H.E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister for Foreign Affairs
27 September 2008
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ELMAR MAMMADYAROV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, stated that the effectiveness of the international security system impacted on the authority of the United Nations. When agreement among Security Council members seemed elusive, it generally impacted on the Organization’s credibility. Member States would respect shared values and accept the restraints inherent in those values, in order to find an approach based on a global consensus. Essential reforms to the Organization would need to enhance the General Assembly policy-making organs of the United Nations and the Security Council’s responsibility for threats that transcended national borders.
He observed that the sixty-third General Assembly was taking place during critical times in the South Caucasus region. Committed to contributing to the decrease of tensions, he acknowledged that the worrisome events in Georgia had demonstrated that the protracted conflicts in the region, including the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh, remained a major source of instability. The Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform initiated by Turkey promised to be a starting point for the regional security system. However, prerequisite to cooperation and good relations would be the withdrawal of the Armenian troops from occupied lands and restoration of full sovereignty of Azerbaijan over those territories. The Azerbaijan Government was committed to a peaceful settlement based on the principles of international law and United Nations resolutions, and he reminded the delegations of last year’s agenda and resolution (document A/62/243) item regarding the situation. He stressed that the principles laid out in the resolution would be used as a basis for negotiation.
With one of the highest gross domestic products (GDP) of the world, he recounted that Azerbaijan had contributed greatly to regional security and stability by strengthening and promoting energy, communication and economic cooperation projects, including the production and delivery of the Caspian Sea hydrocarbon resource to international markets. The construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway would also link Azerbaijan with Georgia and Turkey, creating effective communications and a connection between Europe and Asia. He also recounted that Azerbaijan was recognized as a top performer in implementing business regulatory reforms and a country with an investment-friendly economy and an improved commercial environment that encouraged business start-ups.
At the same time, his country supported the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, he said, adding that the adoption without vote by the General Assembly of resolution A/RES/62/274 on the issue was a sign of global recognition of his country’s efforts. He concluded by reaffirming Azerbaijan’s commitment to the work of the United Nations human rights bodies. As a member to the Human Rights Council, it was the common task and responsibility of Member States to ensure that it become truly objective, vigorous and credible.