In order to become a full member of the world community and take an active part in the ongoing processes in the international arena, each state strives to become a member of the United Nations. After restoring its independence on October 18, 1991 Azerbaijan has started to take necessary steps for becoming a member of the United Nations in order to establish mutual relations with the world countries and strengthen its independence.
On October 29, 1991, the Republic of Azerbaijan appealed to the UN and the world countries. In that appeal Azerbaijan asked the United Nations to to its membership, wishing to hold a respective position in the world community, contribute to the international security and cooperation.
On February 14, 1992 the Security Council of the United Nations recommended the General Assembly to admit Azerbaijan as a member. On March 2, 1992 at the 46th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations Azerbaijan was admitted to the UN. During the same day the Azerbaijani banner was raised in front of the UN headquarters in New York.
On May 6, 1992 the representation of Azerbaijan at the UN started its actvity. The UN mission in Azerbaijan opened in 1993.
The UN membership allowed Azerbaijan to strengthen its independence, use international rules against the Armenian aggression more effectively, integrate into the world community.
The global aim of the UN is to unite all the world countries, establish a dialog between the civilizations and the nations, respect national and cultural traditions of every people.
Taking this aim into consideration, Azerbaijan raised in the organization the issues on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and inadmissibility of the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories by the Armenian armed forces. The Security Council of the United Nations reacted to the occupation of the districts around the Nagorno-Karabakh by the Armenians.
The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 822 on the occupation of Kalbajar (April 30, 1993), 853 on the occupation of Agdam (July 29, 1993), 874 on the occupation of Fizuli, Jabrail, Gubadly (October 14, 1993), 884 on the occupation of Zangilan (November 12, 1993). These unanimously adopted resolutions affirmed the Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, called to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignity of Azerbaijan, and emphasized the inadmissibility of the use of force for the annexation of territories. The UN resolutions demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all the occupation forces from the territories of Azerbaijan, and the return of all the displaced persons home.
Moreover, the Secretary-General of the UN made seven statements supporting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan then. Unfortunately, the UN Security Council, which succeeded regulations during the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq and during the events in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, does not react to the ignorance of these resolutions by Armenia.
At a plenary session in 1993 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on over one million refugees and IDPs in Azerbaijan as a result of the Armenian aggression. The resolution implies international aid to the refugees and IDPs in Azerbaijan.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev took part for (it was his first participation at the session of the General Assembly) at the 49th session of the UN General Assembly held in September 1994. Having delivered a speech from the high tribune, President Heydar Aliyev informed the world community about the situation in Azerbaijan and the Armenian aggression. In his speech at the session on September 29, 1994, Heydar Aliyev appreciated the policy of Azerbaijan in relation to the UN like this: “Azerbaijan optimistically appreciates the perspectives of the UN for the future and is eager to defend the principles of the UN, increase the efficacy of its prestige further.”
The visit of the UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to Baku in October 1994 played a significant role in the expansion of relations between Azerbaijan and the UN. Having got acquianted with the political and economic situation of Azerbaijan, as well as the results of the Armenian aggression, Boutros Boutros-Ghali stated that differenct agencies of theUN will increase their efforts for supporting Azerbaijan in the solution of problems.
President Heydar Aliyev took part at the special session of the General Assembly connected with the 50th anniversary of the UN in October 1995. In his speech he disclosed the position of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and urged the world community to stop the Armenian aggression.
On its resolution on the cooperation with OSCE in 1996 the UN General Assembly reaffirmed the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. A year later, on July 28, 1997 Heydar Aliyev met the new Secretary-General of the UN Kofi Annan during his official visit to the United States. In the conversation with President Heydar Aliyev Kofi Annan stated the support of the UN to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and olution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem on the principles adopted at the Lisbon summit of OSCE.
Speaking at the meetings with the permanent representatives of the member-states of the Security Council on July 28, 1997, with the permanent representatives of the member-states of the UN on July 29, President Heydar Aliyev informed about Azerbaijan, its current life, its problems and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
In 1996 Azerbaijan signed the 1984 United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. By joining that convention Azerbaijan gave an opportunity to the Committee of the United Nations on Tortures to conduct inspection in Azerbaijan.
With the decree of President Heydar Aliyev the 50th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights was celebrated in Azerbaijan in 1998. In the same year he initiated the abolition of the capital punishment and the censorship on press.
Participating at the Millennium Summit of the UN in September 2000, President Heydar Aliyev delivered a speech there. He informed the world countries about the situation in Azerbaijan had emerged as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Azerbaijani President also spoke about the necessity of reforms in the UN.
After the 9/11 Azerbaijan joined the antiterror coalition of the UN. Azerbaijan closely cooperates with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council. In October 2001 Azerbaijan took part in the operations of the antiterror coalition in Afghanistan and sent a military unit to help the international troops for ensuring the security there.
In October 2001 Azerbaijan joined the UN Convention on Financing on Terrorism. In May 2002 President Heydar Aliyev issued a decree on the implementation of the resolutions 1368, 1373, 1377 of the UN Security Council on combat against terrorism.
