ELMAR MAHARRAM OGLU MAMMADYAROV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, said coordinated efforts and shared responsibilities backed by adequate resources are essential to secure a sustainable and inclusive future for all. Azerbaijan has adapted its national development strategy considering the Sustainable Development Goals, and consistently aims to improve life for its citizens with a poverty level at 5.4 per cent and unemployment at 5 per cent. His country promotes regional development through connectivity, such as the establishment of an East-West transportation corridor, which saves time for moving goods between Asia and Europe. Azerbaijan also initiated a transnational broadband project called the Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway that will lay a fibre optic line between Hong Kong and Frankfurt and has nominated Baku to host the World EXPO2025. Beyond national development, his country is also committed to humanitarian assistance.
Education and health care are top domestic policy priorities for Azerbaijan, he went on to say, also emphasizing the importance of fighting corruption and promoting human rights. Azerbaijan is one of the world’s centres of peaceful multiculturalism and it seeks to promote those values globally through the hosting of international events. In that regard, he spoke of the Baku Process, launched in 2008, with the goal of strengthening partnership and cooperation between the Muslim world and Europe. He also announced that Azerbaijan will take over chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement in 2019.
The ongoing armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan still represents a major threat to international and regional peace, he said. Citing the relevant Security Council resolutions, he said the 15-nation organ had acknowledged an obvious violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan yet no resolutions had been implemented. On the contrary, Armenian policy and practices indicate its intention to secure the annexation of Azerbaijani territories, he said. The Prime Minister of Armenia regards the Nagorno-Karabakh region as part of Armenia, contrary to international law and Council resolutions, he said. He could not exclude that the latest statements and actions by the Prime Minister of Armenia are aimed at escalating the situation, he said, calling on the international community to exert pressure on Yerevan to comply with international law.
Armenia has consistently obstructed the conflict-settlement process and refuses to conduct result-oriented negotiations, he said. An economically developed and prosperous Armenia is not possible without peace and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbours, he remarked, imploring the that country’s new leadership to act in accordance with the rule of law and democratic values.