Council resolution on the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines adopted on March 22, 2021.
The declaration also applauded the International Model NAM Simulation Exercise, organized for the first time in NAM history during Azerbaijan’s chairmanship.
In line with Azerbaijan's proposal, the declaration also emphasized the importance of post-conflict recovery, reconstruction and reintegration activities in the NAM member states, stressed the importance of effective demining activities and international support for the process, especially in the NAM member countries, mostly contaminated by landmines and other unexploded ordnance.
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