Leyla Aliyeva: Baku forum to promote understanding, co-op across world (UPDATE)
Details added, first version posted at 11:14
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 25
The Youth Forum kicked off in Baku April 25 as part of the 7th UNAOC Global Forum and Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Leyla Aliyeva welcomed the participants and guests.
Leyla Aliyeva expressed joy of having some of the most interesting and intelligent people gather in Azerbaijan. She went on to express hope that the Baku forum will contribute to joint efforts of promoting understanding and cooperation across the world.
She further said that Azerbaijan is the land of ancient traditions, rich history, a place that sits on the crossroads of East and West.
"In days gone by, Azerbaijan was a major center on the historic Silk Road," Aliyeva said, adding that this has had an incredible impact on our culture, making Azerbaijan a country that believes in tolerance, new ideas and dialogue.
She went on to say that Azerbaijan's unique geographic position also had an impact on its landscape. Aliyeva reminded that Azerbaijan is place full of mountains, forests, meadows and lowlands.
"In fact, Azerbaijan has 9 of 11 climatic zones, giving us a very rich and natural environment and biodiversity," she added.
"We are very lucky in Azerbaijan to have such an incredible history, diverse culture, and rich biodiversity, and I am sure you will enjoy your stay in our country," she said.
Aliyeva went on to speak as the Goodwill ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
"I know these statistics are a bit terrifying," she said. "Today one person dies every four seconds, because of hunger or hunger-related causes."
Aliyeva said that what is more sad is that children are the ones that die most often. She went on to say that FAO with the Zero Hunger Generation initiative has a role to play in this regard.
"However, we must all work together and try hard to insure a world where no child dies of hunger and malnutrition," Aliyeva said.
She went on to say that food is an integral part of human culture identity, and can serve as a powerful instrument in establishing cross-cultural understanding and tolerance.
Aliyeva said that intercultural dialogue plays an important role in sustainable development and achieving food security, which is important for long-term stability and peace.
"As most of you know, in 2011, we've launched the IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action) campaign," she said.
Leyla Aliyeva said the intention was to create strong tools that would tackle environmental threats.
"In other worlds, to ensure green and safer future for the younger generation. Our slogan speaks for itself - one earth, one future," she said.
"It is encouraging that every year more and more people join our campaign, and most of them are just volunteers, who do it from their heart, their passion and their love of the environment," Leyla Aliyeva said.