A ceremony held to mark the 20th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s accession to UNESCO in Paris.

Azerbaijan’s First Lady, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva attended the ceremony.

Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the ceremony.

The address by Mehriban Aliyeva:

- Dear Mrs Director General, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends. I’m delighted today to be here, at UNESCO headquarters, among my friends, members of the UNESCO family. Thank you for attending the event devoted to the 20th anniversary of partnership between Azerbaijan and UNESCO. Taking this opportunity, we are pleased to donate two nice examples of Azerbaijan’s traditional stone art being the sign of respect and courage to UNESCO.

The tradition of creating memorial monuments in Azerbaijan goes back to ancient times, and most of these monuments have both historical and artistic values. Of course, they all are part of our old and rich cultural heritage. I would like to thank the Director General and the Secretariat of UNESCO for placing these two nice statues here, at UNESCO headquarters’ yard.

Dear Friends, today we marked the 20th anniversary of partnership between UNESCO and Azerbaijan. I would like to emphasize the significance attached in Azerbaijan to the cooperation with this organization. Azerbaijan has been loyal to propagandizing the goals of UNESCO in various fields. For the last 20 years, we have shown special attention to development and modernization of the education system in our country. We profoundly believe that only a country with high-level education may achieve successes and secure better life for its people. We have, at the same time, invested much money into science and development of the latest technology.  The launch of “Azerspace-1” into the space in February of this year is an obvious example of this.

Preservation of our cultural heritage has been a priority field for the Azerbaijani government. We take pride in the inclusion of the Azerbaijani mugham, the Ashyg music, the art of playing in tar and the Novruz Holiday in UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage List. At the same time, the Maiden Tower, Icherisheher (the Old City),  the Palace of Shirvanshahs and the Gobustan State History and  Art Reserve have been entered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Dear Friends, UNESCO has been supporting all our initiatives in the above-listed fields. In the past 20 years, we have organized a number of joint events and implemented projects covering all the areas of UNESCO’s activity. Here, at the UNESCO headquarters, we have marked jubilees of a number of Azerbaijan’s eminent persons, and we thank UNESCO for this opportunity. Azerbaijan has also been keeping close partnership relations with UNESCO in a significant field such as intercultural dialogue. Today the world community recognizes our country as a place with  high religious and ethnic tolerance and a centre for dialogue. Representatives of different religions and ethnic groups have centuries-long lived in Azerbaijan in piece and harmony. Today, Mrs Bokova, I would like to thank you for your participation in the 2nd International Forum for Intercultural Dialogue held in May this year in Baku, and for your contribution to successful outcome of this event. From the very moment of starting the Azerbaijani Government’s initiatives, our country has highly valued the fact of being an official partner in holding this forum of UNESCO.

Dear Friends, today we signed a Framework Agreement between UNESCO and the Government of Azerbaijan for cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. And this will play a significant role in strengthening our relations. I believe that this agreement will contribute to popularization of UNESCO ideals and principles in the world, by supporting initiatives and priority programs initiated at the international level.

In conclusion, I would like to thank both UNESCO and, personally, Mrs Bokova for your support and friendship during these years. I’m confident that Azerbaijan will continue cooperation with UNESCO in order to fully implement the great potential that we have to strengthen our relations further. Thank you very much for being today with us.

Thank you for your attention.


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