Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the completion of the presidency of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the United Nations Security Council
The Republic of Azerbaijan has completed its presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of October 2013. During its two-year non-permanent membership in 2012-2013, this was the second time that Azerbaijan assumed the presidency functions in that main organ conferred with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
The central theme of Azerbaijan's first presidency in May 2012 was “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: strengthening international cooperation in the implementation of counterterrorism obligations”. This topic was discussed at the high-level thematic meeting of the Security Council, held on 4 May 2012 under the chairmanship of President Ilham Aliyev.
During its second presidency in the Security Council, at the initiative of Azerbaijan on 28 October a high-level meeting of the Security Council convened on the theme of “Strengthening partnership synergy between the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)” - the first ever meeting of the Council on this subject. The purpose of the meeting was to review the current state of cooperation between the United Nations and the OIC, as the second largest intergovernmental organization, in the maintenance of international peace and security, and to explore ideas, measures and joint actions for strengthening the partnership synergy between the two organizations.
Chaired by Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the meeting was attended by Secretaries-General of the two organizations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and Dr. Ekmelleddin Ihsanoglu, as well as by the high-level representatives of States members of the Security Council. The discussions focused on the critical international issues, including the global and regional processes and on the ways of strengthening close cooperation and partnership between the United Nations and other international organizations, including in particular the OIC, in addressing those issues more effectively.
While emphasizing the significant contribution of Islamic civilization to the mankind, science and education, the participants also underlined the need for common actions and dialogue in countering prejudices and offences against Islam and stressed the necessity of respecting religious and cultural diversity at the global level was underlined.
In regard to the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, concerns were voiced over the continued occupation of the Azerbaijani territories by Armenia and calls were made for the resolution of the conflict on the basis of the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the inviolability of internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan and in line with Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 adopted in 1993.
The high-level meeting adopted the Statement by the President of the Security Council as an outcome document, which, inter alia, recognized and further encouraged the active contribution of the OIC in the work of the United Nations; called for enhanced cooperation to promote better understanding across countries, cultures and civilizations; noted that the two organizations share common objectives in fostering solutions to conflicts in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council; and underlined the importance of strengthening cooperation with the OIC in the maintenance of international peace and security.
At the informal luncheon discussions, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon briefed the delegates on the situation in Kenya, Syria and Somalia.
Another important undertaking during Azerbaijan presidency was the official mission of the Security Council to Africa from 3 to 9 October. During this four-leg mission, the members of the Council visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia with the aim of taking stock of and discussing the current political, security and humanitarian situation in Africa's Great Lakes region, as well as showcasing their support to the UN-led and regional peace efforts and holding meetings with relevant authorities, as well as annual joint discussions with Peace and Security Council of African Union.
The 7th annual joint consultative meeting between the African Union Peace and Security Council and the United Nations Security Council was held in Addis-Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. The meeting, co-chaired by Equatorial Guinea and Azerbaijan in their respective capacities as presidents of both bodies, had discussions and exchange of views on the situation in the Great Lakes region, Somalia, the Central African Republic and the Sahel region, the relations between the Sudan and South Sudan, and on the enhancement of partnership between the African Union and the United Nations. The meeting was concluded with the adoption of a Joint Communiqué.
During its presidency in October, Azerbaijan convened three open debates of the Security Council, namely, on the situation in the Middle East, on women and peace and security and on the working methods of the Security Council, as well as a number of other meetings and closed consultations, among them on Syria, Sudan and South Sudan relations, Sudan's Darfur and Abyei regions, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, the Western Sahara region, Lebanon and the Sanctions Committee of the Security Council concerning Cote d’Ivoire.
On October 30th, the Security Council adopted its annual report to the General Assembly for the period 1 August 2012 to 31 July 2013, which included a comprehensive account of all Council meetings and activities, as well as the range of thematic issues covered during the review period.
Upon the request of the African Union Member States, Azerbaijan organized on 31 October an informal interactive dialogue between the members of the Security Council and the Contact Group of the African Union Executive Council comprised of ministers of foreign affairs and other high-level officials from Ethiopia, Burundi, Mauritania, Uganda, Senegal, Namibia and Kenya to discuss the issues related to the International Criminal Court.
Azerbaijan's second presidency in the Council was marked with the adoption of four resolutions. Those are resolution 2119 on the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, resolution 2120 on the extension of the authorization of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, resolution 2121 on the situation in the Central African Republic, and resolution 2122 adopted as an outcome of the open debate on “Women and peace and security”.
Among other documents issued by the Security Council in October are two presidential statements on strengthening cooperation between the United Nations and the OIC and on the humanitarian situation in Syria, as well as six press statements on terrorist attacks against the Russian Embassy in Tripoli, Libya on 2 October, polio vaccination in Sudan, elections in Guinea and on the killing of UN peacekeepers in Mali, the Darfur region of Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
On October 30, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United Nations organized a reception to celebrate the end of Azerbaijan's presidency in the Security Council for the delegations of the members of the Security Council and other members of the United Nations, as well as the representatives of UN Secretariat, non-governmental organizations and mass media.
By serving as a non-permanent member of and, in particular, presiding twice over the Security Council for the last two years, Azerbaijan has made considerable contributions to the maintenance of international peace and security by demonstrating its principled position and advancing respect for international law and justice on all issues on the agenda of the Security Council.
Throughout this period, the Republic of Azerbaijan has proven to be a reliable partner determined to further strengthen its cooperation with the international community, including the States members of the United Nations, intergovernmental organizations and civil society.
Azerbaijan handed over the presidency of the United Nations Security Council to China in November.