A high-level panel discussions on the topic “Targeting Heritage: in search of new paradigms – save heritage through dialogue” was held at the UNESCO headquarters on 5 December 2016 under the framework of “Unite4Heritage” campaign and with the initiative of the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan jointly with UNESCO. The high level panel was chaired by the Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Azerbaijan to UNESCO - Mr. Anar Karimov.
The high level panel was attended by the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan Mr. Abulfaz Garayev, UNESCO Director General Mrs. Irina Bokova, United Nations Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, representatives of the UN World Tourism Organization and others.
The Minister of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan Mr. Abufaz Garayev provided information about the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue to be held in Baku on 5-6 May 2017. Mr. Garayev spoke about the importance of the protection of cultural heritage properties and intercultural dialogue in a difficult world. He mentioned the example of Azerbaijan where representatives of different religions, cultures, ethnic groups co-exist in peace and harmony as a family since centuries. Minister Garayev emphasized that Azerbaijan has become a platform of intercultural and interreligious dialogue.
In her speech, UNESCO Director General thanked the government of Azerbaijan for support provided to UNESCO and emphasized the importance of “Baku process” in promotion of intercultural dialogue. She noted that safeguarding culture is part of our global strategy for peace and dialogue
Other speakers also emphasized the importance of intercultural dialogue.
It was declared that the international community faces with Middle East and other regions deliberate and savage destruction of cultural and religious heritage properties. The main reason of this destructive process is military conflicts and activity of terrorist groups. These problems create serious threats in protection of global peace and interreligious harmony.
The main purpose of the high level panel discussions is to emphasize the role of dialogue as prophylactic means in protection targeted heritage and to explore new paradigms in fight against deliberate destruction of heritage monuments.
At the end of the meeting “Military Manual on Protection of Cultural Property” in English and French prepared by UNESCO with the support of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (Sanremo, Italy) and funded by the Republic of Azerbaijan has been launched. The military manual is of great importance and will serve as a guidebook for military staff and personnel.