UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva
Mehriban Aliyeva’s great efforts to enhance relationships between Azerbaijan and UNESCO are indispensable. She has been popularizing and promoting Azerbaijani culture in the world through the “Friends of the Azerbaijani Culture” Foundation since 1995. In September 2004,Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva was designated as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Oral and Musical Traditions inrecognition for her contribution to the promotion of traditional azeri music, literature and poetry and her commitment to ideas of UNESCO.At present, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation led by Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva has broadened this mission to include the development of other areas like science, education and culture. At the same time, the Foundation continues its services in support of the international sustainable development and peace-building activities. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has made tremendous contributions to the preservation of cultural and intangible cultural heritage, restoration of historical, religious and cultural monuments in Azerbaijan and abroad, as well as the establishment of new schools, kinder gardens, health centers and other scientific, cultural and social centers. As a result of the efforts of Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, elements of cultural and intangible cultural heritage of Azerbaijan were inscribed on the relevant UNESCO lists.
In recognition of her selfless activities to the world culture and contributions to the preservation of the cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva was consecutively awarded with the Commemorative Medal by former UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura( 2008 ) and with the Golden Mozart Medal by Director-General Irina Bokova(2010) .
Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva has attended annual meetings of the Goodwill Ambassadors at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and has held numerous meetingsbetween 2004-2012. At the same time, various events dedicated to Azerbaijan were organized at UNESCO Headquarters with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Agreements signed within the framework of cooperation between UNESCO and theHeydar Aliyev Foundation
On 18 June, 2007, UNESCO, the Government of Azerbaijan and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation signed the ActionPlan on development of a professional education in Azerbaijan.
On 19 March, 2009, Cooperation Agreement on Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage was signed between UNESCO and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
On 27 October, 2011, an agreement on financial support to restore the cultural sector of earthquake damaged Haiti was signed between Azerbaijan and UNESCO. According to the agreement, financial support in the amount of 50,000USD was meant to be spend to restore the sites of cultural importance in the historical part of Haitian Jackmel city.
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.