Cooperation during the Soviet era
As part of the USSR, Azerbaijan has taken an active part in the activities of UNESCO in the 60’s of the 20th century. In 1967, UNESCO released comedies by M.F.Akhundov in French in the “Literature of the peoples of the Caucasus” series, then two recording discs and two audio cassettes of Azerbaijani mugham in the “Music of the peoples of the World” series.
The National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev greatly contributed to the development of relations between Azerbaijan and UNESCO during the Soviet period. He actively participated in Azerbaijani cultural events arranged by UNESCO. In 1983, at the First International Symposium dedicated to the “Art of the Oriental Carpet”, he met with the Special Adviser to the Director-General of UNESCO Mr. Frederico Mayor. At the end of the meeting, Heydar Aliyev was presented with a Commemorative Medal. That meeting had a salutary effect on already friendly relations between Azerbaijan and UNESCO, and laid the foundation for successful cooperation between Azerbaijan and UNESCO when Azerbaijan reestablished its independence.
Exhibitions dedicated to “Azerbaijani carpets” (1981), “Azerbaijani manuscripts” (1985) held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, and that depicting “the Architecture of Baku” held later in London, were consecutively arranged under the auspices of UNESCO. In November 1984, the Azerbaijan State Dance Ensemble performed at UNESCO Headquarters.
UNESCO provided financial assistance to Azerbaijan in holding “A Language and a City” (1981), and “the Oriental Carpet Art” (1983), conferences. In 1983 the image of Memar Ajami Nakhchivani portrayed in a carpet by Azerbaijani painter and carpet-maker Latif Karimov was presented to UNESCO by the government of Azerbaijan during a visit of the Director-General of UNESCO Mr. Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow to Baku.