United Nations, New York, 6 April 2018 – The President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, returned to New York today following a visit to Baku, Azerbaijan, where he addressed the opening of the Mid-term Ministerial Conference of the Non- Aligned Movement (NAM) on 5 April.

In his remarks, the President commended the role of the Non-Aligned Movement in promoting peace, security and development around the world. He said, “We cannot address the link between peace and sustainable development without acknowledging that we are facing major challenges in both areas… Institutions are crumbling to conflict… people’s prayers and calls for peace remain unanswered… climate change is waging an invisible war, across new battlegrounds, and… the gap between the rich and the poor gets even wider.”

He added, “Some areas in the world feel these challenges more than others. But no country, land, or group is immune. So, we need to recommit to working together. To cooperation. To multilateralism. And to the United Nations.”

That same day in Baku, President Lajčák met with Azerbaijani Government officials and the United Nations Country Team.

With H.E. Mr. Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the President discussed a wide range of themes, including the United Nations budget, migration, regional developments, and his upcoming events on sustaining peace, youth and financing for the Sustainable Development Goals.

In a meeting with H.E. Mr. Elmar Maharram oglu Mammadyarov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the topics of discussion were United Nations reform processes, in particular Security Council reform; and the President’s High-Level Event on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, which Foreign Minister Mammadyarov agreed to attend.

The President also met with the Minister for Media and Communication Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, H.E. Mr. Mohamed Al-Moumni. They agreed on the importance of strengthening multilateralism and discussed President Lajčák’s Youth Dialogue, which will be held in May, and the ongoing negotiations on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

The President visited ASAN, an Azerbaijani Government project, which makes Government services more accessible to citizens through technology supported by the United Nations Country Team. He also participated in an interactive lecture with students at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA) University on the topic “The state of multilateralism”. The President said that multilateralism is critical to our futures – but also in a critical condition. Therefore, everyone must play a role in defending and strengthening it. Other topics raised included sustaining peace, sustainable development, migration and the work and role of the General Assembly. The discussion was co-moderated by H.E. Mr. Hafiz Pashayev, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Rector of the ADA University, and H.E. Mr Yashar Aliyev, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United Nations.

In a meeting with the United Nations Country Team in Azerbaijan, he was briefed on the challenges and opportunities related to the work of the different agencies on the ground, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the country, and relations between Azerbaijan and the United Nations.


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Katharina Kandt, Communications Adviser to the President of the General Assembly, +1 917 244 3890; kandt@un.org