BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 3. The 30th anniversary of Azerbaijan's membership in UNESCO is being marked on June 3, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in its statement, Trend reports.
According to the ministry, over the past three decades, the cooperation relations between Azerbaijan and UNESCO have been increasingly developing, and the country became a reliable partner in ensuring peace and security throughout the world in all international organizations, of which it’s a member, including UNESCO.
The National Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan for UNESCO was established in 1994 by the relevant order of the national leader Heydar Aliyev, and in subsequent years, cooperation between UNESCO and Azerbaijan was further developed, the ministry noted.
"Azerbaijan, following the goals and principles of UNESCO, continues its activities in all priority areas of the organization, and today is one of the most active members of UNESCO. The exceptional merits of the First Vice-President of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva in developing cooperation between our country and the organization, promoting the ideals and goals of the organization at the international level and within the country, should be especially emphasized,” the ministry further said. “It’s thanks to the attention and support of the First Vice-President that Azerbaijan has made a great contribution to the promotion of UNESCO values in the fields of education, preservation of cultural heritage, restoration and protection of historical monuments in Azerbaijan and around the world, intercultural dialogue and other areas.”
“Over the past years, three samples of the tangible and 15 samples of the intangible heritage of Azerbaijan have been included in the relevant UNESCO lists. As a result of the pursued targeted policy, our country was elected a member of the UNESCO Executive Board for the period of 2021-2025, winning the support of a big majority of members in the election held in November 2021 during the 41st session of the General Conference of UNESCO,” the ministry reminded. “Three cities of Azerbaijan - Baku, Ganja and Gabala - are included in the network of learning cities, and Baku, Shaki and Lankaran - in the network of UNESCO creative cities.”
“Azerbaijan, following the path of sustainable and dynamic economic development, supports the noble mission of UNESCO in various parts of the world, closely cooperates with the organization in the implementation of the values of UNESCO, as well as the ideas of promoting intercultural dialogue and peace, and implements a number of joint projects,” the ministry stated. “Our country provides support to programs and projects in the areas of activity of the organization through the Fund of Trust, established in accordance with the Framework Agreement, which was signed with UNESCO in 2013.”
Besides, the ministry emphasized that Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to join the UNESCO-initiated global education coalition to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as one of the countries that made a financial contribution.
“Azerbaijan is actively cooperating with UNESCO within the framework of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Azerbaijan was a member of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict from 2015 to 2019, and since 2021,” the ministry said.
According to the ministry, UNESCO was regularly informed about the military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, war crimes committed during the 30-year Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani lands, such as destruction, desecration, and appropriation, changing the essence of cultural heritage, and illegal export of cultural values from Azerbaijan.
“After the liberation of the lands [in the 2020 Second Karabakh War], the restoration and protection of monuments located there, regardless of their origin, rank among the priority issues for the government of Azerbaijan,” the ministry stressed. “Azerbaijan is a multicultural country, and all monuments on its territory are protected by the state, representatives of all religions and cultures are treated with respect.”
“The Azerbaijani side has always demonstrated commitment to cooperation with UNESCO, fulfillment of obligations arising from the conventions to which it has joined, including the preservation of cultural heritage. For many years, our country has been making a significant contribution to UNESCO's activities in the restoration and protection of cultural heritage both in Azerbaijan and globally. Azerbaijan, remaining true to the values of UNESCO, will continue to develop partnerships in the areas of the organization's activities," concluded the ministry.