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A conference was held on the topic "Decolonization Dialogues: Legacy, Challenges and Progress"

Dec 22, 2023

An international conference dedicated to the subject of "Decolonization Dialogues: Legacy, Challenges, and Progress", organized jointly by the Non-Aligned Movement Parliamentary Network, the Youth Organization of the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Baku Initiative Group, took place in Baku on December 22, 2023.

More than 100 participants attended the conference, including representatives from diplomatic missions accredited in Azerbaijan, parliamentarians, members of civil society, youth organizations, and academic circles.

Rustam Mahmudov, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Milli Majlis, opened the event with an introductory speech in which he discussed the history and contemporary legacy of colonialism. He also highlighted the growing trends of neocolonialism in light of global developments.

During the speech, it was emphasized that Azerbaijan, throughout its chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement, introduced several decolonization-related initiatives. It was noted that regrettably, some countries continued to support this policy. Participants in the event received comprehensive information about the activities of the Non-Aligned Movement Parliamentary Network, established on the initiative of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, Mr. Ilham Aliyev. The special importance of the inaugural meeting of the Parliamentary Network, held in Madrid in 2021, as well as the decisions and documents adopted during the Baku and Manama Conferences, were highlighted in terms of establishing and enhancing the international relations of the Network.

It was stated that the activities undertaken by the Chairperson of the Milli Majlis and the Parliamentary Network, Ms. Sahiba Gafarova, within the organization, including several initiatives, have served to strengthen the international positions of the Parliamentary Network and increase the number of member countries in a short period of time.

The Executive Director of the Baku Initiative Group, Abbas Abbasov, and the Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement Youth Organization, Leyla Hasanova, delivered speeches voicing their opinions on the relevance of the topic of decolonization and providing information on the work conducted in this field.

The event then proceeded with panel discussions. In the discussion titled "Colonial legacy and politics of decolonization in the modern context," MP Tural Ganjaliyev, former Ambassador of Mexico to Azerbaijan and professor at ADA University Juan Rodrigo Labardini, President of the Association of Artists of New Caledonia Alex Loic Oue Toura, and member of the Movement for the Decolonization and Social Liberation of French Guiana Brice Noel Epailly, served as panellists.

In the panel of the second discussion dedicated to the topic "Cultivating intergenerational resilience: Youth for decolonization and shaping post-colonial societies," Ilaya Ismael Guedi Hared, a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Djibouti and the head of the  Djibouti-Azerbaijan inter-parliamentary friendship group at the Djibouti parliament, Brenda Hanthipe Wanabe, President of the "EDIPOP Popular Editions" Association of New Caledonia, Edel Tadal, member of the Movement for Decolonization and Social Liberation of French Guiana, and Ignace Urchil Loko Uako Mbouamboua, a representative from the Republic of Congo participated.

Participants discussed how, despite decades of struggle endured by various peoples, they are still exposed to persistent injustices and the adverse effects of the colonial legacy.

A short video was also presented at the event, highlighting the struggles and difficulties faced by countries and peoples with a history of colonialism, who continue to bear its impacts. The video included interviews with foreign experts on this topic.

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