Abdullayeva stressed the great importance of the Azerbaijani president’s initiative and described it as a significant contribution to the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
"As is known, Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, Head of the Department of Foreign Policy Affairs of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev, made a statement in connection with the countries’ support for the Azerbaijani president’s initiative to hold a special session of the UN General Assembly,” the spokesperson added.
“The initiative of convening a special session of the UN General Assembly dedicated to combating COVID-19 was put forward by the president on May 4, 2020 during the online summit of the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group dedicated to combating the pandemic,” Abdullayeva said. “During the online summit, 120 member-states unanimously supported the Azerbaijani president’s proposal and agreed on behalf of the movement to submit a proposal to the UN secretary general.”
“Thus, the Azerbaijani president, on behalf of the NAM member-states, as the NAM chairman, addressed a letter to the UN secretary general with a request on May 13, 2020 to convene a special session of the General Assembly,” the spokesperson said. “The UN secretary general, in turn, having distributed the full note among the UN member-states, asked each of them within 30 days to express support for this initiative of the Azerbaijani president.”
“During the indicated period, Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, the Foreign Ministry, Azerbaijan’s representative office under UN in New York, as well as other diplomatic missions abroad actively worked to inform about the Azerbaijani president’s initiative in the countries of their accreditation,” the spokesperson said. “As a result, the initiative was supported by over two thirds of UN member-states.”
“Regarding the significance of the initiative, when the whole world is struggling with COVID-19, strengthening of international solidarity in the fight against this global disaster is of great importance,” Abdullayeva said.
“For this purpose, high-level meetings dedicated to the fight against coronovirus were held and the issues of international cooperation, coordination and solidarity in the fight against the global pandemic and for reducing its influence were discussed at the initiative of the Azerbaijani president within the two international organizations (the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States and the Non-Aligned Movement),” the spokesperson said.
“The discussion of this topic at the high level within the UN General Assembly will certainly make a significant contribution to mitigation and elimination of the consequences of the global crisis in the field of heath care, expansion of international cooperation, development of multilateral diplomacy and, as a result, ensuring the security in the world," Abdullayeva added.
“In accordance with paragraph 9 (a) of the procedural rules of the UN General Assembly, a special session of the Assembly may be convened,” the spokesperson said. “In accordance with this procedure, the Azerbaijani president addressed the UN secretary general on behalf of the NAM member-states, as well as the UN secretary-general appealed to the member-states for support.”
"In accordance with the rules, the support of a majority of members of the General Assembly was sufficient to convene a session,” Abdullayeva said. “The initiative of the Azerbaijani president was supported by 130 UN member-states, that is, two-third of the members. I would also like to stress that the initiative of the Azerbaijani president was supported not only by the NAM member-states, but also by most of the European countries, including the members of the European Union, the leading countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America."
Then, Abdullayeva commented on Armenia’s position on this issue.
“Is there a country opposing the initiative? There is such a country, and this is Armenia,” the spokesperson said. “The representative of this country to the UN, having addressed a letter to the secretary general, stressed that he sees no sense in implementing this initiative.”
“When the world is struggling with a global pandemic, when all countries need international solidarity and cooperation on this issue, the main reason why Armenia opposes holding a high-level meeting on this topic is, of course, related to Azerbaijan promoting this initiative,” Abdullayeva added. “Just imagine that this country does not support the discussion of the issue of human health on the international platform, which is of the highest value, in such a difficult period that our world is facing.”
“Thus, Armenia has once again demonstrated what its true values are,” Abdullayeva said.
“It is known that the support for this initiative of the Azerbaijani president testifies to the international community’s big confidence in our country,” Abdullayeva added. “While taking advantage of this opportunity, we once again thank every country that supports this initiative."
“UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will explain during the coming days the next steps in terms of supporting the initiative of the Azerbaijani president and the procedural rules,” the spokesperson said.
“In accordance with the rules of procedure, the next step is the adoption of a resolution of the General Assembly on the convening of its special session,” Abdullayeva said. “After the adoption of the resolution, a special session must be convened as soon as possible.”
“I would like to stress that on the proposal of the Azerbaijani president, a special session is planned to be held in the form of a video conference at the level of heads of state and government,” the spokesperson said.
“We hope that after taking the appropriate steps, a special session will be organized as soon as possible,” Abdullayeva said. “We believe that the special session will contribute to strengthening of the solidarity of the countries in the fight against the pandemic, strengthening of international cooperation and finding an international response to this global threat.”
“This initiative, put forward by the president, is in the interests of the international community, and each country supporting this initiative is interested in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” the spokesperson said. “Our country, together with all the countries supporting this initiative, will work on its implementation."