Azerbaijan, Baku, 9 April / corr Trend S.Ilhamgizi / Trend ' interview with Ph.D Elkhan Nuriyev, the head of the Strategic Researches Center at the Azerbaijani President's Office.
Question: What are the major directions of activities and plans of the Strategic Research Center?
Answer: The major objective of the Center is to observe the ongoing developments in Azerbaijan, analyze them and provide necessary recommendations and consultations.
The Center plans to hold different conferences and symposiums in Baku and abroad.
There are political technologists in the world who determine different spectres of interior and foreign policy. These specialists are working on programs regarding state policy and strategy. This system is so strongly formed in western countries that they have several 'brain factories', possessing vast expertise. These 'brain centers' serve the state and non-governmental organizations and society. Such centers mainly observe and analyze the world policy, regional developments, publicize analytical articles, books and magazines. This system, i.e. 'brain centers', has been formed as an attribute of political landscapes.
Azerbaijan has conditions, intellectual potential, specialists to form 'brain centers and to carry out analytical research. We can use the political technology and innovations in the state government. Therefore, in November 2007 Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree to establish the Strategic Research Center. I was appointed head of the Center on 8 February.
Our activities are formed in several directions, including the observation, analysis, forecasting the geopolitical developments ongoing worldwide, research into factors which can seriously affect the serious processes in world policy, and designing of programs and concepts are amongst them.
We will concentrate on the state policy, international and regional security, prepare timely and efficient proposals and recommendations to submit further to the leadership of the country. In the near future we will inform the public and press on the work done in this respect.
We also plan to coordinate the activities of state bodies and institutions. To support them the Center will present them with scientific and analytical material, as well as use their database which we need. In this respect the Center will book data from state bodies and develop proposals on the materials provided. Within the framework of our activities we will realize media projects and try to cooperate with media.
Furthermore, national and political and lobbyist programs will be designed. We want to develop cooperation between the research groups and experts.
Generally, the Center's overall activities will be in line with the state interests and national security of Azerbaijan. Our key objective it to form political analysis in Azerbaijan as a science and develop strategic programs and articles of scientific and analytical character on this basis.
At what level will you establish your relations with the civil society of Azerbaijan? Will there be a Center to consider its opinions?
Answer: We will closely co-operate with the civil society. It is very important issue for our internal policy. Of course, we will try to closely co-operate with the representatives of the civil society, its separate institutions. We will hold reviews, observing the internal political processes. Speaking of the internal policy, I want to say that we will devise national political programs, conceptions and doctrines useful for the society.
The representatives of the civil society and opposition will be invited to our conferences, seminars and symposiums. All experts may participate in our events and express their opinions. In general, we are going to co-operate with serious experts.
The internal political factor is necessary to form serious political reviews in the Country. However, we will more actively analyze the foreign policy, regional stability and security because we are going to join the international arena and regional scene.
For a long time, I have worked as a specialist-politician in the Western countries, brain centers and political institutions of the United States. I learnt much there from the point of view of theory and practice, and today I utilize this knowledge. Already we establish relations with the foreign brain centers. Recently we held a joint conference with the Carnegie Moscow Center. Russian experts also state that co-operation between these centers is very important. It was our first step, but there are other plans as well. We want to hold such events in Europe, America and Eastern countries.
We want Azerbaijan to be on the focus, the center of the world policy from the point of view of political review.
Question: Will your Center develop and submit any recommendations and programs in connection with the upcoming presidential elections to be held in Azerbaijan this year?
Answer: Indeed, we think over it. It is planned to implement programs and projects, hold social inquiries, organize some conferences and workshops, regarding the political reforms during the presidential elections. In general, during the elections it is not dealt only with the internal, but also foreign policy. On its platform the candidate to the presidency states its position on foreign policy and regional security. These issues will be in our focus. The detailed information in this respect will be publicized in the near future, in the autumn.
Our major aim is to make the Strategic Research Center at the Azerbaijani President not only a local, but also the real brain center in the regional level. At the same time we will try to occupy our place in the region and form a new intellectual class in Azerbaijan using our intellectual potential.
Analyzing the current realities, existing situation, we also view the future. The Center will be involved in forecasting and providing recommendations with respect to the future.
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