FM: Azerbaijan defines Africa as a priority region during its NAM chairmanship
Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has stated that Azerbaijan has identified the African continent as one of its priority regions as the rotating chair of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Azernews reports, citing the ministry.
Bayramov made the remarks at the conference on the topic of “Legacy of the African continent in the evolution of the Non-Aligned Movement” dedicated to Africa Day in Baku on May 26.
“Since the assumption of the chairmanship of NAM coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, Azerbaijan, in its both national and NAM chair capacities, has spared no efforts to promote the global initiatives that aimed to minimize the impact of the pandemic on the developing countries, particularly on African countries,” Bayramov stressed.
Azerbaijan has offered considerable financial and humanitarian support to African nations, particularly through the Azerbaijan International Development Agency, in order to reduce the impact of the crisis situation on the African people. Azerbaijan has also contributed to the development of education in Africa, collaborating on programs in the field of girls' education with UNESCO, the minister underlined.
“As we all know 25 May – the founding day of the African Unity Organization is observed as Africa Day around the world. This day is an opportunity to recognize the progress made throughout the African continent, and the role of the African Union in promoting peace and security, economic development, and global cooperation,” Bayramov said.
Recalling Azerbaijan’s observer status in the African Union since 2011, Bayramov highlighted that cooperation with African nations is growing at a rapid pace, becoming more active in size and spreading to new aspects.
“The level and the intensity of our contacts with African countries are growing. The systematic work is being carried out in order to strengthen and diversify the existing cooperation,” he added.
The top diplomat underlined that under Azerbaijan’s NAM chairmanship, relations between Azerbaijan and African countries have gained a new impetus.
Azerbaijan’s NAM chairmanship established the Youth Network of the Non-Aligned Movement in October 2021, which includes youth organizations and delegates from African nations. Some of them are participating in this conference because they are studying in Azerbaijan on a scholarship sponsored by the Azerbaijani government, the minister reminded.
Furthermore, Bayramov noted that NAM attaches great importance to the continent and played a significant role in its decolonization process. The problems on the African continent have occupied the majority of the Outcome Documents of NAM Summits and Ministerial Meetings. Almost half of the NAM summits and other movement gatherings have been hosted by African countries to date. Accounting for over 45 percent of its membership, African nations have historically been the flag-bearers of the Non-Aligned Movement since its creation, he added.
“Owning an enormous potential, Africa is a continent of hope and promise. The world has much to gain from this continent which has the youngest population in the world. Here in NAM, we acknowledge and cherish this vast potential,” Bayramov stressed.
According to him, despite their ideological, political, economic, social, and cultural diversity, NAM countries have demonstrated their ability to overcome their differences and find a common ground for action that leads to mutual cooperation and upholding their shared values over the course of its 60-year existence.
“Contribution of African countries, by no doubt, have been priceless in enduring the NAM throughout the decades and I hope today’s conference will constitute an excellent opportunity to reflect on it,” he added.
As the world changes and evolves, it is critical that the member countries renew their commitment to the fundamental values of humanism and universalism, Bayramov said.
“Azerbaijan will spare no efforts during its NAM Chairmanship and beyond to work with the member states, including the ones in the African continent to promote multilateral diplomacy and strengthen cooperation, friendship, and solidarity between members of the NAM,” he stressed.
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