BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 29
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Chairman of Azercosmos company Rashad Nabiyev as Baku received the right to host the International Astronautical Congress in 2022 during the elections held at the General Assembly of the International Astronautical Federation in the capital city of the United States, Washington D.C.
Emphasizing the importance of this victory, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- The International Astronautical Congress held in Washington a few days ago made the decision to host the next congress in Azerbaijan. This is a very important event, a great victory for us, I want to congratulate you on this occasion. I know that Azercosmos and other government agencies made great effort towards hosting this congress in Azerbaijan.
This congress is the most important international event in the field of modern technology on a global scale. One of the aspects confirming the significance of this event is that the US Vice President, Mr. Pence, took part in the congress. Support for the decision to hold the next congress in Azerbaijan is certainly a manifestation of the political authority of our country, the result of confidence in Azerbaijan.
I remember that in July of this year, the president of the International Federation of Astronautics was on a visit to Azerbaijan. I received him and expressed our intention to hold the next congress in Baku. We believe that this would be fair because the success Azerbaijan has achieved in the field of modern technology and the space industry in recent years is quite impressive. For a young independent country to achieve such success in a short period of time is a major achievement. Currently, we have three satellites. The space industry in Azerbaijan is developing. Azerbaijan is one of a handful of countries represented on the club of space-faring nations.
This victory is also important because we had strong rivals. Along with Baku, there were Singapore, Rio de Janeiro and Delhi. In other words, both in terms of experience and in terms of the population, India and Brazil cannot be compared to Azerbaijan. However, to achieve victory in this struggle certainly testifies to our authority. The international world of astronautics has chosen Baku among these four cities. They believe in us, our policy is given great support, the processes taking place in Azerbaijan are receiving great approval on a global scale.
A clear confirmation of this is the fact that this month alone we started presiding over both the Turkic Council and the world’s second largest organization to the UN – the Non-Aligned Movement. A total of 120 countries together with Azerbaijan unanimously elected our country to chair the Non-Aligned Movement, which is a truly historic achievement. The holding of the Astronautical Congress in Baku in 2022 is yet another victory for us. I see this event as a very important political victory.
I want to draw the attention to another issue. It consists in the fact that in 1973, during the Soviet Union, the International Astronautical Congress was held in the Soviet Union just once, and it happened in Baku. At that time, great leader Heydar Aliyev as the leader of Azerbaijan made great efforts to make sure this congress is held in Baku. I believe that the organization of this congress in Azerbaijan in 2022, about 50 years later, is of great symbolic significance. At that time, we were not independent, but it was Baku that was elected in the Soviet Union as the venue for the Astronautical Congress. Today we are independent, and this time it is the independent Azerbaijan that will host this major event.
In the next two to three years, it is necessary to do a lot of organizational work for the congress. We expect around six to seven thousand foreign visitors. These will be the leaders and representatives of institutions that determine the technological agenda of the world. Over time, an Organizing Committee will be set up to hold the congress at a high level and, of course, Azercosmos will take on the main preparations. So we have achieved yet another great success. Now can you please update me on the discussions held during the congress and the ongoing processes?
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Chairman of Azercosmos Open Joint Stock Company Rashad Nabiyev:
- Mr. president, thank you very much for your high assessment. First of all, I want to note that the decision to hold a congress in Baku is, of course, associated with the political and economic stability in our country. Because one of the key conditions was the fulfillment by countries of their commitments after three years. On the other hand, the infrastructure created in our country was of special importance.We have a fairly good infrastructure for hosting international events.
Another aspect, Mr. president, is associated with our country’s tradition of hosting such events. And most important, Mr. president, is the value you personally attach to the citizens of Azerbaijan and their development, because it is the human factor that is one of the key criteria for the success of the space industry. As a result of the attention and care for the development of education in Azerbaijan in recent years, a qualified generation with technical knowledge and skills is emerging in our country today. And most importantly, this generation loves their homeland and people.
Mr. president, with regard to the election process, I want to emphasize that upon your instructions, along with Azercosmos, all relevant agencies of our country made coordinated efforts and managed to achieve this result.
This federation brings together 398 members from 68 countries and is one of the largest structures in the world in the technical field. This event is one of the most authoritative ones in terms of both the number of participants and the importance of the issues discussed.
Our rivals, as you noted, were Singapore, Rio de Janeiro and Delhi. If you take India, it is one of the leading space-faring countries in the world. If you take the astronautics in Brazil, they are among the three leading countries in the world for the production of passenger aircraft. Singapore is one of the leading countries in the world both for geographical location and for hosting of such events.
Another point of interest in this event is that in recent years the interest of the private sector in this area has been steadily growing. As you know, the head of “Amazon”, Jeff Bezos, is one of the keynote speakers there. In previous years, one of the keynote speakers was the founder of “SpaceX”, Elon Musk. In other words, this indicates that the space industry is not only in the interests of states, but also, in terms of its attractiveness, arouses the interest of the private sector.
One of the main reasons for our success was that in 1973, at the initiative of the great leader, the first and only congress in the Soviet Union was held in Baku. About six months later, the foundation of the space industry of Azerbaijan was laid. With the establishment of the “Caspian” Research Center, Azerbaijani specialists began research in the space sector, manufacturing space devices, and subsequently these devices were used in satellites such as Salyut and Soyuz.
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President Ilham Aliyev:
- Yes, this is a major event. I want to reiterate that we have achieved this right in a tense struggle. This is yet another great victory for our country. I am sure that the congress will be held in Azerbaijan at the highest level, thousands of foreign visitors determining the modern technological agenda of the world will come to our country. Of course, this is a great honor for us and, at the same time, a great responsibility, as well as a good opportunity. In other words, we need to receive major dividends from the congress in Azerbaijan. In the sense that international cooperation should assume even wider proportions.
For several years now, Azerbaijan has been a member of the club of space-faring nations. Of course, the development of modern technology is one of our top priorities. Today, the development of the world depends on the capabilities of modern technology. Countries that invent or apply these technologies will always succeed. The 21st century is a century of technological struggle, and our personnel potential and technical capabilities should be ready for that.
This is why Azerbaijan is one of the countries developing high technologies. We will continue to take additional steps in the direction of personnel training, technological development, import of modern technologies into Azerbaijan. As you noted, at present, major businesses are also showing great interest in this area. The successes achieved in developed countries in the field of modern technologies, including astronautics, essentially occur with the support of big businesses. We must make sure that leaders of the world's leading business structures who will participate in the upcoming congress in Azerbaijan have broad information about our country before this event.
Therefore, in the coming two to three years, leaders of your and other relevant agencies should establish close contacts with these companies. Preparations for the congress should go so that the guests coming here are ready to cooperate with us in various fields. Therefore, the congress is a very important event but the period after the congress is of no small importance either, because it should become a new stage in technological development in Azerbaijan. Of course, the experience gained in the field of hosting major international events in recent years will allow us the opportunity to organize the congress at the highest level.