Azerbaijani parliament speaker attends UN high-level meeting

As part of her working visit to New York, Speaker of Azerbaijan’s Milli Majlis (parliament) Sahiba Gafarova participated in a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly themed “The Role of Zero Waste as a Transformative Solution in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” the parliament’s press service told News.Az.

The meeting was dedicated to the UN resolution based on the ‘Zero Waste’ Initiative of Emine Erdogan, First Lady of the Republic of Türkiye.

Emine Erdogan said in her speech that people were part of the planet’s existing diversity, which rests upon balanced and profound mutual connections and, as seen from this perspective, the future sustainability of the Earth, which is home to millions of the living, creates requires a sensitive approach and it is the responsibility of everyone to protect the Globe. Mrs Erdogan touched upon such global-scale problems as those of waste, climatic change and shortage of food, among others, Mrs Erdogan emphasized that humankind should combine efforts to overcome those complications. The world is more than five in this case just as it is about other matters, according to Türkiye’s First Lady.

Speaker Gafarova, for her part, stressed in her remarks the significance of the meeting’s topic, adding that environmental protection was of utmost importance to all the persistent challenges faced by Humanity. “It is our shared responsibility to transform the world into a better place for the current and future generations to live in, which context adds weight to the ‘Zero Waste’ Initiative that Türkiye’s First Lady Emine Erdogan put forth in 2017 at the national level and that later enjoyed world-level support in the shape of a special resolution of the UN General Assembly,” said the Chair of Azerbaijan’s parliament.

According to her, the Republic of Azerbaijan demonstrated its support for this resolution by co-sponsoring it. At the same time, First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva signed the ‘Declaration on Global Commitment to Zero Waste for the World, Our Common Home’.

An integrated approach to environmental protection ensuring extensive use of all the available components appears to be the only effective way to succeed in this cause, so the Sustainable Development Goals act as a framework of our joint efforts made to achieve joint goals, according to Sahiba Gafarova. This is a priority for Azerbaijan as the country adopted a national plan and national strategies placing special stress on environmental protection and standing in accord with the most essential SDG tasks and plans. A clean environment and green development have been identified as one of the five priority areas of a new development strategy until 2030 whilst the 2022-2026 mid-term socio-economic development strategy of Azerbaijan envisages continued development of efficient waste management systems, a compilation of waste database and an electronic information system to go with it, and enlargement of the waste recycling scope.

She underlined that all countries have moral and legal obligations to protect the environment, again, for the present and future generations. Unfortunately, not every country actually honours its obligations. However, almost 30 years of the Armenian occupation of 20% of the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan was accompanied by environmental terror. According to her, Armenia had destroyed forests and nature preserves, the natural resources, and polluted the soil and the rivers – including those trans-border rivers that flow from Armenia to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan began the restoration and revival of lands on a large scale after liberating them from the Armenian occupation in 2020.

“Towns and villages are being built in keeping with the ‘smart town and village’, ‘green energy’, ‘zero emissions’ and ‘zero waste’ concepts in Karabakh and East Zangazur. The village of Aghali to which the former internally displaced persons have returned already is the first successful outcome of this approach,” Sahiba Gafarova added.


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