The 18th goal is being realized! Today, the efforts of conflict-affected states to restore world order—a visible geopolitical struggle to reflect the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution in a new order—encourage countries to be more sensitive in their foreign policy, writes Mazahir Afandiyev.
In 2020, having restored historical justice as a result of the Second Karabakh-Patriotic War, Azerbaijan liberated its lands that had been under occupation for 30 years, put an end to the unfair treatment by the centers of power, and ensured its state interests. At the same time, Azerbaijan restored territorial integrity and sovereignty by destroying armed groups operating illegally.
There is no doubt that, along with friendly countries that rejoice in Azerbaijan’s military successes and demonstrated potential at the international level, countries that have recently tried to become an obstacle to these successes have clearly begun to manifest themselves. Today, the Republic of France, which has development strategies with Azerbaijan based on mutual respect and oriented towards the future, hinders the establishment of sustainable peace in the South Caucasus, and this is clearly evident in the position of the government officials of France.
In general, over the past 30 years, relations between France and Azerbaijan have been fundamentally and exclusively focused on development. In these relations, Azerbaijan has always tried to support France as the cultural center of Europe on a number of issues and through established mechanisms. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan allowed France to participate in the signing of the Peace Agreement in the post-war period to fulfill its peacekeeping mission, we are witnessing that, instead of seizing this opportunity, the President of France is engaged in defamation of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan sees the realities of today’s world very well and uses its available resources to the maximum to ensure peace, tranquility, and security not only in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America but also in the whole world.
Transporting the country’s rich energy resources to European countries in need, further deepening socio-cultural relations with Muslim countries, rendering humanitarian assistance to the poor, especially African countries, and expanding logistics potential from east to west and from north to south in strengthening global trade links are all part of the multi-vector and balanced foreign policy of President Ilham Aliyev.
In this regard, the holding of the Ministerial Meeting in Baku on the theme “Non-Aligned Movement: United and steadfast in confronting emerging challenges” of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement, which has been sufficiently organized and influential in recent years, and further activation of this platform are the next important steps taken by President Ilham Aliyev and official Baku on the way to peace. The points mentioned by Mr. President in his statement at that meeting, especially his views on expanding the 2030 Agenda implemented by the United Nations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, serve to reinforce the reforming architecture of current world politics.
In his speech, President Ilham Aliyev once again touched upon an important and topical issue that he encountered in practice. As is known, our territories are being contaminated by mines produced in Armenia and transported by illegal Armenian armed groups. These cases are also experienced in other conflict and post-conflict zones. It is no secret that the people and nations suffering from wars in the modern world also become victims of mine terror.
President Ilham Aliyev, as the chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, emphasized that “Azerbaijan has defined a particular national Sustainable Development Goal for humanitarian demining. Furthermore, Azerbaijan supports humanitarian demining efforts on a global scale and has proposed making demining the 18th Sustainable Development Goal.
The proposal put forward by the President of Azerbaijan on launching the 18th Sustainable Development Goal is aimed directly at preventing the death of innocent and civil people from mines and ensuring their right to life, in accordance with the UN Charter and operating principles.
Thus, the appeal by President Ilham Aliyev to the world from the Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement is once again a clear indication of the steps taken and the views expressed by Azerbaijan so far towards peace.
The Non-Aligned Movement, under the chairmanship of Azerbaijan, demonstrates its role and potential in addressing existing global problems by once again introducing a reasoned approach. Prior to this, the first meeting of the Parliamentary Network of the Non-Aligned Movement, then the events of the Youth Network, and today’s Ministerial Meeting suggest that the establishment of the institutional center of this organization may be realized in the near future.
Mazahir Afandiyev is a member of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
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