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Azerbaijan's growing international influence: Hub for global gatherings

22 May 2024 [08:30] - TODAY.AZ
Nazrin Abdul

Azerbaijan's burgeoning international image has cemented its status as a premier destination for global gatherings. International organizations, mindful of the country's robust capabilities and global position, increasingly choose Azerbaijan as the stage for their significant events.

Over time, Azerbaijan has hosted a plethora of international forums, conferences, and competitions, spanning political, economic, humanitarian, and sporting realms, underscoring its unique allure as a global event hub.

This year marks a pinnacle in Azerbaijan's hosting prowess as it prepares to welcome the largest international event yet—the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29).

Renowned as a steadfast partner in contemporary international relations, Azerbaijan stands tall as the preeminent state in the South Caucasus, serving as the economic, political, and humanitarian nucleus of the region. With a rich tapestry of experience in organizing world-class events, it is necessary to highlight 2 prestigious events hosted by Azerbaijan recently: the chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement in 2019-2021 and the 7th Summit of the Organization of Turkic States.

Ilham Aliyev participated in Ministerial Meeting of NAM Coordinating Bureau

Summit of Religious Leaders and Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement

Baku has also served as the venue for high-level diplomatic gatherings, including the Summit of Religious Leaders and the ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement. These events have provided opportunities for leaders from diverse religious and political backgrounds to come together and explore avenues for promoting peace, tolerance, and cooperation on the global stage.

Since 2019, Azerbaijan has assumed the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), a tenure initially set for three years through the unanimous decision of member countries. Demonstrating trust in Azerbaijan's leadership, our presidency was extended for an additional year, acknowledging our efforts in expanding the organization's activities and global influence.

Under Azerbaijan's stewardship, the Non-Aligned Movement has flourished, becoming the world's largest international organization after the UN General Assembly. President Ilham Aliyev's leadership has bolstered Azerbaijan's standing and role on the global stage, garnering significant achievements for the Movement.

President Aliyev's proactive approach as NAM chairman has garnered widespread support both within the Movement and from other nations. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic during Azerbaijan's chairmanship, the country adeptly adjusted its agenda to address the new reality.

Azerbaijan has demonstrated its adeptness in multilateral diplomacy, firmly committed to its principles. From 2019 to the outset of this year, Azerbaijan fervently championed the tenets of multilateralism within the Non-Aligned Movement, comprising 120 countries. As the second-largest organization after the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement upholds pivotal values such as sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in internal affairs.

Azerbaijan played an active role in bolstering this movement by establishing women's and youth organizations, thereby enhancing its institutional framework and fostering a cohesive network. These initiatives, spearheaded by Azerbaijan, underscore its dedication to advancing the cause of multilateralism.

Initiated by President Aliyev, the Non-Aligned Movement assumed a leadership role in the global fight against the pandemic, rallying the international community to combat the threat. In May 2020, Azerbaijan hosted an online summit dedicated to COVID-19, where President Aliyev proposed a special session of the UN General Assembly focusing on pandemic response. This proposal received backing from over 150 countries, leading to a successful session in December 2020 attended by more than seventy heads of state and government—a pivotal moment in global pandemic response efforts.

Azerbaijan's commitment to humanitarian aid has been remarkable, providing support to over 80 countries, predominantly NAM members. This reflects our nation's dedication to human values, underscored by a $10 million voluntary contribution to the World Health Organization.

Chairing the Non-Aligned Movement and hosting such prestigious events underscores Azerbaijan's commitment to multilateralism and global solidarity. It exemplifies our country's pivotal role in shaping international discourse and fostering cooperation in an increasingly interconnected world.

7th Summit of the Turkic Council was held in Baku. | News | Türk Devletleri Te?kilat?

The 7th Summit of the Turkic Council (TDT)

Expanding ties with Turkic-speaking nations stands as a cornerstone of Azerbaijan's foreign policy agenda. Our nation's steadfast commitment to bolstering this union remains a focal point, underscoring our dedication to fostering meaningful relationships across new frontiers.

On October 15, 2019, Baku hosted the 7th Summit of the Turkic Council (TDT), a significant event that affirmed Uzbekistan's membership in the organization. By the unanimous decision of the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement, Azerbaijan assumed the chairmanship for the years 2019-2022, and again by unanimous decision, our chairmanship was extended for another year. Preceding the Summit, a Business Forum was convened, setting the stage for robust discussions on economic collaboration. With the conclusion of the Summit, the chairmanship of the organization transitioned to the Republic of Azerbaijan, underscoring the country's commitment to advancing Turkic cooperation until the next Summit.

Two years later, on November 12, 2021, Istanbul welcomed the 8th Summit of the TDT, marking the transfer of chairmanship from Azerbaijan to Turkiye. During this Summit, the "Turkic World Vision 2040" document was ratified, emphasizing the participation of TDT member states in the transformation of the liberated Karabakh region into a "green energy" zone—a testament to the organization's forward-looking vision and collaborative spirit.

Distinguished leaders including President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, First President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan, President Sooronbay Jeenbekov of the Kyrgyz Republic, and Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary convened in Baku for the Summit, reaffirming their commitment to Turkic solidarity and cooperation.

Founded on the Nakhchivan Agreement signed on October 3, 2009, the Turkic Council stands as an international intergovernmental organization dedicated to fostering comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking countries. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey serve as its founding members, championing mutual interests and solidarity within the Turkic world.

High-level UN Security Council meeting chaired by Ilham Aliyev was held

Azerbaijan's presidency of the UN Security Council

It's worth noting that Azerbaijan assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council in May 2012 and October 2013. Over these two periods, the Security Council convened 30 plenary and individual meetings, alongside 29 closed sessions. Notably, it adopted 7 resolutions, 3 chairman's statements, and issued 13 press statements.

