The Statement of the Non-Aligned Movement UNESCO Chapter, chaired by Azerbaijan, was delivered at the 211th session of the UNESCO Executive Board in Paris.

The Statement was presented by Ambassador Elman Abdullayev, Permanent Delegate of Azerbaijan to UNESCO.

The text of the Statement is presented below:

Since its founding the NAM has played a fundamental role in strengthening international peace and security in accordance with the Bandung principles. Given the serious challenges that the international system faces today, NAM denounces de use Unilateral Cohersive Measures against sovereign nations. NAM will conitnue to advocate the strengthening of the principles of International Law in favor of multilateralism in adherance to respect for the sovereignty, territorial unity and integrity of States, non-interference in internal affairs.

NAM also stands firm for multilateral cooperation, where it also acts as an initiator of multilateral events and projects, including the Special Session of the UN General Assembly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that was convened on 3-4 December 2020 upon the initiative of the Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev.

NAM welcomes UNESCO's efforts to eliminate the negative impacts of COVID-19 on its areas of activities.

We particularly welcome and support the Global Education Coalition launched by UNESCO to support countries in ensuring continuity of learning process during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAM welcomes the UNESCO’s Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) efforts that aligns with SDG 4 on quality education and SDG 16 on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development and in particular target 16.A on strengthening national institutions to prevent violence and combat crime and terrorism.

Mr. Chairman

Non-Aligned Movement reiterates its commitment to protect all the cultural properties situated in the territories of its Member States and to prevent exportation of cultural property from occupied territory in the event of armed conflict, in accordance with the principles of the 1954 Hague Convention and its Protocols. 

NAM Member States express their serious concern over the problem of non-implementation of provisions of the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Properties by UN Member States and urge UNESCO to identify the stolen or illegally exported cultural properties in accordance with the relevant convention and tools on the subject.

The Movement reaffirms its commitment to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, as an important contribution of the international community in favor of the protection of the intangible cultural heritage, to ensure the validity of the cultural manifestations of States, capable of being transmitted from one generation to another, and as an instrument for peace, tolerance, coexistence, respect for human rights and the promotion of the identity and cultural diversity of the peoples.

NAM Member States deplore damage to the cultural heritage of countries in situations of armed conflict and foreign occupation, and those affected by terrorist acts, calls for an immediate end to such acts, and remind States parties to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of the provisions contained therein to safeguard and respect cultural property and to prohibit, prevent and, if necessary, put a stop to any form of theft, pillage or misappropriation of and any acts of vandalism directed against cultural property.

NAM calls on the international community to remind Israel of its obligations under international law including UNESCO conventions. NAM reiterates its call for the realization of justice and the inalienable rights, including educational and cultural rights, as well as legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people in their sovereign and independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Movement encourages all UNESCO Member States to bring to their attention the Resolution (73/338) on declaring the year 2021 as “International Year of Peace and Trust”, which was adopted unanimously at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.

Finally, the Movement calls on UNESCO to continue its global priorities of Africa and Gender Equality and to give a priority approach to Small Island Developing States. 

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