Azerbaijani president’s address to participants of “Decolonization: Women’s Empowerment and Development” conference circulated as UN official document

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s address to the participants of the international conference themed “Decolonization: Women’s Empowerment and Development” held in Baku on November 21, has been circulated as an official document of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, News.Az reports. 

“It is gratifying that more than 40 representatives from 18 countries representing different continents are gathered in Baku again to condemn the policy of colonialism, which unfortunately continues in the 21st century, and convey facts about the situation of women in the territories under colonial rule to the international community, and carry out systematic and consistent work towards the elimination of colonialism.

Historically, the respect for women in Azerbaijan and the holding of women in high esteem have been one of the highest moral qualities of the Azerbaijani people. Azerbaijani women have contributed to resolving fateful issues in all periods of our history, to the freedom struggle of our people, and to the liberation of our lands from occupation by the Republic of Armenia,” President Ilham Aliyev said in his address.

“As chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Republic of Azerbaijan has always attached great importance to issues relevant to humanity and carried out effective work towards eliminating the injustices faced by peoples worldwide. In this regard, our time demands to bring the issues of women and colonialism together and amplify the role of women in the decolonization process. Regrettably, in the 21st century, women are still being subjected to slavery and exploitation in colonies, meaning that they are deprived of fundamental human rights.

Most of the bloody crimes in the colonial history of humanity have been committed by France. France, which occupied dozens of countries in Africa, South-East Asia, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean, and Latin America, plundered their wealth and enslaved their people for many years, committing numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity. The French armed forces discriminated against their ethnic and religious affiliation and subjected hundreds of thousands of civilians to genocide. The slave trade, which France was actively engaged in, is one of the most shameful pages of humanity. Millions of Africans fell victim to the French slavery policy.

As chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, I have repeatedly provided listed facts of numerous crimes against humanity and atrocities committed by France in the occupied countries. Millions of innocent people in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mali, Djibouti, Nigeria, Chad, Senegal, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Central African Republic, Gabon, Togo, Cameroon, Vietnam, the Union of the Comoros, Haiti, and other countries, including women and children, were killed by France. France is also responsible for the massacre of more than 800,000 members of the Tutsi tribe in Rwanda in 1994,” the head of state noted.

“Centuries have passed, but the new shameful methods of French colonialism continue to this day because policies and mindsets have not changed. The peoples of the overseas territories gathered at this conference have been fighting for independence for many years. Unable to abandon the history of colonialism, France does not respect the freedom, aspirations, and rights of the peoples living in overseas communities and territories outside of Europe, in the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic oceans, and works hard to undermine the realization of those aspirations. Also, it continues to make gross interventions in the internal affairs of its former colonies on the African continent, which is an obstacle to achieving stability. The views expressed by politicians from overseas regions about French colonialism are truly terrifying.

As chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, Azerbaijan supports the peoples fighting against colonialism and aiming to be free. Your participation at the Ministerial Meeting held in Baku as part of Azerbaijan's chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement on July 6 and October 20, 2023, at the headquarters of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 22, and at this event in Baku dedicated to colonialism, its consequences and neocolonialism, which are of particular relevance to humanity, are evidence of Azerbaijan's support for this issue as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement,” the Azerbaijani President emphasized.


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