Cooperation between UNESCO and the Republic of Azerbaijan
The Republic of Azerbaijan became member of UNESCO on 3 June 1992, after restoration of its independence. In December 1993, during his official visit to France, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev met with UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor.
Azerbaijan is party to the following UNESCO Conventions:
- May 14, 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1993); The first Protocol (1993); The second Protocol (2000).
- November 16, 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Heritage and Natural Heritage (1993).
- December 21, 1979 Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees concerning Higher Education in the States belonging to the Europe region (1994).
- December 16, 1983 Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific (1995).
- September 6, 1952 Universal Copyright Convention (1997).
- Convention on the Recognition of Qualification in the European Region (1998).
- November 14, 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1997).
- February 2, 1971 Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (2001).
- October 29, 1971 Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms (2001).
- 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (2003).
- October 17, 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2006).
- October 19, 2005 International Convention against Doping in Sport (2007).
- October 20, 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2010).
Specialized committees in Azerbaijan in the fields of competence of UNESCO
- ICOM- the International Council of Museums
- MOST – the Management of Social Transformations Programme
- IHP – the International Hydrological Programme
- MAB – the Man and the Biosphere Programme
- IBC – the International Bioethics Committee
- IFA – the Information for All
Azerbaijan’s participation in UNESCO’s subsidiary bodies
Azerbaijan was a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO and many of its miscellaneous committeeswithin the period of 2005-2009.
UNESCO Committees Azerbaijan was party to during 2011-2015:
- The Intergovernmental Committee on the International Hydrological Programme (2011-2015);
- The Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (2011-2015);
- The Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in case of Illicit Appropriation (2011-2015);
- The Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (2011-2015);
- The Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (2011-2015). On December 21, 2012, at the 7th session of the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict,a decision was made to protect cultural propertyin occupied territories. Following this decision an aggressor state should accept liabilities for the protection of cultural heritage in occupied territories, to report on efforts made to fulfill these liabilities and to provide access to UNESCO special missions for assessment. The document adopted by the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict during its 8th session held in Paris on December 18-19, 2013, analyzes the legal framework and implementation mechanisms of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, stresses the importance of sending UNESCO assessment missions to monitor the situation in the occupied territories and, further, draw the attention of the United Nations Security Council and its General Assembly to the problem of protection of cultural properties in occupied territories.
Azerbaijan is currently member of the following UNESCO subsidiary bodies:
- The Man and the Biosphere Programme (2015-2019)
- The Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (2015-2019)
- The World Heritage Committee (2015-2019)
- The Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (2015-2019)
According to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev’s 20 April 1997 Decree on celebration of the 1300th anniversary of the “Book of Dede Korkut”, State Commission on the 1300 anniversary of the “Kitabi Dede Korkut” epos was established. On 21 February 1999, a Decree on the action plan of the State Commission on the 1300 anniversary of Dede Korkut was signed. On 9 April, 2000, festivities dedicated to the 1300 anniversary of “Kitabi Dede Korkut” were held with participation of the authorities of the Azerbaijan Republic, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Turkey, and the Director-General of UNESCO K.Matsuura.
On October 21, 2006, the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva participated at a fest dedicated to the 60th anniversary of UNESCO “Azerbaijan: at the crossroads of cultures and civilizations” organized in the framework of the week of “Dialogue among Civilizations”.
On May 20, 2008, in the framework of the annual meeting of the Goodwill Ambassadors, a concert “Goodwill Angels of Azerbaijan” was givenunder the auspices of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation at the headquarters of UNESCO.
On 17 November, 2009, in the framework of Days of Azerbaijan in UNESCO, Conference titled “Women of Azerbaijan: yesterday, today, tomorrow” was held in UNESCO headquarters.
On December 14, 2010, the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva attended the event dedicated to the 65th anniversary of UNESCO at its Headquarters.
On April 19, 2011, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s independence, a gala performance entitled “Young Talents of Azerbaijan” was organized at UNESCO headquarters. UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova attended the concert. Following the event a reception was given by Mehriban Aliyeva. At the same time, on 19-29 April, 2011, an exhibition of Azerbaijani carpets was showcased at UNESCO headquarters. UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition.
On October 26, 2011, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva participated at the “How does UNESCO contribute to building a culture of peace and to sustainable development?” Forum of Leaders held in the frames of the 36th session of the General Conference. In her speech, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva spoke about financial crisis and discrimination based on race, ethnicity and religion, and its harmful effect on tens of millions of people around the world. She also pointed out the fact that the new world order wasstill to be built and that this process would go through challenges before finding its end to final solution. She highlighted the importance of the humanitarian aspect of globalization and possibility of overcoming all obstacles through open dialogue and good will.
On July 18, 2013, Mehriban Aliyeva participated at an event held at UNESCO headquarters on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s accession to the Organization. On the same occasion, the Government of Azerbaijan organized an exhibition of stone monuments in UNESCO’s garden. UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition. Participants of the event were presented with books on stone art history of Azerbaijan.
On 18 July 2013, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova and the Minister for Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr Abulfas Qarayev, signed a Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture and communication between UNESCO and the Republic of Azerbaijan. The objective of the Framework Agreement is to strengthen, promote, develop and enhance cooperation in the aforementioned fields on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. It was agreed to establish the Azerbaijan/UNESCO Trust Fund (US $5 Million ) enabling the Government to make its financial contributions in support of UNESCO projects and, at the same time, to provide permanent jobs for Azerbaijani experts in order to protect interests of Azerbaijan in the organization.
On 24 January, 2014, Agreement on the establishment of the UNESCO Junior Professional Programme (JPO) between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and UNESCO was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov and UNESCO Director-General Ms. Irina Bokova. In accordance with the agreement, two young specialists from Azerbaijan were offered jobs within the Organization. This agreement expands bilateral cooperation, strengthens the position of Azerbaijan in the Organization, and allows more active participation in the decision-making.
On June 2, 2014, a week of Azerbaijani cuisine dedicated to “Traditional Dishes Preserved for Centuries”, was held under auspices of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation at UNESCO headquarters.
From 15 to 18 September, 2014, a “Gobustan Week” fest was held by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan to UNESCOat UNESCO headquarters. The “Shadows of Gobustan” ballet by Faraj Garayev and the inauguration of Gobustan petroglyphs were successfully held at UNESCO as well.