Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s membership of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
June 3, 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the membership of the Republic of Azerbaijan in UNESCO. Over the past 30 years, cooperation between Azerbaijan and UNESCO has developed steadily, and today, our country has become a reliable partner in ensuring peace and security in the world on all international platforms, as well as UNESCO.
By the relevant Order of national leader Heydar Aliyev, the National Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan for UNESCO was established in 1994 and in the following years, the cooperation between UNESCO and Azerbaijan was further developed. Adhering to the goals and principles of UNESCO, Azerbaijan continues to operate in all priority areas of the organization and today is one of the most active members of UNESCO.
In the development of our country's cooperation with the organization, promotion of the organization's ideas and goals at the international level and within the country, the invaluable merits of the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva should be emphasized. With the attention and support of the First Vice President, Azerbaijan has made great contributions to the promotion of UNESCO values in education, protection of cultural heritage, restoration and protection of historical monuments in Azerbaijan and around the world, intercultural dialogue and other areas. Over these years, 3 tangible and 15 intangible heritage samples of Azerbaijan have been included on the relevant lists of UNESCO.
As a logical outcome of the pursued purposeful policy, our country was elected a member of the UNESCO Executive Board for 2021-2025 in November 2021 having secured the support of the vast majority of members in the elections held during the 41st session of the UNESCO General Conference.
Three cities of Azerbaijan - Baku, Ganja and Gabala – are included in the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, and the cities of Baku, Sheki and Lankaran have been included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
Azerbaijan, which is on 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 UNESCO values, as well as collaborating with the organization for promoting intercultural dialogue and peace and implementing a number of joint projects. Our country supports the programs and projects of the Organization through the Trust Fund, established in accordance with the Framework Agreement signed with UNESCO in 2013.
It should be noted that Azerbaijan was one of the first countries that joined and made a financial contribution to the Global Education Coalition launched by UNESCO for eliminating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Azerbaijan actively cooperates with UNESCO within the framework of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in Event of Armed Conflict. Azerbaijan, which was a member of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict in 2015-2019, again has been a member of the Committee since 2021.
For 30 years, UNESCO has been regularly notified about Armenia's military aggression against Azerbaijan and its war crimes such as deliberate destruction, misappropriation and alteration, as well as insulting of historical, cultural and religious heritage in these lands, illicit removal of our cultural heritage from our country during occupation of our territories. After the liberation of the territories of our country, the restoration and protection of monuments regardless of their origin in these areas, as throughout the country is among the priorities of the government of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is a multicultural country, all monuments in its territory are protected at the state level and representatives of all religions and cultures are respected.
The Azerbaijani side has always been committed to cooperating with UNESCO, complying with its duties under the conventions to which it is a party, and in particular, fulfilling its obligations to protect cultural heritage. For many years, with its experience and participation, our country has made significant contributions to the activities of the Organization in the restoration and protection of cultural heritage both in Azerbaijan and globally. Adhering to the values of UNESCO, Azerbaijan will continue to develop partnership with UNESCO.