Baku (ANTARA) - Azerbaijan has pledged US$1 million (about Rp15.2 billion) to support post-pandemic recovery in Africa and small island developing countries.

“I declare two global calls to support the post-pandemic recovery of Africa and small island developing states. It is my pleasure to announce that Azerbaijan, as the first donor, is allocating one million US dollars for both global calls,” Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev informed.

Azerbaijan will continue to provide financial and humanitarian assistance to NAM countries in need, he added at the summit-level meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group in Baku on Thursday.

“I believe that NAM members and other members of the international community will support Azerbaijan’s initiative and will follow us in supporting the countries in need on their path to post-pandemic recovery,” he said.

The pandemic has had a negative impact on the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

"Global efforts must be strengthened to pursue the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, we suggested establishing a UN High-Level Panel on Global Recovery from COVID-19,” he said.

The panel could elaborate recommendations on global measures for the post-pandemic period, he added.

“I invite all NAM members to support this initiative," he said.

According to Aliyev, NAM’s leadership in mobilizing global efforts to fight the pandemic has once more demonstrated the movement’s influence and responsibility.

Azerbaijan has provided coronavirus-related financial and humanitarian support to more than 80 countries, most of which are from the NAM family, either through bilateral channels or the World Health Organization, he said.

In addition, Aliyev called for the continued strengthening of the South-South Cooperation by adhering to the principles of respecting sovereignty, national ownership, equality, and mutual benefit.

The agenda for South-South Cooperation is set by the Southern countries themselves, in line with their national needs and priorities, not imposed by the outside world.

Aliyev also said that climate change is another challenge for humanity. Climate change causes serious problems such as water scarcity, food insecurity, and forced migration.

"Small island developing states deserve more attention in this regard since they are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and face an existential threat," he said.

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Reporter: Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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