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Press release 16 September 2005

Statement by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly

Statement by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly

New York, September 16, 2005

Mr. President, Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today is a truly significant moment in the history of multilateralism. W e have gathered here to reaffirm our faith in this house and our unyielding commitment to its Charter. W e have pledged to contribute to a shared vision of global solidarity and collective security with a strong United Nations at its core.

W e have recognized the valuable contribution of major United Nations conferences and summits in mobilizing the efforts of Member States for achieving the United Nations development agenda. Azerbaijan considers development to be a central goal and, to that end, reiterates its commitment to fully implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). W e believe that the more active involvement of all segments of society, particularly of youth, is crucial in the process of implementing national development agendas and the achieving the MDGs.

In the draft outcome document we have acknowledged that Member States have a shared responsibility for each other’s security, since no state can stand alone against transnational threats. Manifestations of international terrorism, extremism, aggressive separatism and occupation of the territory of Member States are not the problems of the affected State alone. Therefore, prompt response and collective remedial action and to protect the millions of civilians - in particular women and children, who are the major victims of armed conflicts and negligence - are imperative in order to effectively provide security for all States and peoples and to realize the goals envisaged in the outcome document.

The notorious occupation by one United Nations Member State of the territory of another Member State, as well as carrying out ethnic cleansing, must be strongly condemned and brought to an end.

This meeting is a landmark event in the ongoing discussions on reform of the United Nations.

Azerbaijan, like many other States, is concerned about the decline in the General Assembly's prestige and its diminishing profile in the Organization's activities. The Assembly must take bold measures to further strengthen its role and authority, as set out in the Charter of the United Nations, and should discuss issues pertaining to the maintenance of international peace and security, in particular through consideration of agenda items of special political importance and urgency. Review of its agenda and the improvement of its working methods are other ways to enhance General Assembly’ s role, authority, effectiveness and efficiency as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. W e welcome in that regard adoption of the resolution 59/313 entitled “A strengthened and revitalized General Assembly”.

Azerbaijan strongly believes that reform of the Security Council should not be limited to its enlargement. It is of vital importance to ensure greater transparency in the decision-making process, accountability in performance and access and better participation of non-Member States in the work of the Council. Given the non-implementation of a number of United Nations resolutions, in particular those related to regional conflicts, we attach great importance to the establishment of a mechanism that would provide for monitoring and implementation of those resolutions.

Azerbaijan supports strengthening the role of the United Nations in global economic governance and in its capacity to promote development. Furthermore, we recognize the increasing role of the Economic and Social Council in addressing the economic and social dimensions of armed conflicts, including protracted ones, through the proposed peacebuilding commission, for instance.

We also believe that in order to effectively meet present challenges, the United Nations human rights machinery could be improved, with due regard being paid to the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of Member States and in a way conducive to their efforts to protect and promote human rights.

The principle of indivisibility of security requires a global response to current threats and challenges, which in turn entails substantial cooperation on a regional level. Azerbaijan makes a valuable contribution to regional security through cooperation in drug interdiction operations, efforts to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, illegal migration and other types of criminal activity, and its participation in peacekeeping missions in hot spots around the globe.

From the very beginning, we have been actively participating in the global fight against terrorism. Just yesterday, I signed the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear T errorism. Azerbaijan also promotes global energy security through development of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, as well as through the Kars-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Baku railroad project.

In conclusion, I would like to express confidence that this High-level Plenary Meeting, so well organized, will be a significant step towards implementation of the goals and tasks before the United Nations.

Thank you.

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