20 September 2017 Addressing the General Assembly, the President of Azerbaijan, spoke about the country's successes in socio-economic development and support of cultural diversity and said that while Security Council resolutions calling for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from its territory have been ignored, Azerbaijan remains an “engaged” Member of the United Nations.
In his speech to the Assembly’s annual general debate, Ilham Heyday Oglu Aliyev said Security Council resolutions must be respected and that “double standards” regarding their implementation, including by Armenia, are unacceptable. Against the backdrop of Armenia’s continued occupation of its territories and violation of international law, Azerbaijan nevertheless remains committed to the peaceful resolution of the conflict.
“The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be resolved on the basis of international law and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,” the Azerbaijani leader said, adding that Azerbaijan’s territorial “must be restored.”
Despite this challenge, Azerbaijan is an engaged member of the UN, he said. All fundamental freedoms are being fully provided, including the freedom of speech, media freedom, freedom of assembly and religious freedom. “Azerbaijan is a centre of multiculturalism,” with all religions and ethnic groups living in peace and harmony.
He stressed that Azerbaijan recognized multi-ethnicity as an asset and had hosted several interreligious dialogues in recent years, including one in partnership with the UN Alliance of Civilizations. Further, the main goal of the Baku Process is aimed at strengthening dialogue and partnership between the Muslim world and Europe, he added.
On the economic front, he said Azerbaijan’s economy continues to grow exponentially, while unemployment is among the lowest levels in the world at five per cent. Poverty is also on the decline. The country is also highly ranked on the human development scale, and exports not only agricultural goods, but also intellectual products, while its “zero tolerance” towards corruption and bribery make it attractive to investors.
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