MFA: Azerbaijan provided aid to about 80 countries in 2021
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan has so far provided assistance to almost 80 countries and three international organizations, the Foreign Ministry has said.
In a statement summing up the results of 2021, the ministry noted that during the year, Azerbaijan continued to provide humanitarian assistance and development support at the international level.
In this regard, humanitarian assistance was rendered to Indonesia, Croatia, Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines within the coordination of the Azerbaijan International Development Agency (AIDA) under the Foreign Ministry in 2021.
At the same time, COVID-19 vaccines were sent to Burkina Faso through the Organization of Turkic States.
In 2021, the humanitarian campaigns were held in Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Niger within the Islamic Development Bank’s project, to which AIDA has also joined.
Moreover, 40 students from 37 countries obtained the opportunity this year to study at Azerbaijani universities thanks to the grant programs created for the citizens of the Non-Aligned Movement member states and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. In addition, AIDA and ADA University jointly organized training for 15 foreign diplomats within the Foreign Policy Program for Foreign Diplomats.
Work has been done to develop bilateral economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and the world, to attract foreign direct investment into the country's economy, to study the opportunities of foreign counties to participate in the reconstruction process on the liberated territories, and to promote cooperation in the non-oil sector.
The ministry and Azerbaijani embassies carried out activities to attract foreign direct investment to the Alat Free Economic Zone.
The importance of international transport corridors and the East-West, North-South, and South-West routes, including the Zangazur corridor, were emphasized from various platforms.
As a result of the full commissioning of the Southern Gas Corridor, Azerbaijan will continue to contribute to the energy security of the European Union by supplying gas to Italy, Greece, and Bulgaria in 2021.
Additionally, promoting dialogue among cultures and religions has traditionally been an important part of Azerbaijan's foreign policy.
In 2021, the presidency of Azerbaijan in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) successfully continued.
Since the first days of the coronavirus pandemic, Azerbaijan was one of the first in the world to take initiatives to unite and cooperate in the fight against this threat.
In this regard, at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, as chair of the NAM, Azerbaijan adopted a resolution "ensuring equal access to vaccines against COVID-19 in affordable price, timeliness, and universal access". The resolution was co-sponsored by 137 states.
On December 16, within the framework of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, the resolution was adopted with the support of the absolute majority of UN member states.
On October 4-5, a virtual constituent assembly of the NAM's Youth Network was held at the initiative of the Azerbaijani chairmanship of the NAM with the participation of over 100 young people representing the movement's members.
On October 11-12, a high-level event was held in Belgrade on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the NAM.
Organization of Turkic States
Azerbaijan’s chairmanship of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS, earlier called the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States - Turkic Council), which began on October 15, 2019, has successfully continued in 2021. During this time, the activity of the organization has been further strengthened and its reputation has grown.
Various important events related to sectoral cooperation were held during Azerbaijan's presidency.
On November 12, the 8th summit of the OTS was held in Istanbul. At the summit, the decisions were made to change the name of the organization, to grant Turkmenistan the observer status. In addition, the document “vision of the Turkic World-2040” and the declaration of the 8th summit were adopted. Azerbaijan transferred its chairmanship to Turkey.
In the declaration, member states congratulated Azerbaijan on the victory in the 44-day Patriotic War, expressed support for the territories' liberation, welcomed the end of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. They also supported the normalization of relations based on mutual recognition and respect for the territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders and expressed readiness to support Azerbaijan's post-conflict rehabilitation, reconstruction and reintegration efforts.
Additionally, the head of state was awarded the Supreme Order of Turkic World.
Other international organizations
As in previous years, Azerbaijan has contributed to the implementation of the goals of the UN Charter in 2021 towards the establishment of international peace, security, and development.
Azerbaijan is actively engaged in international cooperation to combat terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, cybercrime, as well as other new threats and challenges.
The visit of Volkan Bozkir, Chairman of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, to Azerbaijan was organized on April 8-9.
The 30th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s membership in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) coincided with 2021. During the year the permanent representatives of the member countries, including the OIC secretary-general, visited Azerbaijan.
On November 28, President Ilham Aliyev attended the 15th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization held in Ashgabat. In the final document adopted during the meeting, the member states congratulated Azerbaijan for liberating its lands and restoring territorial integrity, expressing confidence that this would pave the way for lasting peace and economic prosperity.
During the year, Azerbaijan also continued to cooperate with the EU and NATO.
The existing EU-Azerbaijan dialogue in 2021 is notable for its intensity. In 2021, EU Council President Charles Michel and EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Oliver Varheli visited Azerbaijan.
The high-level political dialogue with NATO continued throughout the year. In December Ilham Aliyev visited the NATO Headquarters at the invitation of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels. During the visit, the president met the NATO secretary-general and held a joint press conference.
In 2021, Foreign Ministry representatives visited the OSCE, the Council of Europe, UNESCO, the UN Office in Geneva, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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