ELMAR MAHARRAM OGLU MAMMADYAROV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, noted that his country had become a donor, contributing to sustainable development efforts in Africa, Asia and Latin America. “This is a brand new chapter in our history,” he said, noting that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had recently recognized the nation’s achievement in combating hunger and meeting the Millennium Development Goal on undernourishment. Moreover, gender equality, women’s empowerment and combating HIV/AIDS had also been identified as areas for progress. Describing information and communications technology as a key element of the post-2015 development agenda, he said his country had proposed to establish the Eurasian Connectivity Alliance. Azerbaijan acknowledged the support of Member States for the regional platform through the adoption of Assembly resolution 67/298, he added. On peace and security, he recalled that in 1993, the Security Council had adopted four resolutions condemning the use of force against Azerbaijan and the occupation of its territories. The texts reaffirmed respect for the country’s Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, reconfirmed the Nagorno-Karabakh region as an integral part of Azerbaijan, and demanded the immediate, full and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces. “To our deepest regret,” he said, those demands had not been implemented and mediation efforts through the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had not yielded results. Against that background, he continued, Armenia had sought to distort the actual situation, downplayed the relevance of the Council resolutions and misinterpreted their provisions, with a view to deflecting the international community’s attention from the problems caused by its continuing aggression. Armenia’s annexationist claims, as well as measures to consolidate the status quo and prevent the return of internally displaced persons constituted an open challenge to the conflict resolution process and posed a serious threat to international and regional peace and security. However, Azerbaijan remained committed to the process, in the conviction that the two communities of its Nagorno-Karabakh region would one day live side by side in peace and dignity, he said.
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