UNESCO and Azerbaijan
Goodwill Ambassador - Mehriban Aliyeva
Azerbaijan and UN
Azerbaijan and Council of Europe
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UNESCO and Azerbaijan
On 9 September 2004, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, designated Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, First Lady of Azerbaijan and President of the Foundation “Friends of Azerbaijani Culture”, as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Oral and Musical Traditions. The ceremony took place at UNESCO Headquarters in the presence of H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister for Foreign Affairs; Mr. Polad Bulbuloglu, Minister of Culture; Mrs Eleonora Husseinova, Permanent Delegate of Azerbaijan to UNESCO, and a number of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors.
Azerbaijan became a member of UNESCO on June 3, 1992 and a memorandum on Azerbaijan - UNESCO cooperation was signed in 1996.
The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev visited UNESCO headquarters in France and met with the Director-General of the organization in December of 1993.
Azerbaijan has acceded to ten important conventions adopted under the auspices of UNESCO:
- Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of Armed Conflict and Protocol (1993), second protocol (2000)
- Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1993)
- Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in the States belonging to the Europe Region (1994)
- Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific (1995)
- Universal Copyright Convention, with Appendix Declaration to Article XVII and Resolution concerning Article XI (1997)
- Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the Europe Region (1998)
- Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1997)
- Convention of Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (2001)
- Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms (2001)
- UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (2003)
Azerbaijan is a member of three subsidiary bodies of UNESCO:
1. International Bioethics Committee (2001)
2. Legal Committee (2003)
3. Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitutions in Case of Illicit Appropriation (PRCP)
A highly successful UNESCO project aiming at strengthening computer technology is being implemented with financial assistance of the UNDP. In the framework of this project three scientific centers for the training of computer specialists have been set up so far: in Baku, Sumgait and Nakhchivan. An educational TV studio was established in the Faculty of Journalism of the Baku University (2001).
Fifteen international conferences and seminars have been held in Baku with the assistance of UNESCO:
- Celebration of the 500th anniversary of Azerbaijani poet Fuzuli (1996)
- Conference on the development of vocational education (1997)
- Conference on "Future aspects of Translation, Interpretation and Terminology in Azerbaijan in the New Global Context" (1999)
- Celebration of the 1300th anniversary of Kitabi-Dede Korkut (2000)
- National conference on legislative tools for cultural heritage protection (2001)
- Second meeting of the Network of the Pedagogical Universities of the South Caucasus (2001)
- Celebration of the 800th anniversary of Azerbaijani astronomer Nasreddin Tusi (2001)
- Regional Workshop for IT applications for the "Digital Silk Road" (2001)
- Consultation meeting on " Major events of the 20th century production of a series of TV films" (2002)
- National seminar devoted to World Space Day (2002)
- Turkic States Space Generation Forum (2003)
- Celebration of the 200th anniversary of a well-known orientalist Mirza Kazim-Bey (2003)
- East-West intercultural Dialogue (Cultural Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia) (2003)
- Conference on 50th anniversary of Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of Armed Conflict (2004)
- Regional workshop for UNESCO (ASPnet) National Coordinators and Teachers, "Quality Education in Practice" (2004)
Two UNESCO Chairs have been established in the fields of
- Human Rights, Democracy and Peace (Academy of Public Administration, Baku)
- Translation Studies (Azerbaijan University of Languages, Baku)
National Committees have been established for the following Intergovernmental Programs of UNESCO:
- Management of Social Transformations (MOST)
- International Hydrological Program (IIP)
- Man and the Biosphere (MAB)
- International Council of Museums (ICOM)
- International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
- International Music Council
- International Institute of Theatre
The following books and booklets have been translated and published in Azerbaijani language with the assistance of UNESCO:
- Human Rights: A compilation of International Instruments
- UNESCO's standard-setting instruments
- UNESCO Declaration on Tolerance
- Human Rights: questions and answers by Lea Levin
- Introducing Democracy: 80 questions and answers
- UNESCO Peace Pack
- Azerbaijan-UNESCO: 1992-2002
- What does Culture of Peace mean?
- United Nations' Declaration on Culture of Peace
- Developing multilingual communications in Azerbaijan (2001). Follow-up of the Conference on future aspects of translation, interpretation and terminology in Azerbaijan in the global context, held in Baku in May 1999.
- Associative Schools Project Network
- UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity
- Human Rights Protection: International and Azerbaijani mechanisms (under preparation)
The famous Azerbaijani Mugham performer Alim Gasimov was awarded the IMC-UNESCO International Music Prize in 1999.
International Year for the Culture of Peace was widely celebrated with more than 400,000 signatures for the Manifesto2000 Culture of Peace. A special postage stamp and envelope devoted to the International Year for the Culture of Peace was issued in 2000.
Director-General Mr. Koichiro Matsuura made an official visit to Azerbaijan in April 2000. Previously, Mr. Federico Mayor had made an official visit in 1996, and later, in 2003, the Assistant Director-General for Culture Mr. Mounir Bouchenaki visited Azerbaijan.
The Walled city of Baku, with the Shirvan-Shahs Palace and Maiden Tower, was included in the World Heritage List (2000), but UNESCO recommendations have not been completely fulfilled, and the monument was included in UNESCO's World Heritage in Danger List in the 27th session of the World Heritage Committee held on July 4, 2003.
There are different works of art in UNESCO Headquarters building given as a present by member states. One of them is a carpet by Latif Karimov, dedicated to Memar Ajemi, which was among several items presented to UNESCO in 1983.
Azerbaijan Mugham was announced as a masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in November 7, 2003.
The president of the Azerbaijani Culture Friends Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva met with the Director-General of UNESCO Koichiro Matsuura in 2004.
Azerbaijani representatives regularly take part in conferences, seminars and other events held within the framework of UNESCO.
Azerbaijani National Commission for UNESCO