Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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President Begaj’s Speech at the 11th Global Baku Forum. “Fixing the Fractured World”

Honorable President Aliyev,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I thank you for your hospitality at the Global Baku Forum. It’s an honor and a privilege to be among esteemed colleagues and bright minds. I would like to share with you some thoughts related to Albania’s perspective on this world, increasingly divided.

In a world where divisions seem to deepen by the day, the theme of our forum couldn’t be more urgent. We live in an era of unparalleled challenges: climate change, political instability, economic inequalities, social injustices, and more are global issues that cannot solely be addressed at a regional level. They require cooperation. Our presence here, in the heart of Azerbaijan, signifies our collective commitment to address these pressing issues that have disrupted our global society.

This is especially important in light of the ongoing war in Ukraine, reminding us of the fragility of peace and the necessity to unite against aggression.

The conflict on Europe’s doorstep has highlighted the need to rethink European Union security priorities and its neighbors. This conflict underscores the importance of stability, the need for broad cooperation in defense and security policies, and the crucial role of EU enlargement in promoting stability and security in the region.

From Albania’s perspective, as a staunch NATO ally and an EU candidate country, the consequences of this conflict and our role in the broader European security architecture are paramount. Albania, situated at the crossroads of significant geopolitical interests, is acutely aware of the importance of stability and cooperation. Our journey towards EU membership is not only a testament to our commitment to democratic values, economic reforms, and the rule of law but also a clear indication of our dedication to effectively contributing to the security and prosperity of the European continent.

Faced with various challenges today, Albania’s commitment to European values and security is unwavering. As NATO members, we have stood shoulder to shoulder with our allies. Our participation in NATO’s collective defense measures and our readiness to contribute within the Alliance’s strategic concept for deterrence and defense clearly demonstrate our commitment to regional and European security.

Albania has also strived to contribute to stability by supporting dialogue and diplomacy. We understand that our path to EU membership intertwines with the security and stability of the entire continent.

In the diplomatic arena, we have played a constructive role as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. It was a challenging duty in difficult times, but the feedback from our partners and friends was positive.

Furthermore, we have facilitated the organization of several international significance meetings, such as the EU-Western Balkans Summit, held outside the EU borders for the first time; the Berlin Process Summit; the South-East Europe Summit for Ukraine; and the Regional Summit on the Growth and Convergence Plan, which focused on the European integration of the Western Balkans.

Albania continues forward on its European path, convinced that our future lies in a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Europe and world. We remain committed to contributing to the stability of our continent, supporting Ukraine, and working together with our EU and NATO partners to address today’s security challenges. In the spirit of solidarity and cooperation, Albania is ready to offer its support for ensuring a secure and stable European neighborhood, for the good of our region and beyond.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The divisions we face are not only between nations but also within them. They manifest in the gap between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless, the technologically advanced and the left behind. We must embrace a spirit of cooperation, dialogue, and sensitivity.

Stabilizing a world torn apart by divisions is not only about addressing global challenges but also about recognizing our common humanity, our shared values, and our collective future. Together, we must build bridges of cooperation, promote sustainable development, and advocate for peace and security. Our common journey towards healing begins with the steps we take today.

Thank you for your attention!