Excellency Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Honorable Members of Parliament,
Distinguished Representatives of the Government,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps and Development Partners,
My colleagues from the United Nations,
On behalf of the entire United Nations family in Azerbaijan, I would like to extend my warmest welcome and thank you all for joining us to celebrate the United Nations Day.
I do appreciate your presence here considering that some of you would have to go to other events this evening.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
72 years ago on this Day, the United Nations came into existence when member states ratified the UN charter. Ever since, the UN Day is celebrated every year around the world on 24 of October.
This year our celebration of the UN Day is significant as we mark the
25th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s membership of the United Nations and UN’s formal presence in Azerbaijan.
In recognition of this silver jubilee, we have prepared a commemorative book that reflects on our 25 years of partnership through one hundred photographs.
From the first address of President Heydar Alivey at the 49th Session of the UN General Assembly, first visit of UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali to Azerbaijan in 1994 to the establishment of the first UN office in Baku, these pictures bring unique moments of our 25 years history to life.
Through these pictures we are showing Azerbaijan’s active participation and contributions to the United Nations system from its support to the UN peace keeping operations, membership in various UN bodies, to hosting of numerous international events in Azerbaijan to promote inter-cultural dialogue, tolerance and understanding among nations.
Equally so, these photographs tell you the story of UN humanitarian and development assistance to Azerbaijan since 1992. As you will see through the pages of this book, the UN was at the forefront of humanitarian assistance to thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons and a major contributor to Azerbaijan’s post conflict reconstruction efforts in the 1990s.
UN assistance was so critical at the time that Mr. Ali Hasanov, Deputy Prime Minister once said;
“if the UN had not been present in the early 1990s and provided assistance, a humanitarian crisis would have emerged which could have led to terrible consequences.”
As Azerbaijan gained stability, the UN continued to help Azerbaijan achieve the Millennium Development Goals through its 18 UN resident and non-resident agencies in various fields such as health, education, employment, agriculture, environment, human rights, migration, and refugees, children, women and youth affairs.
In all these years, the UN has been a reliable partner of the government and people of Azerbaijan in both difficult times and good times and will continue to be so in the future.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This achievement would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of UN staff. This 25 Anniversary is a moment to recognize their hard work and sacrifices.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of us on this important day that belongs to all of us as our former SG Mr. Ban Ki Moon has very well said.
“National flags are a mark of pride and patriotism in every country around the world. But there is only one flag that belongs to all of us and that is the blue flag of the United Nations which 70 years after its founding is still a banner of hope for all humanity.”
With no further delay, I would like to present this signed copy to Your Excellency on behalf of the United Nations in Azerbaijan as a token of our appreciation and support to the Government of Azerbaijan.
Copies of the book will be sent to you later. For now, I would like invite you to look at our exhibition outside which features some of the photos.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Transport and Communication for dedicating a special stamp to mark the 25 Anniversary of our partnership. Stamp to be projected on the screen.
Finally, I would like to formally acknowledge an award that I received this morning from Ms. Hijran Hussynova who unfortunately could not make it to this event. This plague is in recognition of UN support to the Committee of Family, Women and Children Affairs.