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Baku is turning into a center for intercultural dialogue

Baku is turning into a center for intercultural dialogue
Problems facing the world being discussed at the Global Forum on Intercultural Dialogue

World Global Forum on Intercultural Dialogue is held once every two years in Baku under the guardianship of the president of Azerbaijan. It’s the only platform organized with the joint partnership of UNESCO, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, UN WTO, Council of Europe and ISESCO. This years forum analyzed the present situation in the West and the Middle East as well as creation of new cooperation mechanism to tackle the problems facing the Asia-Pacific region, sharing and application of the existing practices. Global Forum was attended by vise-president of Bulgaria, general secretaries of UNESCO, ISESCO, OIC, Arab-Maghreb Uniton, Turksoy, president and first lady of Mali, first ladies of Ethiopia and Rwanda, cultural ministers of Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Qatar, Macedonia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, South Sudan, Sudan, Mauritania, Montenegro, Seychelles, Tajikistan and Kenya. The UN streamed the event in their own channels, making it the first event not directly organized by the UN to be televised. Azerbaijan made another contribution to humanity and the tolerance and peaceful coexistence in our country was used as an example to the world. President Ilham Aliyev gave a speech at the opening ceremony of the IV Global Forum and said the event had turned into a global international platform that discusses world issues. President noted that our country was located at the crossroads of civilizations and said intercultural dialogue had become one of the main issues in the world. He states that the forum displays the cultural diversity and ancient history of our nation. Contrary to what some politicians have said about multiculturalism having no future, Ilham Aliyev declared that it was the only way to achieve security in the world. He stressed the Azerbaijani experience in this regard.  
 
Mehriban Aliyev, the first vice-president of Azerbaijan and the president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation talked at the first high level meeting of the international organizations and talked about the importance of forum. She pointed to the fact that Azerbaijan was one of the unique countries situated in a local where cultural and geographical differences meet. She noted that capital city Baku was a harmonic unity of the East and West as well as the modern and ancient history. She characterized Azerbaijan as one of the unique countries that is both a member of the Council of Europe as well as the Organization for Islamic Cooperation: "We are very proud that "Baku process” kicked off in 2008 as a result of close cooperation of these two organizations.  It has a huge symbolic meaning, Baku hosted the First European Games in 2015 and is hosting IV Islamic Games next week. Members of more than 100 countries have and will visit Baku to attend these events. We consider this to be a part of "Baku process”. In addition to important political initiatives bringing nations and religions together, Azerbaijan has carried out various humanitarian and charity projects in different places”.  
In the panel session entitled "Inclusive dialogue in the age of polarization” held as part of the forum, Ali Hasanov, presidential aide on political and social affairs, stated that the modern development of the international relations is observed with complicated and contradictory processes that changes the geopolitical landscape of the world. He noted that, tendency to form of a multi-polar system increases the importance of an inclusive dialogue that will deepen the intercultural and civilization relations. Presidential official stated that Azerbaijan constantly contributes to religious and ethnic diversity and the development of inclusive society, and hosting humanitarian and international forums is proof of this: "The principles that aims to strengthen intercultural dialogue and regulate the national and ethnic relations are reflected in the strategies that are determined in these events. Strengthening this dialogue is also important so that the humanity will be able to ensure its safety in the face of global problems”.  

MP Musa Gasimli talked to us about the importance of the IV Global Forum on intercultural dialogue and said holding this forum in Azerbaijan had a deep and clear purpose: "By hosting this forum, Azerbaijan has demonstrated that the future lies not in the civilizational clash but in the cultural cooperation and enrichment. I think studying the experience of Azerbaijan would be beneficial”.  

We should note that the policies pursued by president Ilham Aliyev have turned Azerbaijan into the leading country in the South Caucasus.  In addition to this development, Azerbaijan has become well known for hosting international events. IV Global Forum on Intercultural Dialogue is one such event.  Centuries-old tolerance and peaceful coexistence of our people is held as an example to the world and serves humanity and the universal values.  

Rufik Ismayilov 
 

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