4.2.7 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes
The multinational and multi-confessional nature of the Azerbaijan population is an important aspect for intercultural dialogue, being one of the priorities of the national cultural policy. The basic spirit of the national policy derives from the Constitution, which proclaims all citizens equal, regardless of ethnic or racial origin. The Law on Joining the International Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (1996) has found its reflex in the Law on Culture (1998) and other relevant laws. On 16 June 2001, Azerbaijan joined the Framework Convention of the Council of Europe for the Protection of National Minorities. The main public actor responsible for implementing the programmes and policies to promote intercultural dialogue in Azerbaijan, at national and local policy levels, is the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It closely cooperates with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, State Committee on Work with Religious Formations, State Committee on Family, Women and Children's Issues, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences and the Republican Authors Rights Agency, depending on the matter under consideration.
Azerbaijan actively takes part in all relevant programmes and activities of UNESCO, the Council of Europe and other international organisations on the promotion of intercultural dialogue. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has implemented the project "Cultural Diversity in Azerbaijan", which was designed to highlight the country's ethnic and cultural diversity. It involved the cultural associations of the various national minorities, and helped to realise one of its chief strategic aims – to develop and support intercultural dialogue. A Declaration, adopted at the scientific conference "Cultural Diversity in Azerbaijan" (June 2002, Baku), states the necessity to have constant interaction and partnership between the state sector, private sector and civil society; to hold periodical monitoring on the situation in the sphere of preservation and support for cultural diversity. Another significant event, traditional festivals - "Azerbaijan – my motherland", was organised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in November 2006, October 2008 and November 2010. Scientific conferences, photo-exhibitions and preliminary concert performances and gala-concerts, held in the framework of the festivals, attracted thousands of participants from different regions representing practically all national minorities and ethnic groups living in Azerbaijan.
For more information see also chapter 4.2.4.
Database of Good Practice on Intercultural Dialogue