UN top official: Azerbaijan demonstrates high degree of readiness during COVID-19 pandemic
By Vugar Khalilov
President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Abdulla Shahid has said that Azerbaijan demonstrated a high degree of readiness during the COVID-19 pandemic, Azernews reports.
Shahid made the remark on the sidelines of a meeting, which was held at the ADA University on June 13 with representatives of the youth network of the Non-Aligned Movement.
"Azerbaijan has shown a high level of preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic. President Ilham Aliyev's timely initiative to ensure equal access to vaccines has been very effective in the fight against coronavirus. Azerbaijan has made significant progress within the UN Assembly and Security Council over the past 30 years," Shahid stressed.
Addressing the event, the president thanked Azerbaijan for its contribution to peace and security for the benefit of the world community.
He also praised the productive meeting with Non-Aligned Movement young people and emphasized the need for such gatherings to involve young people in solving global concerns.
The UN is ready to collaborate with youth from the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Shahid, stated during an interactive conversation with NAM Youth Network members at ADA University.
"The UN is always ready to cooperate with youth within the NAM, listen to their proposals and support them in all endeavors," he stressed.
The UN top official underlined that young people bear a unique responsibility in addressing global issues such as climate change and gender equality.
"The Hope Fellowship Program founded by me is designed to support young diplomats and activists. Increasing global issues awareness is quite important, and the voices of young people need to be heard," he added.
Underlining the extraordinary role of young people in sustainable development, he emphasized the need of supporting youth as one of the critical steps to maintaining world peace, security, development, and multilateralism.
Moreover, recalling his previous visit to Azerbaijan as foreign minister, Shahid expressed his delight about being back in the country.
In his introductory statement, Hafiz Pashayev, Rector of ADA University, welcomed Shahid, saying that he was the third President of the General Assembly to speak at ADA University. He confidently stated that Abdullah Shahid's meeting with the youth will be productive.
Then, Deputy Foreign Minister Elnur Mammadov spoke about Azerbaijan's youth initiatives, both at the national level and as the current chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, emphasizing that the Non-Aligned Movement Youth Network was established at Azerbaijan's initiative in October last year and that the first NAM Youth Summit will be held in Baku in July 2022.
Azerbaijan seeks to extend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Youth Network to a global scale, Mammadov said.
"Azerbaijan strives to boost the NAM Youth Network to the global scale. The NAM Youth Network issued a written statement to the 49th Session and will soon present it to the 50th Session of the UN General Assembly. We invite the president of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, to address the Youth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Baku in July 2022. On this day, the Youth Network will become an organization, which will serve as a key step in its global development," he stressed.
The deputy minister stressed the critical importance of youth in meeting global development goals. The Non-Aligned Movement Youth Network attempts to exchange ideas in order to identify issues and develop solutions.
"Azerbaijan shares the UN's priorities and will further continue to support development in the framework of the NAM among youth," he stated.
Ordukhan Mammadzadeh, the chairman of the Azerbaijani branch of the Non-Aligned Movement Youth Network, provided information on the Network's establishment and worldwide activities at the event.
The meeting, co-organized by ADA University and the Non-Aligned Movement Youth Network, focused on the role of youth in sustainable development in the post-pandemic period of Covid-19. The program was followed by a Q&A session.
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