The New Azerbaijan Party has become a world renowned influential party
Q: A delegation of the New Azerbaijan Party has recently visited Sri Lanka. We would like you to highlight the results of the visit…
A: The 8th General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, during September 18-21, 2014, under the auspices of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP).A delegation of the New Azerbaijan Party attended the event. The delegation included me, deputy chairperson of the YAP Women`s Wing Malahat Ibrahimgizi, member of YAP MNTK Mahir Abbasaliyev and deputy chairman of the YAP Youth Wing, deputy chairman of the ICAPP Youth Wing Ramin Mammadov.
Representatives of a total of 30 political parties from 20 countries attended the event. The theme of the General Assembly was “Building an Asian Community”.
Since its inception, the ICAPP has grown steadily in both membership and influence. There are 364 political parties in 53 Asian countries with diverse political and ideological backgrounds. Seven General Assemblies of the ICAPP have been previously held in Manila in 2000, Bangkok in 2002, Beijing in 2004, Seoul in 2006, Astana in 2009, Phnom Penh in 2010 and Baku 2012.
The theme of the 8th General Assembly was “Building an Asian Community” and the Sri Lankan conference will be co-hosted by the SLFP and the UNP. In parallel to the ICAPP, Two additional workshops relating to both Women and Youth were also held.
The event culminated with the adoption of the final Declaration.
Q: Did the declaration feature any Azerbaijan-related issues? Did YAP`s delegation made any proposals on this?
A: The ICAPP Conference adopted the Colombo Declaration affirming strong commitment of Asian political parties to building an Asian community of peace and prosperity for common interests of all peoples.
The statement raised concern over conflicts and escalating violence in the region, particularly disputes over national territorial sovereignty that is posing great threats to regional security.
It placed the importance on dealing with conflicts through peaceful negotiations in accordance with international law and UN resolutions.
The declaration reiterated support for territorial integrity and sovereignty of countries, and stressed the necessity of solving existing conflict through peaceful means.
In the article 5 of the declaration, ICAPP member countries expresses concern over protracted conflicts and emphasized the importance of solving all threats including Afghanistan, Armenia-Azerbaijan, Iraq, Israeli-Palestinian, Pakistani and Syrian conflicts.
Our delegation always raised the issue of restoring Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity and sovereignty at the meetings and general assemblies of the ICAPP.
Q: Did the delegation have any bilateral meetings during the visit?
A: Yes, we had a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the ICAPP General Assembly in Sri Lanka. We met with our counterparts from a number of Asian countries to discuss ways of developing the bilateral relations. As you know the New Azerbaijan Party has signed cooperation agreements with several Asian political parties. Under these agreements, we pay reciprocal visits and exchange experience.
In early October Azerbaijan will host another International Humanitarian Forum. Delegations from South Korea and Vietnam will visit Azerbaijan for the event. They expressed their desire to have meetings with officials of the New Azerbaijan Party.
Q: What about the New Azerbaijan Party`s activities in ICAPP?
A: YAP has already become a world renowned influential party. In ICAPP, which groups 350 political parties, only 23 of them are in power. And the New Azerbaijan Party is one of them. YAP is a member of the ICAPP Standing Committee, which includes large countries. Although relatively small, Azerbaijan is also represented in the ICAPP governing body.
Our party is very active in the organization. Baku has successfully hosted two meetings of the ICAPP Standing Committee and also its general assembly in 2012. Even at the meeting in Sri Lanka, speakers praised the previous general assembly in Baku.
Q: Where will the next General Assembly be held?
A: The Sri Lanka gathering decided to hold the next General Assembly in India in 2016. We will also have the meetings of the Standing Committee and conference, which will probably be organized in Baku. The organization of the ICAPP`s events in Baku testifies to Asia`s interest in Azerbaijan. This region highly appreciates Azerbaijan`s socio-economic achievements, particularly the fact that poverty ahs been reduced from 49 percent to 5 percent in our country. So Azerbaijan is attractive for Asia.
Q: You said that Asia praises Azerbaijan`s development. But the European Parliament adopted a biased resolution related to our country. What can you say of this?
A: It is very surprising that at a time when Azerbaijan is developing at such a rapid pace the European Parliament adopts such a biased resolution against our country. The largest political organization of Asia praises Azerbaijan`s development, but the European organization states the contrary. In its last resolution, the European Parliament makes some conditions to Azerbaijan demanding the release of some people. There is an independent justice system in Azerbaijan and all decisions are made in accordance with law.
The resolution of the European Parliament is unacceptable. Azerbaijan is a constitutional state, which pursues its independent policy and has its own justice system. The European Parliament has no right to interfere with our internal affairs. The discussions of the resolution took place with the participation of less than 45 members of the European Parliament. But we know that the organization has more than 750 members. How can nearly 40 people decide on behalf of the entire European Parliament if they make less then four percent of the total number of its members.
We are ready to maintain cooperation with the European Parliament. Azerbaijan enjoys growing international prestige which is evidenced by Azerbaijan’s winning Eurovision song contest in 2012, recent groundbreaking ceremony for the Southern Gas Corridor, Baku`s upcoming hosting of the first European Games in 2015, Islamic Olympic Games in 2017, and games of the UEFA Football Championship in 2020. So we must not pay serious attention to such biased resolution of the European Parliament.