Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov made a speech at the General Policy Debate of the 41st Session of the UNESCO General Conference

Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov made a speech at the General Policy Debate of the 41st Session of the UNESCO General Conference.

In his speech, the Minister stressed that at a time when the 75th anniversary of UNESCO is being celebrated, the relevance of the Organization is greater than ever.

Drawing attention to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister spoke about the serious measures taken by Azerbaijan from the first day to minimize the negative impact of the pandemic on its population, as well as the international community. He noted that 60 % of the population of Azerbaijan has already been vaccinated, and that our country has provided financial and humanitarian assistance to more than 30 countries to support the fight against the pandemic.

It was noted that next year Azerbaijan will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its membership at UNESCO, and thanks to the efforts of the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva, a strong and dynamic partnership with UNESCO exists.

Thus, Azerbaijan supports the UNESCO mission in various parts of the world and is one of the main partners of the Organization in promoting intercultural dialogue. The Azerbaijan-UNESCO Trust Fund supports UNESCO Member States in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Azerbaijan has expressed its intention to join the Global Education Coalition established by UNESCO in March 2020. In this regard, Azerbaijan will contribute to the activities around the world aimed at helping students, especially the most vulnerable ones.

Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said that within the framework of Armenia's nearly 30-year occupation, a systematic policy has been pursued to destroy, plunder and misappropriate Azerbaijan's cultural heritage. He spoke about the deliberate damage to our cultural heritage during the occupation, the complete destruction of our cultural heritage, looting, changing its historical and cultural characteritics.

In addition, the participants of the meeting were informed that Armenia refuses to share maps of mined areas and deliberately prevents the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to the liberated territories.

It has been voiced that Azerbaijan has repeatedly warned UNESCO about these gross violations and illegal activities committed by Armenia and raised the issue of sending a technical mission to the occupied territories over the past 30 years. However, it was noted that Armenia obstructed the sending of this mission, and this was acknowledged in the 2005 UNESCO report.

The restoration and reconstruction work carried out by the Azerbaijani government in the post-conflict period, as well as the proper protection and restoration of all cultural and religious monuments in the liberated territories, regardless of their origin, were emphasized.

It was noted that Azerbaijan wants to cooperate with UNESCO in the post-conflict rehabilitation process, and Azerbaijan and UNESCO are actively in dialogue to send a technical mission to our liberated territories. The parties agreed on a number of complex technical, legal and political issues that will ensure the effectiveness and independence of the mission.

Azerbaijan is a candidate country for the UNESCO Executive Board for 2021-2025, and if elected, Azerbaijan will have the opportunity to further contribute and assist UNESCO in achieving its goals and ideals.

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