Statement by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, at the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Statement by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, at the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

New-York, September 23, 2011

Dear Mr. Chairman

Dear Mr. Secretary General,

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, and distinguished Secretary General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for organizing this Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.

In the meantime, I would like to express my gratitude to the Republic of Kazakhstan on a successful hosting of the 38th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers in Astana and on assumption of the Chairmanship of the OIC Group in New York. I assure you my country's full cooperation in facilitating your work.

Distinguished Colleagues,

We live in a time historical essence of which is characterized by contradictions in social, cultural and political processes. Analytical judgment sometimes lags behind the tempo and dynamics of those processes.

Our globalization world has been rapidly changing. Consequently the world order and the system of International Relations are changing as well. Political events that occur nowadays at the different regions of the world are capable of changing the geopolitical picture of any given region. These events happen with such a lightening speed that events go beyond the might of powerful countries and there lies the very nature of globalization.

Historically Islam has always been bearing and disseminating the noble aims and the rich culture of the humanity. In the medieval ages, Europe had benefited from the values of the Orient and was able to progress through various spheres precisely owing to this factor. Islam, adhering to peace and tolerance in the world, has made great contribution to harmony and prosperity of all nations regardless of their faith. However, nowadays Islamic Ummah has been facing numerous challenges and obstacles.

Nowadays there are many ongoing conflicts in the world, most of them regrettably occurring in the Islamic Ummah, which impedes not only geo-political and geo-economic, but also democratic development of the affected regions.

There are certain regions that are very sensitive to the geopolitical processes. Recent political processes currently taking place in the Near and the Middle East region demonstrated the fragility of peace and stability to the international community.

Processes of democratization in certain brotherly Muslim states have once again emphasized the aspirations and the will of the people to live in a democratic society. Undoubtedly, it is with the democracy that lies the key to stability and prosperity and Azerbaijan remains a strong advocate of this just cause.

Azerbaijan encourages all Member States to maintain their efforts to achieve settlement of the conflicts in the Islamic world based on the norms and principles of international law. We also reaffirm our support to the Muslim communities and minorities around the world.

We remain concerned over the situation in Palestine. Azerbaijan reiterates its strong support to brotherly people of Palestine and their efforts to achieve peace, stability, and establishment of a sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital and fully support Palestine aspiration to be a full-fledged member of the United Nations. We highly value the work of the OIC Secretary General and his staff to consolidate our Organization in providing much needed assistance to population in Palestine.

Mr. Chairman,

We are deeply concerned with the humanitarian situation in brotherly Somali. Horrible famine and drought affected vast parts of the country, resulting tens of thousands of deaths and massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Somalians to neighbouring countries. According to latest UN report some 12 million people still remain in crisis, with 750000 people in dire risk of death. This is an unprecedented tragedy that humanity had faced in the last 100 years and all nations of the world share sacred duty to contribute to the elimination of the harsh consequences of this tragedy.

In this regard we have to realize the full potential of the OIC and the Muslim states to provide so badly needed aid and assistance to prevent humanitarian disaster in Somali. Azerbaijan has already provided humanitarian aid to this brotherly country. In recent years Azerbaijan has continued its active participation in humanitarian assistance programmers to a number of the OIC Member States carried out through the OIC and UN frameworks, and we will further continue these efforts.

Global challenges require global responses. The United Nations is best suited to meet the former and provide the latter. To do so in the most efficient way, the UN needs to be reformed and strengthened to fulfil its mandate and cope with traditional and emerging risks and threats. The international economic architecture also needs to be reformed to meet the challenges posed by a globalized, interdependent and interconnected world and the resulting crises which could affect hundreds of millions in our countries.

The UN Security Council reform presents significant concern to all Member States. The OIC has a legitimate demand for being represented in the Security Council to defend and promote the interests of Muslim countries. We support comprehensive reform of the Security Council to make it more representative, democratic, effective, transparent and accountable to the UN Members.

In this regards, I am pleased to inform the distinguished colleagues that Azerbaijan has put forward its candidacy for a non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council, for the term of 2012-2013, at the elections to be held in 2011 at the 66th session of the UN General Assembly. Proceeding from the importance of representing the OIC in the Security Council we rely on the continued support by the Member States to the candidacy of Azerbaijan.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

I would also like to express once again Azerbaijan’s sincere gratitude to the Islamic Ummah and the OIC Secretary General for their support to the just cause of Azerbaijan in the ongoing armed conflict with Armenia as a result of which almost twenty percent of Azerbaijan’s territory is presently under occupation by Armenia, around one million Azerbaijanis have been ethnically cleansed from their native lands, and thousands of Azerbaijani cultural and historical monuments, including of Islamic heritage were devastated and looted.

Numerous OIC decisions and resolutions on the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan and support of the OIC Member States have been instrumental in addressing the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan by the international community, in particular by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.

The Government of Azerbaijan remains committed to the peaceful settlement of this protracted conflict based on the respect for the norms and principles of international law, implementation of the relevant UN Security Council and OIC resolutions as well as appropriate documents and decisions adopted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Council of Europe and European Parliament.

Mr. Chairman,

In conclusion, I would like to convey our best wishes and successful deliberations to the General Assembly and also to express our cordial gratitude to OIC Secretary General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for his outstanding work for the benefit of the Islamic Ummah.

Thank you.

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