The summit-level meeting of NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) Contact Group in response to Covid-19 was held through the video link on Monday, 4 May 2020.
The meeting was initiated by President Aliyev of Azerbaijan. The theme of the meeting was ‘United against COVID-19.’
Azerbaijan is the current chair of NAM for the period 2019-2022.
The participants included the heads of state and senior officials of a number of countries and heads and representatives of several international and regional organizations including the UN, WHO, EU, African Union, etc.
After the Turkic Council, the NAM is the second international organization that has held a summit level meeting through the video link.
President Berdimuhamedov of Turkmenistan delivered a speech at the summit. /// nCa, 5 May 2020
This is the unofficial, slightly paraphrased translation of the speech of President Berdimuhamedov of Turkmenistan at the NAM contact group summit on 4 May 2020:
Dear participants of the summit!
First of all, let me express my gratitude to His Excellency President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Heydarovich Aliyev for the initiative to convene the current summit on the most acute problem that mankind has faced today.
I am convinced that the Non-Aligned Movement, which numbers 120 states in its ranks, united by a common responsibility for the fate of the planet, cannot remain aloof from its decision.
In this sense, today’s online meeting is significant and timely, it gives the opportunity to exchange views and assessments of a difficult situation, and outline ways to overcome it.
Therefore, I would like to dwell on some aspects of this problem.
The first one. Obviously, an effective pandemic response requires joint, collective and coordinated action from the entire international community. I especially want to emphasize – it is in solidarity.
Of course, each country at the national level, depending on the situation, builds its own line of resistance to the spread of dangerous infections.
At the same time, I am convinced: alone, probably, you can solve short-term problems, achieve local success. But a pandemic is a global challenge and therefore requires a global response, a long-term strategy of a universal nature and coverage.
In this regard, I propose to develop and adopt a program document within the framework of the Non-Aligned Movement that includes the basic principles of the solidarity activities of member states in the fight against epidemics, as well as a set of measures aimed at preventing and eliminating them.
The second one. The most important element of multilateral efforts today is the mutual assistance and mutual cooperation of states – organizational, moral, financial, material. In the provision of such assistance in any case, any forms of its politicization, discrimination, and the promotion of any counter conditions are unacceptable.
The third. Close cooperation between professionals is of great importance in the fight against a pandemic and its consequences. It is necessary to fully engage the mechanisms of scientific diplomacy. It implies a constant exchange of experience, knowledge and information on treatment methods and disease prevention, medical preparations and equipment, personal protective equipment.
In this context, I consider it advisable to create a Council of medical scientists of non-aligned states.
Fourth. Our joint multilateral work should be carried out with the coordinating role of the United Nations and in close cooperation with the World Health Organization, which has accumulated unique experience in combating viral diseases.
Taking this opportunity, I want to express the full support from Turkmenistan on the part of WHO, and sincerely thank its leadership and staff for their dedicated and professional work. Our country will continue active cooperation with this important international structure and is ready to render all possible assistance to it.
I think that the need has arisen for this situation to establish effective channels of partnership between the Non-Aligned Movement and WHO, primarily through the medical communities of our countries.
I propose to entrust the Governments of the member states of the Non-Aligned Movement to jointly work on the schemes and forms of such joint activities.
I would also like to emphasize the need for more effective cooperation with the United Nations and its specialized structures.
Dear participants of the summit!
Along with the urgent measures and tasks of today, we must think about the future.
It is obvious that the agenda of the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly will be substantially adjusted for the pandemic and will be largely oriented towards the post-crisis period, in which the whole world community will have to work hard to restore the economy, social sphere, and resolve humanitarian issues. Moreover, in equal priority and interconnectedness.
Therefore, now it is necessary to create platforms for bringing the global economy to the path of sustainable growth. In our opinion, energy, industry, transport, and trade should become key areas here.
It is clear that the global energy market has never encountered such difficulties as the current ones. In these conditions, the restoration and establishment of energy supplies to world markets on fair and transparent principles, equality, recognition and consideration of the interests of states is of particular importance. The most important aspect of achieving this goal is the diversification of energy flows.
The same can be said about transport. We must quickly and fully restore transport links between countries and regions, transit corridors, and look for new routes.
This work will logically lead to the creation of a new infrastructure, logistics in vast areas. And, as a result, to the solution of many social problems, overcoming unemployment, and creating new jobs.
Our states are called upon to play an important role in this, which must contribute to the positive development of geo-economic processes in the world. The success and effectiveness of adapting the global economy to new realities depend to a large extent on the coherence and coordination of our actions.
We also have to join forces in resolving large-scale humanitarian issues caused by the consequences of the pandemic. Assistance to migrants, refugees, vulnerable populations, especially in the developing countries, should remain a priority on the agenda of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The joint work of the states of the Non-Aligned Movement in ensuring global food security is extremely important. The unity, decisiveness and firmness of the positions of non-aligned countries are necessary when considering issues of ensuring access of states and regions to food resources, in ensuring guarantees of good nutrition as an inalienable right of any person.
