November 19, 2018

The VI Baku International Humanitarian Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan on 25-26 October 2018 : From “Black Gold” to “Human Capital”

 

By Adelin Remy.

This forum was initiated by the presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan and of the Russian Federation in 2010 to hold dialogues, discussions and exchange of views on a wide range of global issues in the interest of humanity. Among 500 participants from 60 countries, Agefi Luxembourg was invited this year and among the many topics (education, innovation …) was particularly interested by the inaugural speech of President Ilham Aliyev on Azerbaijan (1) and by the joint session of the religious leaders on “The Policy of Multiculturalism as a Factor of Ensuring Stability in Society“.

The president of Azerbaijan has reminded that the history and culture of his country (independent 1918-1920 and since 1991) has commanded a multicultural and multi-confessional society.

Bishop Vladimir Fekete, Titular Bishop of Municipa, Aleksander Ishein, archbishop of Baku, Sheikh ul-Islam Haji Allahshukur Pashazade. Baku International Humanitarian Forum 2018. Photorgaphy by Hemid Baqirov.

 

The president has also emphasized the social and economic improvements over the last 10 years, including 3,000 new schools, sending Azerbaijani youngsters to study in higher educational institutions of the world, creating a modern health infrastructure with the building and renovation of more than 500 healthcare institutions meeting today the highest standards, the reduction of the rate of poverty from 49% to 5.3%, thanks to Azerbaijan’s fastest growing economy of the world, the creation of 2 million jobs and the reduction of unemployment to less than 5%, the tripling of the economy and a very low foreign debt (8% of GDP), with budget revenues growing more than 20 times.

The president has demonstrated that oil and gas, the main asset of Azerbaijan, is not enough to bring success: in the president’s own words, “Azerbaijan has accumulated a unique experience in using oil revenues correct and converting the “black gold” into human capital“.

President Aliyev denounced the great humanitarian disaster of Nagorno-Karabakh (20% of the territory of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia, condemned by the UN Security Council), with the 161 Azerbaijanis killed in Khojaly in 1992, the displacement of 1 million people, ethnic cleansing, mosques, tombs, historical monuments desecrated and museums looted …

Azerbaijan is independent but certainly not isolated: it was elected a few years ago as a member of the UN Security Council, has joined the club of space countries and is a member of the Council of Europe and of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Azerbaijan was host of Eurovision (2008) and of the Islamic Society Games last year, will be host to the European Olympics next year, to the European and Islamic games in two years and to the 2020 European Football Cup.

“The Policy of Multiculturalism as a Factor of Ensuring Stability in Society” was a panel with the Sheikh ul-Islam (le leader of the Muslim community, 96% of the population), the archbishop of Baku and eparch of the Russian Orthodox Church in Azerbaijan, the Catholic bishop and the head of the Community of Mountain Jews in Baku as Azerbaijan has adopted multiculturalism as a state policy and, according to President Aliyev, “has never experienced confrontations or misunderstandings on religious and ethnic grounds, and it is our greatest asset”.

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An excellent overview of this multicultural policy is provided by “Azerbaijan: multiculturalism as style of life”, Diplomat Magazine 5 November 2016   http://www.diplomatmagazine.nl/2016/11/05/azerbaijan-multiculturalism-as-a-style-of-life/

(1) http://bakuforum.az/speech-by-president-of-azerbaijan-mr-ilham-aliyev/?fid=23

Content by AZERTAC, The Azerbaijan State News Agency: https://azertag.az/en/xeber/Editor_of_AGEFI_Luxembourg_hails_promotion_of_multiculturalism_traditions_by_Azerbaijan-1209774


Adelin Remi, AGEFI

About the author: Adelin Remy, editor ofAgefi – Le Journal Financier de Luxembourg, the only exclusively financial newspaper in Luxembourg

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