An initiative supported by the world
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has taken the necessary initiatives and practical steps to strengthen international solidarity in the fight against coronavirus at the regional and global levels. While the pandemic poses a serious threat to human life, it has also created devastating global socio-economic and humanitarian threats that will continue to be felt for a long time to come.
Undoubtedly, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a great need for global solidarity and vision. However, the role of international organizations, especially the UN and its main bodies, the General Assembly and the Security Council, is not visible in the system of international relations. Unfortunately, the world's leading countries are focused on geopolitical competition and isolation instead of global leadership.
Although global leadership was expected from major powers and international organizations, this did not happen. Instead, more isolated, nationalistic and fragmentary steps have been taken. The initiative to convene special meetings of the UN Security Council, which is in the center of the world's attention, failed due to disagreements. Although several draft resolutions were put forward within the UN General Assembly, most of them were not successful and ended only with declarative texts.
On May 4, 2020, an online summit of the organization's Contact Group dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic was organized on the initiative of President Ilham Aliyev, as the chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement. The event was attended by members of the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as high-ranking Chinese representatives of international organizations such as the UN Secretary-General, the President of the UN General Assembly, the Director-General of the WHO, the African Union and the European Union. President Ilham Aliyev's speech at the Non-Aligned Movement's online summit focused on the UN General Assembly's proposal to hold a special session of heads of state and government via video conference to combat the pandemic as an example of global solidarity. The proposal was unanimously approved by the Non-Aligned Movement's 120 member states in New York, after which President Ilham Aliyev addressed the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on behalf of the movement with a proposal to hold a special session of the UN General Assembly at the level of heads of state and government. It is gratifying that about 130 countries have informed the Secretary General's Office that they will support the initiative. The support of President Ilham Aliyev's initiative to hold a special session of the UN General Assembly as chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement is another indication of the great confidence and respect of our country in the international community.
MP, political scientist Elman Nasirov said that each head of state has expressed his position in the fight against COVID-19, which has become a scourge of the planet. In this regard, Azerbaijan demonstrates exemplary experience among the world powers, and under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, our country is consistently and systematically fighting the coronavirus at the national, regional and international levels. "In particular, there are gaps in the fight against coronavirus in the world. Other countries do not show unity, solidarity and irresponsibility in dealing with this painful issue. Against the background of all this, the steps taken by President Ilham Aliyev to ensure unity, solidarity and responsibility in the fight against coronavirus are highly appreciated by the international community. It should be noted that the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group's summit in video format confirms what we have said. At the meeting, the head of state called on member states to hold a special UN session. Although it is enough for 97 countries to support the initiative in accordance with the Charter, this initiative of the President of Azerbaijan was supported by 130 countries around the world. This is a matter of pride. This is a diplomatic victory of the Azerbaijani state, a great success for President Ilham Aliyev,” the MP noted.
Nasirov said that a special session of the UN General Assembly is planned to be held on the initiative of President Ilham Aliyev. "The attention of the whole world will be focused on this meeting,” he stressed. "This step taken by President Ilham Aliyev to ensure unity and solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic at the global level will, as a result, significantly expand our chances of overcoming the universal scourge. At the very least, the attention of the entire international community will be directly focused on this issue. I think that, first of all, economic and humanitarian efforts will be intensified in the process of combating this scourge. At the same time, the chances of obtaining the highly anticipated antiviral vaccine will increase. Because the largest universal international organization in the world is the UN. The fact that this issue has become a very serious topic of discussion at the UN level will eventually lead to a further expansion of opportunities to influence the disaster in various directions at the international level. Thus, it can be said unequivocally that this initiative of President Ilham Aliyev has received the highest support at the global level. In the fight against COVID-19, our country has demonstrated to the world that although Azerbaijan is a small country, its word has a great weight.”
MP Jeyhun Mammadov said that today the world is facing a serious test. "Most countries around the world are focused on fighting the pandemic," he said. "In parallel, Azerbaijan is taking consistent and purposeful measures in two directions. On the one hand, our country is seriously fighting the pandemic, on the other hand, it is pursuing an active and consistent foreign policy. In short, although a number of countries closed themselves during the pandemic, Azerbaijan has pursued an active foreign policy. Humanitarian aid and support were provided to about 30 countries. All these steps have been highly appreciated by the world powers. The World Health Organization has repeatedly thanked Azerbaijan for these efforts.”
Mammadov emphasized that Azerbaijan was the initiator and organizer of the international event in several video conferencing formats. "On the initiative of President Ilham Aliyev, an extraordinary summit of the Turkish Council was held on April 10 via video conference. Issues of cooperation in several areas were discussed. Also, on the initiative of President Ilham Aliyev, a summit on "Together against COVID-19" was held on May 4 via video conference in the format of the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group. Extensive discussions were held on the situation in the world. Later, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement countries, President Ilham Aliyev addressed an appeal to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres with a proposal to hold a special session of the UN General Assembly at the level of heads of state and government via video conference. This was another support of Azerbaijan to international efforts. All these steps show that Azerbaijan's prestige in the world is growing, and it has great trust and confidence in the world. Azerbaijan has achieved all this as a result of its successful foreign policy. All this shows that Azerbaijan is not indifferent to the issues of concern to the world, and attaches special importance to international cooperation. This, in turn, will have a positive impact on the further growth of our country's reputation,” he added.