Azerbaijan supports Small Island Developing States, promotes multilateralism

    ANALYTICS  28 May 2024 - 14:30

    Fuad Muxtar-Agbabali

    Azerbaijan has demonstrated a consistent commitment to international solidarity, particularly with Small Island Developing States (SIDS), by promoting their legitimate interests and addressing their unique challenges.

    Azerbaijan’s role in the Non-Aligned Movement

    During its four-year chairmanship of the NAM, Azerbaijan dedicated considerable effort to advancing the Movement’s agenda. Key areas of focus included institutional development, strengthening unity among member states, and enhancing the visibility of NAM on the global stage. This leadership role allowed Azerbaijan to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse needs and concerns of all its member states, particularly those of SIDS.

    Azerbaijan’s leadership extended to global health crises, notably the Covid-19 pandemic. As NAM Chair, Azerbaijan spearheaded global efforts to combat the pandemic and initiated a UN Special Session on the matter. A staunch advocate against vaccine nationalism, Azerbaijan called for equitable and universal access to vaccines, emphasizing the need for global solidarity.

    Furthermore, Azerbaijan provided substantial financial and humanitarian assistance to over 80 countries, including approximately 20 SIDS. This aid was crucial in supporting these nations, which were disproportionately affected by the pandemic's socio-economic impacts.

    In March, the NAM Chair, President Ilham Aliyev, made a global call to action for supporting post-pandemic recovery in SIDS, inviting the international community to provide financial and economic assistance to these vulnerable nations.

    Hosting COP29 & Climate Change Initiatives

    Azerbaijan's upcoming role as the host of COP29 underscores its growing influence and commitment to addressing global challenges. The unanimous support for Azerbaijan’s COP29 bid reflects the international community’s trust and respect for its leadership.

    Climate change poses significant risks to all countries, but SIDS nations are among the most vulnerable, facing severe and existential threats despite contributing minimally to the problem. Azerbaijan recognizes this disparity and has prioritized addressing climate change impacts on SIDS during its COP29 Presidency. Plans include holding a SIDS Summit during the Baku COP to ensure these nations' voices are prominently heard.

    Azerbaijan’s support for SIDS extends beyond advocacy to practical measures. The country has provided aid for disaster relief efforts in SIDS affected by hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters. Additionally, Azerbaijan has committed to funding technical assistance programs through the Commonwealth, where 33 SIDS are represented, and other international institutions.

    Education is another area where Azerbaijan has extended support. The country has offered scholarship opportunities to SIDS nationals, enabling them to study at Azerbaijani universities. To date, more than 10 SIDS have benefited from these Educational Grant Programs, which are also available to member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the NAM.

    Ensuring inclusive participation at COP29

    Azerbaijan is dedicated to facilitating the participation of SIDS at COP29, recognizing the importance of inclusive dialogue in achieving meaningful outcomes. The chosen slogan for the Baku COP, "In Solidarity for a Green World," reflects the spirit of collective action and multilateralism that Azerbaijan champions. The country calls on all nations to demonstrate political will and solidarity in addressing climate change and advancing sustainable development goals.

    Azerbaijan’s leadership in supporting SIDS and promoting multilateralism is evident through its actions and initiatives within the NAM and beyond. The country's proactive stance during the COVID-19 pandemic, its commitment to climate action, and its practical support for SIDS highlight its dedication to global solidarity and sustainable development.

    As Azerbaijan prepares to host COP29, it continues to advocate for the needs and priorities of SIDS, emphasizing the importance of inclusive and collaborative efforts to address global challenges.

    The participation of SIDS heads of state and governments at the Baku COP29 in November 2024 is anticipated to further these goals and reinforce Azerbaijan’s role as a key player in fostering international cooperation for a greener, more resilient world.

    Caliber.Az

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