Electronic project titled “Azerbaijan-UNESCO relations” launched for internet users by the Presidential Library of Administrative Department of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on December 25, 2017. The director of the library Mayil Ahmadov stated that, Republic of Azerbaijan became member of several prestigious international and regional organizations after restoring state independence in 1991. Azerbaijan highly values the relations with UNESCO among the international organizations which it is member to.
As a UN’s specialized organization, UNESCO gives its members the opportunity of training world-class specialists, scientific and pedagogical staff, and taking part in global projects and benefiting from the technical help. UNESCO also plays an exceptional role in broadening and developing partnership between the nations in the field of education, science and culture, and also in the protection of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Partnership with UNESCO is one of the main directions of the foreign policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The head of the library noted that it has been 25 years since Azerbaijan became member of UNESCO. Despite Azerbaijan’s joining this organization on July 3 rd 1992, the development of the relations expanded after the return of Heydar Aliyev to power in 1993. One of the most
crucial steps taken in the development of the Azerbaijan-UNESCO relations was during Heydar Aliyev’s first official trip to France, where President of Azerbaijan met with the Director-General of UNESCO, Federico Mayor. Issues like broadening of the bilateral partnership and the development perspectives discussed in the meeting and a Memorandum signed, afterwards. National Commission established under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Azerbaijan On February 21, 1994. Operating under the President of Republic of Azerbaijan since 2005, this Commission also has a Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in Paris.
Mayil Ahmadov also noted that, relations between UNESCO and Azerbaijan are closely linked to the work of the First Vice President, the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva. Before being honored as the Goodwill Ambassador, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva gained the affection both in local and international scale for her multidimensional work in the field of culture. With the initiative of protecting and promoting our national culture, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva established the Foundation of Friends of Azerbaijani Culture in 1995. Various Mugham competitions, children music festivals, jazz festivals and other cultural events have been organized with the support of that foundation. Major part of Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva’s activities in the cultural field is linked to the Heydar Aliyev Foundation established in 2004. The foundation constantly works on projects that are engaged in restoration of the historical, religious and cultural monuments, opening new schools, kindergartens, and health centers, scientific, religious, cultural and social centers in Azerbaijan and in foreign countries, as well as realization of events and projects that are aimed to promote the intangible cultural heritage of Azerbaijan. Relations between UNESCO and Azerbaijan started to rapidly develop after Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva was honored as the Goodwill Ambassador on August 13, 2004 for her services in protection, study and research of our country’s rich culture.
As a result of the activities of Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, many cultural heritages of Azerbaijan have been inscribed to the list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. “Icherisheher” State Historical-Architectural Reserve including the Complex of Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden Tower was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000 and Gobustan State Historical-Artistic Reserve was included to the World Heritage List in 2007.
Azerbaijani Mugam, The Art of Azerbaijani Ashiqs, Novruz, Traditional art of Azerbaijani carpet
weaving, Craftsmanship and performance art of the Tar, a long-necked string musical
instrument, Chovqan, a traditional Karabakh horse-riding game, Traditional art and symbolism of Kelaghayi, making and wearing women’s silk headscarves, Copper craftsmanship in Lahij,and Lavash making have been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, including Azerbaijani Dolma and Kamancha in 2017. Mayil Ahmedov stated that, staff of Presidential Library has prepared an electronic resource titled “Azerbaijan UNESCO relations” on the occasion of Azerbaijan’s 25 years of membership to UNESCO, which is available in the following link: htpp://unesco.preslib.az/. The electronic resource is available in both Azerbaijani and English language.
Giving the information about the structure of the web site, head of the library stated that the web site consists of 6 sections and 46 sub-sections. The first section gives information about the establishment of UNESCO, its charter, head and its executive body, member countries and goodwill ambassadors. The Goodwill Ambassador Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva’s activities are also included in this section. The “Icherisheher” State Historical-Architectural Reserve, Gobustan State Historical-Artistic Reserve included in the List of the World Cultural Heritage, Azerbaijan’s cultural values included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Manuscripts included in the World Document Heritage of “Memory of the World Register”, as well as full information about the Shaki city included in the “Network of Creative Cities” can be found in the section named “Azerbaijan and UNESCO”.
Another section of the electronic resource is called “UNESCO Jubilee Events”. In this section you can find information about the active participation of Azerbaijan with UNESCO during the Soviet years in 1960’s, the publishing of the comedies of M.F.Akhundov from the series of “Literature of Caucasian States” in French in 1967 by UNESCO, and the gramophone records and audiocassette releases of Azerbaijani Mugham from the series of “World Nations Music”.
In the same section you can find materials about the ceremonial celebrations of the prominent poets and writers, scientists and philosophers of Azerbaijan during the independence years and celebration of 1300 jubilee of “Kitabi-Dede Qorqud” epos by UNESCO.
Information about the Azerbaijan’s joining the international conventions of UNESCO is gathered in the section titled “International conventions”.
Up to 100 books about Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage are available in the section titled “e-books” in Azerbaijani, Russian and English language. At the same time, list of books used in creating the resource in all, periodical press materials and the websites are given separately. The electronic resource is being constantly renewed.