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Azerbaijan/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.6 Other relevant issues

The "Baku Process" is based on the interregional specifics of Azerbaijan, resulting from its geographic situation, social-political aspirations, and historical-cultural traditions, which has contributed historically to the transformation of this region as a meeting place for experts from the East and West as well as from the South and North. Proceeding on this basis, with the modern Republic of Azerbaijan being the only state member both of the Council of Europe and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), the Baku Process has been initiated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan recently in order to bring closer these regions consisting of CoE and ISESCO member states.

Formalising the Baku Process involved three initial stages:

  • Organising a Council of Europe Conference of Culture Ministers in Baku, to which ISESCO and some of its member states were invited (The Baku Conference of Ministers responsible for Culture met on 2-3 December 2008, on the theme of "Intercultural dialogue as a basis for peace and sustainable development in Europe and its neighbouring regions").
  • Holding an ISESCO Conference of Culture Ministers in Baku, to which the Council of Europe and some its member states were invited (The VI Ministers of Culture Conference of the Organisation of Islamic Conference member states was held in Baku from 13-15 October 2009, following the Baku Process, and in celebration of Baku as Islamic Culture Capital for 2009.
  • Establishing a regular biennial Baku World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue with the participation of relevant intergovernmental organisations, culture ministers and all over the world.

The Baku World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue has taken responsibility for delivering the global agenda on the Dialogue among Civilisations adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (November 2001), the UNESCO Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), the Islamic Declaration on Cultural Diversity, which was adopted by ISESCO in 2004, Declaration and Action Plan of the Third Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe member states, the Council of Europe White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue (May 2008), as well as the Baku Declaration for the Promotion of Intercultural Dialogue . Azerbaijan has already hosted the First Baku World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue under the motto - "United Through Common Values, Enriched by Cultural Diversity" (7-9 April 2011), The Second Baku World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue on the subject of "Living Together Peacefully in a Diverse World" (29 May - 1 June 2013) and The Third Baku World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue dedicated to the theme "Sharing Culture for Shared Security" (18-19 may 2015) under the patronage of the President of Azerbaijan in cooperation with UNESCO, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, UN World Tourism Organization, the Council of Europe, ISESCO, with the participation of culture ministers of numerous states, heads of leading international organisations, mayors of various world cities, diplomats, media organisations, international NGOs, scientists, scholars, distinguished cultural experts, practitioners, intellectuals and activists.

Chapter published: 31-10-2016

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