But, of course, the main, decisive condition for achieving all the goals set and for overcoming the current crisis fully is ensuring lasting peace and security. It is impossible to talk about the successful fight against the pandemic, overcoming its consequences against the backdrop of wars and conflicts.
Therefore, we, the states of the Non-Aligned Movement, must resolutely declare our firm commitment to the peaceful resolution of all international disputes and disagreements.
As you know, at the initiative of Turkmenistan, the UN General Assembly in September last year unanimously adopted a Resolution declaring 2021 the International Year of Peace and Trust. I urge the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement to actively contribute to the achievement of the goals set out in the text of the Resolution, to contribute to the peaceful, constructive development of processes on the planet.
I am convinced: the potential of the Non-Aligned Movement, the high humanistic ideals on which it is based, today, in this difficult period for all mankind, are in demand more than ever.
I believe that together we can overcome the crisis, get out of it with dignity and begin further creative work.
In conclusion, I would like to express support for the proposed draft Declaration.
I wish all participants of the summit good health and success, and peace and prosperity to the peoples of our countries. /// nCa, 5 May, 2020
A joint statement was issued at the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group’s online summit, APA reports.
“We, the Heads of State and Government, having met through video conference at the Online Summit- level Meeting of the NAM Contact Group in response to Covid-19, under the theme of “United against COVID-19 pandemic” on 4 May 2020, upon the initiative of H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, with a view to making an effective contribution to the global efforts in tackling the unprecedented effects of COVID-19 pandemic,
- Reiterate our strong commitment to the purposes, principles and provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and founding documents of NAM,
- Welcome the adoption of United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/74/270, entitled “Global solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)”, and A/RES/74/274, entitled “International cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19”,
- Express full support to the United Nations Secretary-General’s plans and initiatives to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,
- Recall the Communiques of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement on “the COVID-19 Pandemic” of 25 March 2020 and “In support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Director-General” of 9 April 2020,
- Express serious concern over the rapid spread of COVID-19, which poses a major challenge to humanity and requires a global response based on unity, solidarity and renewed multilateral cooperation,
- Recognize the unprecedented effects of the pandemic, including the severe disruption to societies and economies, as well as to global travel and commerce, and the devastating impact on the livelihood of people,
- Recognize also that the poorest and most vulnerable are the hardest hit by the pandemic and that the impact of the crisis will reverse hard-won development gains and hamper progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,
- Reiterate our support to multilateralism with the United Nations at its core, and acknowledge that preserving and strengthening the values of multilateralism and international cooperation, which underpin the Charter of the United Nations and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is fundamental to promoting and supporting the three pillars of the United Nations – peace and security, development and human rights,
- Express full support to the WHO and its leadership, while recognizing the critical role and guidance they are currently playing on the frontlines, including with the provision of guidance, training, equipment and concrete life-saving services, in order to ensure the effective response of the international community to the ever-increasing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is the greatest human crisis and health emergency of our times,
- Call on the Member States of the United Nations to enhance their cooperation at the national, regional and international levels to confront and combat this scourge,
- Emphasize that in the face of this type of global emergency, the spirit of solidarity must be at the center of our efforts and a high level of ethical and humanist commitment is required, where solidarity and selfless cooperation prevail in order to provide the peoples in need with medicines, medical equipment and supplies, food, exchange of expertise and good practices,
- Express our strong condemnation at the promulgation and application of unilateral coercive measures against Member States of the Movement, that are applied in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, further express our support, in accordance with international law, to the States affected by such measures, and urge the international community to adopt urgent and effective measures to eliminate the use of such measures, that are inconsistent with the principles of international law or the Charter of the United Nations, with a view to ensure the effectiveness of national responses to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Call for intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat the pandemic, including by exchanging information, scientific knowledge and best practices and by applying the relevant guidelines recommended by the WHO,
- Underline the need for concerted efforts to prevent the negative effects of the pandemic on the economies of Member States,
- Express our deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones as a result of COVID-19 and express its solidarity with all those who are currently struggling with and recovering from COVID-19,
- Recognize the enormous contribution and dedication of and express our gratitude to medical personnel and health care providers in this humanitarian emergency,
- Decide to establish the Non-Aligned Movement Task Force with the task to work out a database that will include the basic humanitarian and medical needs and requirements of NAM Member States, which will be submitted by the Chairmanship to all donor countries, international humanitarian organizations, international financial institutions, transnational private entities implementing social responsibility projects and others for possible support and assistance,
- Express our gratitude to H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement for initiating and hosting this timely and valuable meeting,” reads the statement. /// APA, 4 May 2020