Baku, October 2, AZERTAC
“Azerbaijan attaches primary importance to the promotion of intercultural and interreligious dialogue at all levels and fully supports the activity of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations to that end,” said Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, as he addressed the annual meeting of the Group of Friends of the UNAOC.
Elmar Mammadyarov noted: “In the contemporary world of growing intolerance, discrimination and violence based on religion or belief, intercultural and interreligious dialogue has become one of the most important tools in promoting tolerance, sustainable peace, stability and development. The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations plays an important role in fostering a global dialogue and cooperation for the promotion of tolerance, peace and better understanding across countries, cultures and civilizations.
Located at the crossroads of the East and the West and thus maintaining the values of both civilizations, Azerbaijan is playing not only the role of a geographical bridge, but also acts as an intercultural bridge between civilizations. We consider our country’s cultural diversity as strength and advantage, which gives it an ample opportunity to contribute to the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue and understanding, encourage ethnic and religious diversity and develop inter-communal links.
Over the period passed since joining the Groups of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations, Azerbaijan has hosted a number of high-profile and action-oriented events, bringing together political, cultural and religious leaders from the region and other countries to promote intercultural and interfaith dialogue. We are planning to hold the Seventh Global Forum of UNAOC in Baku in April 2016 and count on practical outcomes of this event.”
The FM added: “Moreover, Azerbaijan has put forward important initiatives aimed at disseminating ideas of cultural diversity throughout the world. Since 2011, in partnership with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, UNESCO, World Tourism Organization, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and ISESCO, we organized three “World Forums on Intercultural Dialogue”, also known as the “Baku process”.
I am confident that our today’s meeting will make an essential contribution to the efforts aimed at overcoming the stereotypes and misconceptions, diminishing hostility and promoting dialogue, understanding and mutual respect among peoples of different cultures and religious.”