Presentation of the candidature of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the World Heritage Committee

The presentation of the candidature of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the World Heritage Committee organized jointly by the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan to UNESCO and Ministry of Culture and Tourism was held on October 15 2015 at the UNESCO headquarters.

The World Heritage Committee composed of 21 State Parties to the Convention is one of the important bodies of UNESCO and is responsible for the inscription of cultural and natural heritage sites into the World Heritage List. The Republic of Azerbaijan has decided to submit its candidature to the World Heritage Committee in order to share the experience in protection of its rich cultural and natural heritage, as well as to promote the preservation of heritage at the international level.

In his opening speech, the Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Azerbaijan to UNESCO Mr. Anar Karimov stressed that since joining UNESCO, the Republic of Azerbaijan actively cooperates with the Organization in all spheres of its competence. In this regard, the significant role in strengthening of this cooperation of the First Lady of Azerbaijan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva and of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation was highlighted. It was mentioned that the cultural cooperation occupies a central place in Azerbaijan's relations with UNESCO.

The Permanent Delegate informed about activities of Azerbaijan in protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. He informed that Azerbaijan has two inscribed sites in the World Heritage List: the Walled City of Baku with Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden Tower, as well as the Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape and mentioned that inscription of these sites gave to Azerbaijan enormous experience on this matter. The Permanent Delegate informed also about the implementation of the 1972 Convention by Azerbaijan at national, international and regional level and also explained the advantages and priorities of Azerbaijan’s candidature.

In her speech Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Sevda Mammadaliyeva stressed that Azerbaijan has ratified five UNESCO Cultural Conventions, and the first among them was the Convention on the “Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage”. She also mentioned that Azerbaijan has already been a member in several Intergovernmental Committees established under the

UNESCO Culture Conventions and that great experience was achieved in this sphere. She also underlined the role of the First Lady of Azerbaijan and Heydar Aliyev Foundation in the successful policy of protection of heritage in Azerbaijan and abroad. Deputy Minister stated that in case of election to the Committee, Azerbaijan will be represented by group of experts headed by Mr. Rizvan Bayramov professor at the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction.

Mr. Bayramov noted that in case of election to the Committee, Azerbaijan will be represented by a group of professional experts. He stressed that the Azerbaijani experts have long-established experience with the international organizations. Mr Bayramov then noted that Azerbaijan was the council member of ICCROM, and that the experts participated in the preparation of the Islamic Heritage List under the related Programme of ISESCO. He further added that the experts have been actively involved in the activities of IRSICA and its trainings. He also mentioned the excavation works implemented with the international archeologist in Azerbaijan. Mr. Bayramov mentioned that the experience gained as a result of this cooperation will be useful in the World Heritage Committee.

The event was attended by Deputies of the Director General of UNESCO, Secretariat of UNESCO, regional heads of World Heritage Center, as well as Ambassadors and diplomats of several active states accredited to UNESCO. The video and photo presentation concerning the heritage of Azerbaijan was demonstrated, as well as brochures on heritage and souvenirs were distributed.

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