Azerbaijani delegation delivers national statement at UNESCO Executive Board’s 219 session in Paris

Azerbaijani delegation delivers national statement at UNESCO Executive Board’s 219 session in Paris


Azerbaijan’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Ambassador Elman Abdullayev has delivered the country’s national statement at the 219th session of the UNESCO Executive Board in Paris.

The statement said: “As a testament to our support to Priority Africa, my country has been consistently supporting the African World Heritage Fund, aimed at safeguarding and promoting Africa's natural and cultural heritage. Azerbaijan has contributed to the development of education in Africa through joint projects with UNESCO, including initiatives focused on girls' education.

We fully support SIDS’ efforts for sustainable development and international cooperation for this goal and look forward to working closely with SIDS in this endeavor.”

“We are deeply committed to supporting UNESCO's initiatives in the realm of Intercultural Dialogue and in combating racism and discrimination.

The unanimous support to the candidacy of Azerbaijan to host COP29 (the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), reflects the trust vested in our nation’s efforts towards environmental protection and addressing climate change on national, regional, and global scales,” the statement noted.

“Tragically, during 30 yearlong occupation of 20% of Azerbaijan’s sovereign territories, Armenia subjected Azerbaijani cultural heritage to large-scale plunder, destruction and vandalism. Thousands of cultural objects, including historical monuments, mosques, temples, museums, exhibits, art galleries, archaeological sites and libraries were looted and destroyed out of animosity and ethnic hatred against the people of Azerbaijan. Furthermore, thousands of museum artifacts were illegally smuggled into Armenia, in flagrant violation of international law, including the 1954 Hague Convention and its protocols, as well as the 1970 Convention. Armenia's armed aggression also inflicted severe damage upon our educational infrastructure, resulting in the total obliteration of over 2000 educational facilities,” the statement mentioned.

“While we engage in the restoration and rehabilitation of our cultural heritage, the deliberate destruction of Azerbaijani cultural, historical, and religious sites in Armenia continues. Azerbaijani toponyms have been systematically renamed, and Azerbaijani historical and cultural heritage has been deliberately targeted and desecrated across Armenia in an attempt to erase any trace of Azerbaijanis who have called those territories home for centuries. The historically Azerbaijani Tapabashi quarter in Iravan—the sole surviving area of the historic old town—is now being totally destroyed.

Efforts to reiterate the urgent necessity for international action, encompassing UNESCO and the United Nations, in order to protect this heritage and conduct fact-finding missions to Armenia, were met with resolute resistance from Armenian government. It's evident that Armenia disregards our appeals and denies the existence of Azerbaijani cultural heritage. The destruction of Azerbaijani cultural heritage by Armenia has made a detrimental impact on our cultural rights, particularly the right of everyone to access and enjoy cultural heritage,” the report emphasized.

Shahla Aghalarova
Special correspondent of AZERTAC