Chair of Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova Speaks at European Conference of Presidents of Parliament - POTO

Chair of Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova Speaks at European Conference of Presidents of Parliament - POTO

The parliamentary delegation led by the Chair of the Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic Sahiba Gafarova are taking part in the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament taking place in the Greek capital of Athens these days.

The conference opening ceremony was on 21 October.

Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova spoke at the conference sessions themed ‘Democracies Facing the Covid-19 Public Health Crisis: Sharing Experiences, the Way Forward’.

‘For almost two years, the world has been combatting one of the most dangerous pandemics in its entire history. Inter-state co-operation is needed today more than ever to counter the COVID-19 pandemic as it has never been before. The pandemic that continues today has reaped the lives of approximately five million people, aggravated poverty and made the situation of the vulnerable population groups yet more complicated the world over despite the outstanding scientific achievements in developing treatment methods – including the development of the vaccines,’ Mrs Gafarova was saying.

Speaker Gafarova expressed her concerns that further consequences of the crisis could cause serious complications in many countries, affect the development trends achieved with great pains and put obstacles on the path to the Sustained Development Goals.

Then, Sahiba Gafarova told the audience of the measures taken in Azerbaijan from the very first day the COVID-19 infection was detected over here. The Operations Task Force was established under the auspices of the Government in order to ensure that all activity undertaken to counter the pandemic is administrated in a centralised manner. Quarantine was instituted in the whole territory of the country. Lessons and lectures were put on hold at the educational institutions, large trade outlets as well as sporting and entertainment grounds were halted, public catering establishments had their working hours changed and other necessary provisions were made – all in keeping with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation.

The Chair of the Milli Majlis proceeded to refer to Azerbaijan’s participation in the international anti-pandemic endeavours and our country’s support for the relevant international initiatives. She mentioned the weighty contribution to the international effort to rein the coronavirus pandemic.

‘We extended humanitarian and financial aid to more than thirty countries to assist them in coping with the pandemic – including the donation of 150,000 vaccine dozes to four countries. The President of Azerbaijan Mr Ilham Aliyev proposed on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement as he spoke at the summit meeting of the NAM Contact Group in response to COVID-19 in May 2020 that the UN General Assembly should call a Special Session dedicated to the anti-pandemic struggle. That initiative was seconded by more than 150 states and that, subsequently, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the coronavirus disease took place in New York in December last year,’ Mrs Gafarova continued.

The ‘vaccine nationalism’ is a source of grave concern at the time of the global health crisis, according to the Chair of the Azerbaijani Parliament.

‘We, the European Union members, ought to try to prevent vaccine supplies to some countries that are many times their actual needs. Azerbaijan put before the United Nations Human Rights Council a draft resolution on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement about providing all the countries with equal access to the vaccines; such a move was made so as this objectionable matter would remain on the agenda and would be addressed properly. The resolution motioned by Azerbaijan was adopted unanimously in March this year.

‘The international accounts indicate the purchase by several developed countries of more than 75 per cent of the vaccine dozes existing in the world whilst the supplies to the low-income countries are below 2 per cent. Doubtless, this limits the capabilities to protect the populations of the developing or poorly developed countries. In order that this problem be solved, Azerbaijan proposed, again, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, that the United Nations Human Rights Council should pass a resolution about giving all the countries fair and universal access to the vaccines; that decision was approved unanimously. We call on the developed countries and the international donor organisations to use every opportunity to extend support to those countries that need it in their action against the pandemic,’ Sahiba Gafarova said.

The Chair of the Milli Majlis remarked also that Azerbaijan considered it expedient to establish a UN High-Level Global Recovery Panel as a body that could contribute to the world-wide efforts to get rid of the pandemic as soon as practicable and with as little harm sustained as possible.


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