BAKU: Economic Affairs Minister Ayaz Sadiq on Wednesday proposed a comprehensive plan to “build forward better” that included ensuring global food security and implementation of the climate change agenda.
The minister was addressing the Summit of the Contact Group of the Non-Aligned Movement to Combat Covid-19.
Mr Sadiq argued that the key to achieving development goals was the promotion of just and durable peace and security, nationally, regionally and globally.
“It is impossible to talk about a post-pandemic global recovery against the backdrop of wars, conflicts and foreign occupation,” he said.
Economic affairs minister attends NAM summit in Baku
The minister also called upon the members of the NAM and the international community to promote a just, peaceful and expeditious resolution of the long-standing dispute in the India-held Kashmir.
The summit was attended by the heads and high-level representatives of about 70 countries and heads of international organisations.
Mr Sadiq added that the pandemic exposed the “fragility of societies and economies” to shocks, laying bare deep inequalities that threaten the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.
“The challenges posed by the pandemic were further compounded by inflationary spirals caused by supply chain disruptions and the impact of the Ukraine war.”
Mr Saqiq added that Pakistan’s efforts for sustainable development were hit by another blow due to the devastating floods last summer.
According to the Pakistani delegation, the summit was an important forum as Pakistan and Azerbaijan had supported each other on multiple issues.
Azerbaijan supported Pakistan on the issue of the held Kashmir while Pakistan supported Azerbaijan on the issue of the annexation of Karabakh,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Bilal Hayee said while speaking to the media.
He also underscored the significance of the preferential trade agreement to boost trade volume, along with cultural exchanges.
“Cultural cooperation also forms the core of diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan, with direct flights from Pakistan and easy online visa facility for Pakistanis,” the ambassador said.
Mr Hayee said as the second largest platform after the UN, the NAM — with 130 member countries — would try to address the issues of developing countries and help resolve international disputes involving foreign occupation.
‘Crumbling security architecture’
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev said at the start of the pandemic, the Non-Aligned Movement took the initiative to mobilise global efforts against the virus.
Mr Aliyev, who is also the chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, said the longstanding international security architecture was currently facing dramatic changes, and multilateralism was at stake.
“The erosion of international law norms and principles further threatens the international order. Now the world is witnessing the most serious confrontation between east and west since the end of the Cold War, with repercussions for the remaining part of the world,” he added.
Earlier, Mr Sadiq arrived in Baku to further strengthen bilateral ties with Azerbaijan, besides efforts to boost trade between the two countries which stood at $30 million.
Mr Sadiq held meetings with delegates from Iran, Kazakhstan and Venezuela to discuss energy, oil imports and connectivity.
At the start of the meeting, a minute’s silence was observed for the victims of the devastating earthquake in Turkiye and Syria three weeks ago.
Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2023