During its tenure as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Azerbaijan convened a high-level meeting on October 28, 2013, focusing on expanding cooperation between the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Additionally, Azerbaijan proposed furthering relations between the UN and the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States.

In September 2017, during the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, President Ilham Aliyev addressed the assembly, providing detailed insights into Armenia's aggressive policies and their ramifications. President Aliyev underscored the importance of international decisions and resolutions in resolving the conflict, emphasizing the significance of the four UN Council resolutions. He highlighted the lack of international pressure on the aggressor as a key impediment to the conflict's resolution and elaborated on Azerbaijan's achievements over the past 25 years, including its international economic endeavors.

Under Azerbaijan's presidency, the UN Security Council organized a visit to Africa from October 3 to 9. On October 8, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea and Azerbaijan co-chaired the 7th annual joint meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union and the UN Security Council. Discussions centered on various regional issues, including the situation in the Great Lakes region, Sudan-South Sudan relations, Somalia, the Central African Republic, and the Sahel region, culminating in the adoption of a joint communiqué.

On October 30, the Council adopted a report reflecting its activities over the past year, encompassing meetings, discussions, and decisions undertaken during Azerbaijan's presidency.

As chair of the UN Security Council, Azerbaijan demonstrated unwavering commitment to international peace and security, making substantial contributions to the advancement of international law and justice. Azerbaijan fostered close cooperation with other Security Council members, the UN Secretariat, international institutions, non-governmental organizations, and the media, solidifying its reputation as a reliable and resolute partner in global affairs.

In recent years, Baku, the vibrant capital of Azerbaijan, has emerged as a dynamic hub for hosting a wide array of prestigious international events. From thrilling Formula 1 races to the cultural spectacle of the Eurovision Song Contest and the European and Islamic Solidarity Games, Baku has played host to a diverse range of gatherings that showcase its rich cultural heritage, organizational prowess, and commitment to fostering global dialogue and cooperation.

Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

One of the crown jewels in Baku's event calendar is the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Since its inception in 2016, this high-octane race has attracted racing enthusiasts from around the globe to witness the adrenaline-fueled spectacle on the streets of Baku. With its challenging circuit and stunning backdrop of Baku's modern skyline juxtaposed with historic landmarks, the Grand Prix has become a must-attend event for motorsport aficionados.

Eurovision Song Contest

Another highlight of Baku's cultural landscape is the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2012, Baku captivated audiences worldwide as it played host to this iconic music competition. The Eurovision Song Contest not only showcased Azerbaijan's vibrant music scene but also provided a platform for artists from across Europe to come together in celebration of diversity and creativity.

European and Islamic Solidarity Games

Baku further solidified its reputation as a global sporting destination by hosting the 1st European Games in 2015 and the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017. These multi-sport events brought together athletes from Europe and the Islamic world, fostering camaraderie and mutual respect through the spirit of sportsmanship. Baku's state-of-the-art sporting facilities and warm hospitality left a lasting impression on participants and spectators alike.

Baku International Forums

In addition to its sporting and cultural events, Baku has become a nexus for intellectual exchange and diplomatic dialogue through its hosting of international forums. The 6th Baku International Humanitarian Forum, The 6th edition of the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, Global Baku Forum, and Global Media Forum have provided platforms for thought leaders, policymakers, and media professionals to engage in constructive discussions on pressing global issues. These forums have underscored Baku's role as a bridge between East and West, facilitating cross-cultural understanding and cooperation.

Throughout its history, Azerbaijan has served as a melting pot of cultures, a testament to its strategic position bridging East and West. Our rich multicultural heritage, shaped by centuries of diverse influences, has fostered enduring values of tolerance, mutual respect, and partnership within Azerbaijani society.

The most recent of these events was the VI World Intercultural Dialogue Forum, themed “Dialogue for Peace and Global Security,” held in Baku in May of this year. This significant event, part of the Baku Process, aimed to promote intercultural dialogue on a global scale.

The forum provided a platform for individuals from diverse ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic backgrounds to engage in open and respectful discussions, fostering mutual understanding. Launched by President Ilham Aliyev in 2008 and supported by leading international organizations, the Baku Process has convened over 10,000 participants from 180 countries in more than 250 events, sparking new intercultural initiatives in the region.

With goals centered on promoting peace, enhancing global security, and fostering cooperation, the forum sought to formulate policies, documents, and agreements capable of influencing world governments on pressing issues.

Now, as the spotlight turns to COP29, Azerbaijan is poised to set new benchmarks in event organization. The city of Baku is gearing up to host not only COP29 but also the 19th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol and the 6th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, promising two weeks of vibrant global dialogue and collaboration. Anticipating approximately 70-80 thousand foreign guests, Baku is ready to pulsate with the energy of the world.

Azerbaijan is ready to support Ukraine's meaningful participation in the 29th Session of the Conference of the Parties in Baku – Aze.Media

As Baku prepares to host the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29) alongside other significant international gatherings, the city's reputation as a premier destination for hosting world-class events continues to grow. With its blend of modern infrastructure, cultural richness, and unwavering hospitality, Baku stands ready to welcome the world once again, affirming its status as a global beacon of progress and unity.

This monumental event is not just a testament to Azerbaijan's organizational acumen but also a significant boost to its international standing. It reaffirms Azerbaijan's commitment to universal human values and its integral role in the global community, showcasing the nation's unwavering dedication to advancing the collective well-being of humanity. As the world converges in Baku, Azerbaijan's star shines brighter on the international stage, illuminating its status as a beacon of progress and unity in an interconnected world.

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