In his speech at the next session of the UN General Assembly in September 2003, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev spoke of the necessity of reforms for increasing the power and role of the UN. Ilham Aliyev stated: “Since the current mechanisms of the UN do not respond to the requirements of the modern world, reforms in the UN are necessary. There is a need to reform the Security Council, because the current realities, as well as the realities of the past 50 years must be reflected there.”
In his speech at the 59th session of the General Assembly in September 2004, President Ilham Aliyev reminded that the four resolutions of the UN Security Council on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have not been implemented yet. He informed the participants of the session about the illegal turnover of drugs and weapons, illegal economic activity and activity of terrorists in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
The UN supports the development of Azerbaijan by creating favorable conditions for improving effective management, reducing poverty, ensuring human rights and gender equality, meeting the basic needs of the people in the field of health and education.
Having broad relations with the UN, Azerbaijan uses different means of cooperation. In order to cooperate effectively, Azerbaijan has joined a number of significant international conventions. Those conventions create conditions for the solution of the problems in modern political and socio-economic spheres of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has joined a number of international conventions on civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, children rights, status and protection of the victims of war, prevention of genocide and punishment for genocide, as well as other issues.
Azerbaijan closely cooperates with the specialized agencies of the UN, such as the UN Development Programme, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNIDO, World Health Organization, UNIFEM, International Atomic Energy Agency, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (Azerbaijan joined it in July 1997).
The treaty on cooperation between Azerbaijan and UNICEF was signed by President Heydar Aliyev during his participation at the session of the General Assembly in September 1994. The main purpose of the cooperation with UNICEF is to render assisstance to the refugee and displaced children.
Azerbaijan was a member of the Executive Board of UNICEF in 1995-1997 and 1998-2000.
The relations between Azerbaijan and UNESCO are aimed at assissting the development in the sphere of education, science and culture in the country. With the relevant decree of the Azerbaijani President, the National Commission of Azerbaijan attached to UNESCO was established in 1994. The first lady of Azerbaijan, President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva had a significant role in the development of the relations between Azerbaijan and UNESCO. She contributed to the development of music, literature and poetry. For her services in the spheres of musical education and exchange of the world cultures, as well as for her adherence to the principles of UNESCO, Mehriban Aliyeva was designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in September 2004.
The Office of UNHCR, which started its activity in Azerbaijan in 1993 has implemented significant measures on humanitarian aid to the Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs. Especially in 1994-1995 a humanitarian crisis could have occurred without the humanitarian aid of the UN agencies and other international organizations to the refugees and IDPs. According to the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol of UNHCR, the perfect legal basis has been created for regulating the rights and social protection of refugees and IDPs; all this has been adapted to the international standards.
Azerbaijan closely cooperates with the financial and economic institutions of the UN, such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Food Programme.
Azerbaijan was a member of the UN Women`s Commission in 2000-2002, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in 2002-2004, ECOSOC in 2003-2005.
Azerbaijan takes an active part in the UN project Millenium Development Goals announced in September 2000. The State Programme of Poverty Reduction and Economic Development launched in 2003-2005 was implemented with the help of UNDP. Currently, the government implements the Programme of Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development together with the UN.
Azerbaijan supports the reforms in the UN Security Council.
One of the remarkable events in the cooperation between Azerbaijan and the UN was the admission of Azerbaijan to the UN Council on Human Rights in June 2006.
On March 14, 2008 the UN General Assembly discussed Article 20 on the situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan of the agenda of the 62nd session. Making a speech in discussions, the permanent representative of Azerbaijan at the UN Agshin Mehdiyev informed the UN member-states about the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, called the delegations to support the Azerbaijani draft resolution on this issue.
The draft resolution consisting of 9 clauses expresses the position of the UN General Assembly on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh, supporting the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, demanding the complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian forces from all the occupied territories and return of the displaces Azerbaijanis home.
The voting held at the end of the discussion ended up with vote of 39 in favour to 7 against with 100 abstentions. Therefore, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on the situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
The document reflects the concern of the General Assembly in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh of Azerbaijan and the districts around it which threatens international peace and security and which negatively influences the humanitarian situation in the Souther Caucasian countries. The General Assembly calls the member-states to support the sovereignity and the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. According to the resolution, the General Assembly states that not any country can accept the situation created as a result of the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories as a legal situation and help maintain this situation. The document noted the necessity of the immediate, compete and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian forces from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan strives for developing of the relations with the UN and takes an active part in discussion of proposals contributing to its effective activity. Azerbaijan supports the expansion of the number of the Security Council, wants it to become more responsible and democratic, to respond the challanges, risks and threats of the 21st century and create effective tools for the implementation of the adopted resolutions.
The mutual relations established between Azerbaijan and the UN as a member-state, began to develop rapidly in many fields and played a significant role in the development of Azerbaijan and to hold a worthyt position in the international arena. At the same time, Azerbaijan contributed to the effective activity of the UN, as well as to international peace and security.
“Azerbaijani flag on the East-River bank”,