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President Ilham Aliyev addresses participants of 4th Int’l Conference on Small Island Developing States

27 May 2024 23:16 (UTC+04:00)
President Ilham Aliyev addresses participants of 4th Int’l Conference on Small Island Developing States

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has addressed the participants of the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States on themed “Charting the course toward resilient prosperity”, Azernews reports.

"Ladies and gentlemen,

Azerbaijan has always been in solidarity with the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and promoted their legitimate interests and concerns.

During the 4-year-long Azerbaijani Chairmanship to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), we spared no effort to advance the Movement’s agenda. Special emphasis was placed on the institutional development of the NAM, strengthening the unity of the Movement and increasing its visibility.

Leading the NAM gave Azerbaijan an opportunity to better understand the needs and concerns of all its Member States, including SIDS.

As the NAM Chair, Azerbaijan led global efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and initiated the UN Special Session on this matter. Azerbaijan spoke against vaccine nationalism advocating for fair and universal access to vaccines for all countries.

During the pandemic Azerbaijan also provided more than 80 countries, including around 20 SIDS, with financial and humanitarian support.

Last March, in my capacity of the NAM Chair, I made a Global call to action on supporting post-pandemic recovery in SIDS. With that call I invited the international community to render financial assistance and direct economic support to SIDS to address socio-economic consequences of the pandemic. Azerbaijan was the first country to allocate funds to this call.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This year, Azerbaijan has the honor to host the COP29. The unanimous support to Azerbaijan’s COP29 bid reflects the international community’s respect and trust in Azerbaijan.

Climate change affects all countries across every continent. Azerbaijan is also negatively impacted by climate change. Our rivers are losing water, the Caspian Sea is shrinking.

Yet, SIDS are the most vulnerable nations to climate change. Despite no contribution to climate change these nations face its worst effects and even existential threat. Climate change also impedes their progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

During our COP29 Presidency addressing the challenges posed by climate change to SIDS will be among our priorities. We are planning to hold SIDS Summit during the Baku COP.

We will do our best to ensure that the voices of small island developing nations are heard loud and clear.

I call on all countries to exert maximum effort to make a deal during the COP29 that meets the needs and priorities of SIDS.

From our side, Azerbaijan has already been rendering its support to eliminating the consequences caused by the hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters in a number of SIDS. We will continue to take practical steps to further assist these countries. Azerbaijan will allocate funds for the technical assistance programs through the Commonwealth where 33 SIDS are represented, and other international institutions.

We will also extend scholarship opportunities for SIDS nationals to study at the universities of Azerbaijan. So far, more than 10 SIDS have benefited from the Educational Grant Programs provided by Azerbaijan for the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the NAM.

Azerbaijan will also facilitate the participation of SIDS at the COP29.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The slogan we have chosen for the Baku COP – “In solidarity for a Green World” reflects the spirit of our COP29 mission. As we are all facing this situation together, I call on all countries to act in solidarity to save our planet. To achieve this goal, we need political will and multilateralism which Azerbaijan has always been advocating for.

I am looking forward to the valuable participation of SIDS heads of States and Governments at the Baku COP29 this November, and wish success to the 4th International Conference on SIDS.

Thank you.

Ilham Aliyev

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Baku, 21 May 2024"

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