Baku, Azerbaijan, July 10
A press conference dedicated to the results of the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee was held at the Baku Convention Center, Trend reports.
Chairman of the Session’s Organizing Committee, Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan Abulfas Garayev spoke about the decisions made during the session, the meetings held and the results achieved.
The minister noted that the world community highly appreciates Azerbaijan’s entering the path of rapid development. The holding by international organizations of their prestigious events in Azerbaijan speaks about the growing image of the state.
Garayev particularly emphasized the exceptional merits of President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva in developing relations and strengthening mutual ties between Azerbaijan and UNESCO.
The minister of culture noted the significance of the event, which was taking place in Azerbaijan for 10 days.
It was stressed that one of the main directions of the state policy of the country, along with the preservation and promotion of national and spiritual values, as well as cultural and historical heritage, is to provide international support for the protection and preservation of world heritage.
To this end, Azerbaijan, after gaining independence, has established close cooperation with UNESCO by contributing to the work of this international organization, he said.
The World Intercultural Dialogue is held once every two years with the official partnership of UNESCO in Azerbaijan, just as successfully as the 8th session of the Intergovernmental Commission for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, which Azerbaijan hosted in 2013.
According to the decision taken at the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee, Azerbaijan received the right to hold the next session of this prestigious structure. The holding of the regular session in Azerbaijan was decided through elections. During the 42nd session, Azerbaijan was also elected chairman of the session for a period of one year.
The adoption of this decision, which is of utmost importance for Azerbaijan, indicates a high level of development of partnerships with UNESCO.
"The holding of the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Baku was [a] very responsible [task], and of course, the fact that the members of the world committees voted for such a prestigious event to be held in Azerbaijan speaks, first of all, of the growing authority of Azerbaijan in the world. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has preliminarily sent a compilation of the conditions, with which all the state structures of Azerbaijan have familiarized themselves. All the necessary work has been done to fulfill these conditions," said Garayev.
Recalling that the World Heritage Committee is one of the most important structures of UNESCO, the Minister noted that the session of the Committee is considered one of the prestigious events contributing to the world’s cultural heritage.
"The World Heritage Committee makes decisions on the most valuable monuments and samples of material and natural heritage expressing the essence and historical memory of the peoples of the world. By hosting these events, and at the same time presiding over the Committee, Azerbaijan left its positive mark in the history of the culture of the people in the world," he said.
President Ilham Aliyev signed the corresponding decree on the decent holding of a session in Baku, which lasted from June 30 to July 10, according to which the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee was organized at high level in Baku.
During these days, fruitful discussions were held, and a number of important decisions were made. At the Baku session, the files submitted by member countries for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List were reviewed.
The holding of the UNESCO session in Baku has a number of features. Each of the participants who came to the session is the best and most qualified specialist of their country. The experts got acquainted with Azerbaijan and gave high assessment to the preservation of cultural heritage in Azerbaijan.
About 2,500 representatives participated in the Baku session. Over the past period, serious discussions were held, 166 areas were reviewed and 29 samples of heritage were included in the list. This event is significant not only for Azerbaijan, but also for the countries around the world. The session, which was attended by representatives of more than 150 countries, was widely covered in the world press. Also, the session was broadcast live on the UNESCO website. For ten days, the Commission held discussions on 166 sites. At the session, the UNESCO World Heritage List included 29 nominations, 24 of which are cultural, four natural and one mixed nomination. Thus, the number of objects of the World Heritage List’s cultural heritage has reached 1,121.
The minister stressed that the inclusion of the historic center of Sheki, together with the Khan’s Palace in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is a great historic victory for Azerbaijan.
Noting that the process wasn’t easy, the minister added that Azerbaijani experts had been preparing this document for six years, presenting it to various international organizations. At the initial stage, their analysis wasn’t so positive, however, the evidence by Azerbaijan and the execution of the order signed by the head of state in connection with this issue played a positive role in making this decision. Thus, the number of samples of the cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, has reached three items.
Then the minister answered questions.