Our parliamentary delegation led by Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova are in the capital of Spain, Madrid, to take part in the 143rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Inauguration meeting of the Parliamentary Network of the Non-Aligned Movement that is due to occur on the margins of the former, APA reports quoting the Press and Public Relations Department of the Milli Majlis.
There was a debate at the 143rd IPU Assembly themed ‘Contemporary Challenges to Democracy: Overcoming Division and Building Community’ on 27 November.
In her speech at the Assembly, the Chair of the Milli Majlis said that the period that we were passing through right now with its acute challenges put a heavy burden on global community. Moreover, several states are having a hard time coping with the problems whilst some others cannot deal with the problems in the first place. The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the deteriorating economic situation are aggravating the situation further and then, this could lead to further polarisation and push up disbelief in political systems. A subtle line between freedom of expression and disinformation faces the risk of being erased altogether, Mrs Gafarova added.
‘In such circumstances, the functioning of national parliaments needs to be thoroughly elaborated. I believe that those parliaments that look at the issue not only through legislative prism but also from a broader perspective have a chance to overcome divides and build bridges within societies. The parliaments should strengthen their role as a focal point of concerted efforts of elected representatives, the government and civil society. More importantly, these efforts should not only cover the parliament, but spread to the whole political system and embrace all of a society. The situation with disinformation demands strong legislative efforts from our parliaments in order to further strengthen freedom of expression and eliminate disinformation and its dangerous consequences.’
Speaker Sahiba Gafarova went further to say that the global community had turned out to be unprepared for the difficulties the pandemic had given rise to; what is more, the global community had taken a while to find necessary responses to the situation.
‘Now we need to be prepared for the next steps and focus more on post-COVID recovery phase in order to better face future possible challenges. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev has already put forward an initiative by suggesting establishment of a UN High-Level Panel on Global Recovery from the COVID-19 that would focus on preparing recommendations on global measures for post-pandemic period. In line with this initiative, I believe, we as a parliamentarians should also proceed to debates on post-pandemic period in the near future,’ continued the Chair of the Milli Majlis.
Promotion of peace and security is a highly important tool for development of democracy, protection of human rights and ensuring sustainable development, according to Mrs Gafarova who added that Azerbaijan’s having freed 20% of its internationally recognised territories after 30 years of their occupation by Armenia had enabled our country to set into motion extensive work to restore those provinces – the work that will make certain that the 1 million of our IDPs get back home eventually.
The Trilateral statement signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia on 10 November 2020 put an end to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Sahiba Gafarova emphasised. Now, a peace treaty should be put in the works and a border delimitation and demarcation process be started on the principles of mutual sovereignty and territorial integrity recognition. Azerbaijan has let Armenia know repeatedly its preparedness to normalise the relations; Azerbaijan has also put forth several proposals to that end. It is hoped that the latest meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia on 26 November will bring forward tangible results and ensure the signing of a peace accord as well as restoration of communications in the region.
‘In line with our strong support and commitment to interparliamentary co-operation, Azerbaijan as the Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement has put forward the initiative to develop the parliamentary dimension of the Movement. The Inaugural Meeting of the Parliamentary Network of the Non-Aligned Movement will be held on 28 November of the Assembly. Expansion and deepening of relations between the parliamentarians of the Movement will serve the global efforts aimed at strengthening peace, democracy, and sustainable development, which also conform to the principles promoted by Inter-Parliamentary Union,’ concluded Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova.