Speaker of Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova Meets with Visiting Delegation of New Caledonian Congress

Chair`s Meetings
18 April 2024 | 17:42   

Speaker of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova has had a meeting with the visiting delegation led by led by Omayra Naisseline, Head of the Infrastructure, Territorial Planning, Sustainable Development, Energy, Transport and Communications Committee of the Congress of New Caledonia/Chairwoman of the country’s Agricultural Agency.

The Speaker of Milli Majlis remarked at the meeting that the visit of the delegation of the Congress of New Caledonia to Azerbaijan demonstrates mutual interest and a shared intention to develop co-operation between our parliaments. At the same time, it was confidently said that the meetings and discussions in the context of the visit would be useful for strengthening the ties between our legislatures.

Speaker Sahiba Gafarova mentioned the letter she had received from President of the Congress of New Caledonia Roch Wamytan and regretted that Mr Wamytan could not come to our country due to an accident with his family. Still, Mrs Gafarova remarked with assurance, the future will bring more opportunities to exchange opinions about developing the relations.

The Speaker of the Milli Majlis said that today's meeting was the first contact between our parliaments; she emphasised then the existence of sound opportunities for the development of our ties. First of all, the importance of forming a legal basis for the relations was pointed out and the importance of the Memorandum of Co-operation signed between the two parliaments was pointed up in this context. The conversation also addressed the creation of friendship groups in the parliaments, mutual visits and co-operation between the committees and commissions of the two legislative assemblies.

Thanking for the cordial reception and hospitality, Head of the of the Infrastructure, Territorial Planning, Sustainable Development, Energy, Transport and Communications Committee of the Congress of New Caledonia/Chairwoman of the country’s Agricultural Agency Omayra Naisseline recounted the tragic fate of the indigenous Kanak people of New Caledonia during the 170 years of French colonial rule. She noted that cases of gross human rights violations in the country, continued pressure and harassment as well as the lawlessness observed in elections of the recent years were all components of the French Government's deliberate policy towards the country.

The guest voiced the appreciation of Azerbaijan’s supported extended to New Caledonia.

Saying that the empty promises that France had been trying to impose under the pretext of peace and stability had brought her country only great sorrows over the years, Mrs Naisseline added that the French Government was still not fulfilling its obligations under the Nouméa and Matignon Accords. Ms Naisseline then pointed out that France, which had presented itself as a herald of freedom and democracy throughout the world, ignored basic human rights and, through its colonial policies, actively supported the processes leading to instability in New Caledonia

As Speaker Sahiba Gafarova emphasised, Azerbaijan as an active participant of the system of international relations had always relied on such criteria as peace, co-operation, mutual trust and mutual understanding, and sustainable development. Those guidelines had always been key and at the forefront in Azerbaijan’s work as a Non-Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, in the format of the chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement and in both bilateral and multilateral co-operation contexts. Azerbaijan has been paying attention to matters of universal import and has worked energetically on eradication of the injustice hampering countries and peoples. For instance, said the Speaker of the Milli Majlis, the initiatives that the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev had put forward whilst chairing the Non-Aligned Movement had been extremely important for the Movement’s institutional development as well as for the protection of the NAM Member States’ interests in the international arena.

According to Sahiba Gafarova, struggle against neo-colonialism was one of the issues in the focus of Azerbaijan during the country’s presidency in the Non-Aligned Movement. The neo-colonialist mentality most regrettably persists in the 21st century. Sahiba Gafarova quoted President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan having described neo-colonialism the shameful legacy of the past. She added that France topped the list of the states preserving this legacy.

They then talked about the activities of the Baku Initiative Group formed during the Azerbaijani presidency in the Non-Aligned Movement. The Initiative Group’s efforts to unmask the French neo-colonialist policy were praised. Sahiba Gafarova said that the Milli Majlis was supportive of those endeavours.

Rather than apologise for the illegal acts of the past in its colonies, for the crimes committed, France continues on its colonial policy except using new forms and methods. France disrespects the wish of freedom of the peoples in its overseas territories, their right of independence; instead, France seeks every means of dampening such aspirations.

According to Sahiba Gafarova, the policy of neo-colonialism rests on racialism, xenophobia and the urge to put oneself, one’s own rights and interests above others and others’ rights and interests.

As she also spoke of the outcomes of the New Caledonia referendum that had gone without the participation of more than a half of the population, and of the obstacles that had arisen, the Speaker of the Milli Majlis said it was inadmissible of France to violate peoples’ rights flagrantly and by such primitive means in the 21st century.

She was talking about the current processes in the South Caucasus when Speaker Sahiba Gafarova said that France intended to pursue colonialism that blemished its history not only in its former colonies and territories held under its rule by force but also in other regions including that of the South Caucasus.

France acted as a futile member of the Minsk Group tasked with resolving the erstwhile conflict during the almost 30-year-long occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia whilst now France most deplorably continues the policy of disrupting peace efforts and stability in the South Caucasus. France is escalating tensions in the region and provoking militarism. Mrs Gafarova said with regret that France has gone on the offensive against Azerbaijan in all directions, using all the possible means on international platforms and waging a smear campaign against our country.

It was also emphasised during the meeting that, to quote the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan is an independent and powerful state. Nobody can put pressure on us. Our national policy solely aims to promote peace, co-operation and a struggle against injustice. Sahiba Gafarova added that the Members of the Azerbaijani Parliament strongly condemned France’s hypocritical policy and were making efforts to unveil its neo-colonialism policy.

Going further, the conversation touched on the co-operation between the Parliament of Azerbaijan and the parliaments of many other countries under the aegis of the international organisations. Information was also presented about the workings of the Parliamentary Network established in 2021 at the suggestion of President Ilham Aliyev.

The head of the New Caledonian delegation spoke about the challenges her country faces due to climate change and expressed confidence that COP29, which will be held in Azerbaijan, will contribute to solving the existing problems in this area worldwide.

Thoughts were offered about humanitarian co-operation and the input to a continued rapprochement of the peoples from broadening the connexions between the young people.

Besides, there was also an exchange of opinions regarding other matters of shared interest.



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The Milli Majlis

The Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan - The state legislative power branch organ is a unicameral parliament that has 125 MPs. The MPs are elected as based on the majority electoral system by free, private and confidential vote reliant on the general, equitable and immediate suffrage. The tenure of a Milli Majlis convocation is 5 years.