ELMAR MAMMADYAROV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, said his country had adapted its national development strategy to take into account the Sustainable Development Goals. Despite the global economic crisis and sharp fall in oil prices, its economy had grown, enabling it to actively support international development, he said, noting his country’s membership in the Economic and Social Council. However, there could be no sustainable development without peace, he said, noting that since the last general debate, there had been no substantive progress in settling the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Armenia still occupied Azerbaijani territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts, in flagrant violation of international law and Security Council resolutions.
Armenia’s policies and practices in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan undermined prospects for a political settlement and threatened regional peace and stability, he said. It was refusing to withdraw its troops and it was preventing hundreds of thousands of forcibly displaced Azerbaijanis from returning to their homes. This month, it began intensive military activity in the occupied Aghdam district. Azerbaijan expected Armenia to halt is military build-up and to engage in negotiations in good faith in order to find a long-overdue political solution. The conflict could only be resolved on the basis of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders.