Supporting the competitiveness of various forms of culture, which can also be interpreted as their sustainability, is among the main directions of state policy in the field of culture, according to the Law on Culture (2012). Approved with the Presidential Decree, the Concept of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan (№ 273 of February 14, 2014) reflects the understanding formed in the national cultural policy that cultural creativity and heritage need supporting mechanisms from outside culture to ensure sustainability and full-fledged development. Furthermore, there is a clear understanding that culture does not exist by itself, in isolation, but as a social phenomenon. Therefore, culture actively interacts with other spheres of social life, such as politics, law, economics and finance, science and education, and international relations, etc. Therefore, the direct approach of the Concept of Culture is to establish a harmonious and mutually beneficial interaction of culture with all these spheres of social life to ensure its sustainable development, which in turn will provide the cultural sustainability of society.
The Concept of Culture considers not only issues of the development of culture itself, namely, issues directly related to the preservation of immovable monuments of history and culture, movable cultural values, intangible cultural heritage, support for theatres, musical creativity and visual arts, the development of cinematography and publishing, museums, libraries, cultural centres and so on. Along with all of the above, the Concept of Culture pays great attention to the mechanisms of ensuring cultural policy, such as legislative support, administrative support, financial support, information support, staffing, logistics and international cooperation. All these areas of cultural policy are analysed, appropriate recommendations are given, and different development paths are indicated.
Thus, the Concept of Culture, the principal executive document of the state in the field of culture, laid the foundations for a systematic and sustainable approach to solving practical issues of national cultural policy. All subsequent state programmes, action plans, strategies and roadmaps in the field of culture, legislative initiatives, financial policy, personnel approach, and so on, have to proceed from the Concept of Culture, according to its status in the hierarchy of state executive documents. Such a synergistic approach to cultural issues is already reflected in understanding the main actors involved (e.g. public, private or civil society actors).
Cultural sustainability issues are included in the agendas of some events organised in the country. Thus, a thematic discussion on the topic “Protect our heritage: Social, cultural and environmental sustainability” was managed during the 110th session of UNWTO Executive Council (Baku, Azerbaijan, June 16-18, 2019), with relevant recommendations to national, regional and local governments and tourism administrations in connection with cultural sustainability.
The Third World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue (Baku, May 18–19, 2015) had significant concern for culture and sustainable development. The Fourth World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue (Baku, May 5–6, 2017) discussed “Advancing Intercultural Dialogue: New Avenues for Human Security, Peace and Sustainable Development”.
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