By Nina Muslim

BAKU, May 1 (Bernama) – Azerbaijan, where this year’s United Nations COP29 climate summit is taking place, advised representatives from 110 nations to avoid pointing fingers on who the top polluters are and focus on collaborative climate action instead.

Malaysia is a member of The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and participates in the Conference of the Parties (COP), held annually.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 6th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, President Iham Aliyev pointed out that not doing so will lead to disaster, saying: “We not only need financing… we need solidarity and mutual trust,” he said.

Alluding to the controversy that surrounded the UAE’s role as host of the climate change conference COP28 – with critics questioning the OPEC member’s credibility and commitment to meaningful climate action – Aliyev added there should not be any discrimination against oil-producing nations.

“It is not our fault that we have oil and gas. Some others have other natural resources and of course every country has the right to use its natural resources for the benefit of the country,” he said.

Aliyev said revenue from oil and gas has allowed Azerbaijan to invest in renewable energy and make the transition from fossil fuels.

As example, I have cited two solar and wind power plants set to be operational by 2027 and five more power plants in 2030, to provide “100 percent” of Azerbaijan’s electricity needs. He also said his country is providing energy security to eight countries in the region.

Azerbaijan has emerged as a major supplier of oil and gas to the European (EU), which has had to find an alternative source from , sanctioned for its invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The EU doubled its import of oil and gas from the Southern Caucasus country.

In his speech, Aliyev stressed the importance of peace and security in the wake of the Gaza conflict and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Since we met last time in 2019, unfortunately, the world has not become safer,” he said.

He called for countries to treat countries and people with dignity and respect to ensure peace and security, and recognize the importance of religious leadership in strengthening these messages.

Using Azerbaijan’s experience in dealing with ethnic clashes and multiculturalism, he said people should be safe and treated with dignity and respect, and warned of social and political difficulties if these needs are not met.

He has reaffirmed Azerbaijan’s fight against neo-colonialism by big “European countries,” such as France, as NAM chair and couched it as a fight for justice. Calling neo-colonialism as “disgusting,” he accused these countries of hypocrisy and said neo-colonialism actions must stop.

He also acknowledged that war was sometimes necessary to bring forth peace, saying Azerbaijan had to defend its territorial integrity and combat a separatist movement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War ended January 1 this year with the dissolution of the separatist Republic of Artsakh.

The forum also hopes to explore how best to meet current and future challenges including climate change and artificial intelligence.

The 6th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, themed ‘Dialogue for Peace and Global Security: Cooperation and Leadership in Interconnectivity’, runs from May 1 to May 3 in Baku, Azerbaijan, and is supported by the United Nations.

Malaysia sent a delegation of senators to the World Forum led by Datuk Mutang Tagal, President of the Senate, Parliament of Malaysia.


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