Azerbaijan's National Statement was made at the session of the UNESCO Executive Board

“The trilateral statement of 10 November 2020 signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia, put an end to the 30-years long occupation of the territories of my country by Armenia. Unfortunately, the results of this occupation are devastating. Almost all historical, cultural and religious monuments were completely destroyed during the occupation period. Cultural and religious property belonging to Azerbaijan has been looted, desecrated, altered and illegally exported to Armenia”, – said Elman Abdullayev, Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Azerbaijan to UNESCO in the National Statement at the 212th session of the UNESCO Executive Board.

He said that such activities by Armenia is a clear violation of the 1954 Hague Convention and its two protocols, as well as the 1970 Convention.

“The statement laid the initial foundations of peace in the region and opened perspectives of regional cooperation. Following it, the restoration of the conflict-affected territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, ensuring the security for the people, return of the displaced people, the negotiations on the opening of communications are the promising developments for the peoples of the region. With this in mind, the Government of Azerbaijan has begun the vast process of restoration and reconstruction process of these territories, including the restoration of our historical, cultural and religious heritage sites”, – E. Abdullayev said.

The Ambassador noted that Azerbaijan has decided at the highest level that all cultural and religious monuments, regardless of their origin, will be properly preserved and restored in the liberated territories.

In addition, Abdullayev emphasized that the mosques, historical monuments, mausoleums, house-museums are being restored in the frame of large-scale reconstruction work in the liberated territories, as well as in the city of Shusha – the cultural capital of Azerbaijan. He noted that these reconstruction works are carried out in accordance with the original architectural style in order to restore the historical image of the city of Shusha with participation of international experts.

The Permanent Delegate added that following the end of the conflict, access to cultural heritage has been restored, which makes it possible to assess the damage inflicted on the cultural heritage of Azerbaijan. This factor necessitates the active role of UNESCO.

“In this regard, I would like to inform you that today the negotiations on dispatching an independent UNESCO technical mission to the conflict affected territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan are continuing with UNESCO. In fact, the Government of Azerbaijan has requested the need to dispatch such mission and brought it to the attention of UNESCO in numerous platforms during past 30 years of occupation, but this mission was prevented each time by Armenia, which was acknowledged by UNESCO itself in its 2005 report. Azerbaijan attaches great importance to cooperation with UNESCO and is always open for constructive dialogue. We believe that the immediate realization of this mission is essential and is a precondition for reinforcing the protection of cultural heritage”.

It was noted that as life revives again in these territories, two-day-long festivities have been held in Azerbaijan’s cultural capital Shusha’s iconic Jidir Duzu plain for the first time in 30 years. In its 2021 edition, the cultural event was held under the motto “Multiculturalism in Azerbaijani Music” and featured the musical creativity of various peoples living in the country. Masterpieces of Azerbaijan’s prominent composers and singers, including Uzeyir Hajibayov, Fikrat Amirov, Gara Garayev, Muslim Magomayev, Bulbul, and Khan Shushinski, were performed as part of the event.

18 September – National Music Day, dedicated to the great Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov – the first opera composer in the Muslim world, was celebrated this year for the first time in Shusha. The monument to Uzeyir Hajibeyov was inaugurated in his native city.

"In 2021, we are celebrating the 880th anniversary of the birth of the great poet and thinker Nizami Ganjavi, which is declared the "Year of Nizami Ganjavi" in the Republic of Azerbaijan by the Presidential decree. In this framework by the initiative of Azerbaijan, the webinar titled “Equal Education & Gender Equality through the prism of philosophy of Nizami” was organized on 24th of September, where the distinguished representatives of UNESCO actively participated. On 4th of October, the Government of Azerbaijan and UNESCO co-hosted the cultural event dedicated to Nizami Ganjavi at the Organization’s Headquarters. I would like to take this opportunity to express my warm thanks to the Director-General as well as to our member states for their valuable support”, – said Azerbaijani Ambassador.

“As for the activities of Azerbaijan in UNESCO, you all are aware that my country has always been supporter of UNESCO’s various activities and will continue to be so”, –Abdullayev concluded his speech.

Search in archive