NAM summit in Baku reaffirmed Azerbaijan’s high status
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 27
Baku hosted the 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member-states on October 25-26. Azerbaijan took over NAM chairmanship in 2019-2022. As a result of chairmanship in this authoritative international organization, Azerbaijan, the leading country of the South Caucasus region, will be more recognizable in the world and in global diplomacy.
There is no need to say that Azerbaijan’s foreign policy achievements are the result of dialogue and cooperation based on mutual interests with neighbors and other countries. Of course, NAM chairmanship is the result of Azerbaijan’s international recognition as an influential actor, a capable and reliable partner, independent, but at the same time open for worthy cooperation.
The Baku summit is an event of international significance. The important issues of the international, political, economic and social agenda were discussed at the summit, which became the most important event in the system of international relations for two days. The world’s leading media outlets focused on our country.
The NAM summit was the most important political event in the history of Azerbaijan’s independence. Some 159 delegations were represented by heads of state and government, speakers of the parliaments, foreign ministers and other high-ranking officials. The UN deputy secretary-general and president of the UN General Assembly arrived in Azerbaijan to participate in the summit.
The chairmanship in the summit was handed over to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev upon the unanimous decision of the NAM member-states. The president with high diplomatic professionalism took over the chairmanship in the 18th summit, which brought together 120 countries, 38 observers, invited countries and international organizations.
While delivering speech at the summit, President Aliyev once again informed the international community about the Armenian policy of occupation and ethnic cleansing conducted in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, the Khojaly genocide. The president also gave detailed information on Azerbaijan’s success in the political, economic, social, humanitarian, sports and other fields over the past 15 years.
The NAM is the most influential international organization of developing countries. It was established in the 1950s at the initiative of authoritative leaders of the countries of Asia, Africa and Europe. The movement’s activity is based on a non-alignment policy aimed at supporting peace and national liberation movements, which, inter alia, involves non-participation of the countries in any military alliances during the conflicts between great powers. The movement demonstrates an unequivocal position on the territorial integrity of the countries, supports the fundamental principles of international law.
The concept of non-alignment almost perfectly coincides with Azerbaijan’s foreign policy priorities since gaining independence.
After the election of Azerbaijani national leader Heydar Aliyev as president in 1993, a successful strategy aimed at strengthening Azerbaijan’s independence and sovereignty, which are the initial condition for people’s well-being and the country’s sustainable development, was carried out. Presently, national leader Heydar Aliyev’s worthy successor President Ilham Aliyev successfully continues the great leader’s strategy, aimed at strengthening Azerbaijan’s statehood.
While delivering speech at the summit, President Aliyev also outlined Azerbaijan’s key priorities during the presidency, stressing that Azerbaijan will build its priorities and activity on historical principles of the Bandung conference. The principles of the Bandung conference, including respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity of all countries, non-interference in the internal affairs of countries, protection of mutual interests and promotion of cooperation, coincide with the fundamental principles of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy.
President Aliyev stressed that he will make every effort to increase NAM’s role and prestige in the system of international relations, strengthen peace and security and ensure sustainable development and justice.
The NAM summit in Baku is also of particular importance from the point of view of developing Azerbaijan’s bilateral cooperation with other countries. President Aliyev held more than 20 meetings with leaders of the countries and international organizations.
Today, nationalism, intolerance on religious and ethnic grounds, denial and rejection of everything that seems alien at first glance are growing in the world.
It is clear that the societies promoting tolerance, peacefulness can withstand these threats and challenges of the difficult period.
Azerbaijan became a good example of inter-religious and inter-civilizational understanding, because historically it was a place where the representatives of different peoples and religions lived in an atmosphere of peace and friendship, there has never been a confrontation on religious and national grounds and a unique tolerant atmosphere was created here.
Azerbaijan’s multiculturalism is gradually gaining recognition as a global phenomenon, which is not surprising. People in Europe, in the homeland of tolerance, talk more often that the idea of equal coexistence of different cultures does not exist anymore, while multiculturalism has become a part of everyday life in Azerbaijan. Tolerance and equal rights of all peoples living in the country are becoming a solid foundation of Azerbaijan’s state policy.
For many years, Azerbaijan successfully copes with a very difficult task thanks to the far-seeing policy of the country's leadership. It remains outside the strengthening contradictions between Washington and Moscow. As is known, neighboring Georgia and Armenia found themselves on opposite sides of the geopolitical "front line" between these centers of power, which led to the extremely depressing consequences for both countries.
As distinct from those countries, Azerbaijan managed to maintain the same partnership with the warring parties. For example, relations between Azerbaijan and NATO are a unique example of cooperation with the country outside the framework of the bloc, which has an impressive practical component. Despite the great intensity of contacts, Azerbaijan does not seek to join the alliance and does not often participate in NATO’s exercises.
The country joined NAM in 2011 and up till now it does not join any military-political alliances. For a short period of time in the NAM, Azerbaijan has gained a positive reputation for strict observance of the norms and principles of international law and during five years has obtained the right to host the summit and chair the NAM in 2019-2022.
The holding of the 18th summit of the heads of state and government of NAM member-states, including 120 countries, which is the biggest political institution after the UN General Assembly, in Baku under the chairmanship of President Aliyev is Azerbaijan’s great diplomatic success. This shows the international community’s confidence in Azerbaijan and points to its global authority.
In general, the expediency of the policy conducted by President Aliyev is proven true. Although Azerbaijan is far from the global confrontation, Washington and Moscow traditionally consider it as an important and reliable partner.
While making the statements, President Aliyev has repeatedly confirmed that Azerbaijan puts national interests at the forefront, but at the same time successfully develops cooperation with the countries of the region and the entire world. In particular, President Aliyev appreciated the country's membership in the NAM.
Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was stipulated in the final document of the Baku summit. The document clearly emphasizes that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict poses a threat to the international peace and stability and that the conflict must be resolved on the basis of the principles of international law, within the internationally recognized territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Thus, the inadmissibility of forcible changing the borders, violating the territorial integrity of countries by using force was confirmed.
In short, Azerbaijan successfully fulfills its foreign policy priorities, which include strengthening its sovereignty and independence, eliminating the consequences of Armenia’s military aggression against Azerbaijan, restoring territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders and also continuing to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with all international actors, including the countries, associations and international organizations.
It is obvious that population benefits from the achievements of diplomacy in any country. Economic growth, security and stability, influence and authority of the country are the results of President Aliyev’s wise and far-sighted foreign policy, create comfortable conditions and improve the quality of life of the population and attract multibillion investments from abroad to Azerbaijan.
The foreign policy conducted under the president’s leadership, which led to great strengthening of Azerbaijan’s authority in the international arena also contributes to this. We, the citizens of the country, see this every day and are proud of Azerbaijan’s impressive success.
Trend’s Department of Politics