Assistant to Azerbaijan’s president, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev said in his interview to Azertag State News Agency, AzVision.az reports.
Hikmet Hajiyev said that the pandemic not only created serious health problems, endangering people's lives but also created devastating global socio-economic and humanitarian threats, the negative consequences of which will still be felt for a long time. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that compared to World War II, instead of isolated and fragmentary measures, there is a great need for global solidarity and global vision. For this purpose, on the initiative of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, as a chairman of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States, an extraordinary Summit of the Turkic Council has been held at the level of heads of state and government of this organization on April 2020. The Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States was the first international organization that has held a summit on the coronavirus pandemic at the level of heads of state.
On the initiative of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ilham Aliyev, an online Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement's Contact Group dedicated to the fight against coronavirus pandemic was organized on May 4, 2020. The event was attended by the member states of the Non-Aligned Movement, the UN Secretary-General, President of the UN General Assembly, President of the African Union, WHO Director-General and High Representative of the European Union. Uniting 120 countries, the Non-aligned movement is the second largest political institution in the world after the United Nations.
As an example of global solidarity in the fight against COVID-19, the Republic of Azerbaijan has made a voluntary donation to the World Health Organization and sent humanitarian aid to more than 30 countries.
Speaking at the Non-Aligned Movement's online summit, President Ilham Aliyev proposed to hold a special session of the UN General Assembly at the level of heads of state and government through video conference to fight against the pandemic as an example of global solidarity.
Under the UN Charter, the UN General Assembly may convene an emergency Special Sessions. Special sessions should be convened by the Secretary-General at the request of the UN Security Council or upon the application of two-thirds of the UN member states. Since the establishment of the United Nations, a limited number of special sessions of the General Assembly have been held.
The proposal was unanimously adopted in New York by 120 member states of the non-aligned movement. Following this, the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, President Ilham Aliyev, addressed the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement member states with a proposal to hold a special session of the UN General Assembly at the level of heads of state and government.
On May 28, in accordance with Article 9 (a, specified in the document of the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General appealed to all member states to comment on the initiative within 30 days - by June 27.
According to the rules, if the majority of UN member states (97 countries are enough) support the initiative, a special session should be organized. According to official data received by the Azerbaijani side, by the end of the period, about 130 countries have informed the Secretary General's office that they support the initiative.
The support of President Ilham Aliyev's initiative to hold a special session of the UN General Assembly by about 130 UN member states is another indication of the great confidence of the international community in our country.
The countries supporting the initiative cover all regions of the world: ranging from permanent members of the UN Security Council to small island nations. The letters addressed by the states to the UN Secretary-General on this issue emphasize that President Ilham Aliyev's initiative to hold a special session of the General Assembly was timely and much-needed.
We extend our gratitude to all countries supporting Azerbaijan's initiative. We believe that these countries have once again demonstrated their commitment to the UN Charter and multilateral cooperation.
The UN Secretary-General is expected to officially inform the member states in the coming days.
The Azerbaijani side hopes that a special session will be held as soon as possible.
As the initiative put forwarded by President Ilham Aliyev and supported by the Non-Aligned Movement member states has been accepted by the majority of the world's states, holding a special session has become a common issue not only for those countries but for all UN member states.
The Republic of Azerbaijan is ready to cooperate with all member states to determine the format of the special session of the UN General Assembly on the topic of fighting against pandemic at the level of heads of state and government through videoconference and receiving the results at the end of the special session. We believe that all member countries will show maximum flexibility during the consultations.
We are confident that the special session will create conditions for the full mobilization of the international community in the fight against the pandemic and will make a positive contribution to finding a global response to this global threat.
The continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic once again proves that the heads of state and government of the world should urgently come together in a special session of the UN General Assembly to discuss ways out of the global threat of COVID-19 and find solutions.
During the chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, the Republic of Azerbaijan will continue its activities aimed at multilateralism, the unification of the world in the face of common threats and strengthening global solidarity.