A Conference entitled “The role of multiculturalism in the modern societies: the successful model of Azerbaijan” was organized on 13 December 2016 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris with the initiative of the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan to UNESCO jointly with Baku International Multiculturalism Centre.
The Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Azerbaijan to UNESCO, Mr. Anar Karimov, informed participants that according to the decree of the president of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, 2016 was declared “A year of multiculturalism” in Azerbaijan. Mr. Karimov noted that, it shows the importance given by Azerbaijan to multiculturalism and intercultural dialogue. Speaking about the difficulties that Azerbaijan faced with during the first years of its independence, he noted that Armenia occupied certain part of territories belonging to Azerbaijan, conducted ethnic cleansing policy against Azerbaijanis and that one million Azerbaijanis were driven out of their native lands. Mr. Karimov said that, despite all this, Azerbaijan prefers the dialogue and peaceful negotiations. It was stressed that Azerbaijan, which is a land of multiculturalism, plays an active role in “Rapprochement of cultures”.
A.Karimov provided information about the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue and “Baku process”. He said that, multiculturalism is a state policy of the country and emphasized that, the conference is dedicated to Azerbaijani model of multiculturalism. He said that Azerbaijan is ready to share multiculturalism experience with other countries.
Ms. Ann-Belinda Preis, the chief of intercultural dialogue section of the sector of social and human sciences of UNESCO, spoke about activities of the Organization regarding the intercultural dialogue.
Mr. Arye Gut, the board member of “Israel-Azerbaijan” International Association (AzIz), gave information about history and culture of Azerbaijan. He emphasized that the representatives of different religions, cultures, nations and ethnic groups live as a family in peace in Azerbaijan.
Ms. Aytan Gahraman, counsellor of the Baku International Multiculturalism Centre (BIMC), said that, multiculturalism is a state policy in Azerbaijan and
creation of BIMC is the indication of importance that the President Ilham Aliyev gives to this policy. Ms. Gahraman provided also the detailed information to the conference participants about the activities implemented by BIMC.