The direction “Sustainable development and ecological civilization” and the round table dedicated to this global problem was included to the agenda of the 3rd Baku International Humanitarian Forum upon the initiative of the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Founder and Chairman of the International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA) Public Union Leyla Aliyeva. The round table was co-chaired by academician Urkhan Alakbarov, the Rector of the Academy of the Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Professor Robert Laughlin, the Nobel Prize winner (USA); Michael Karageorgevic, the Prince of Yugoslavia; and Arnold Rüütel, the former President of the Republic of Estonia.
Academician U.Alakbarov opened the round table “Sustainable development and ecological civilization” with introductory remarks and welcomed the participants of the event. Further on, Mr Alakbarov also emphasised the significance of the 3rd Baku International Humanitarian Forum and mentioned the exceptional support provided by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to the organization of this Forum. He also recalled that the head of state many times drew attention in his statements and speeches to the fact that this direction is the priority for the future global and national development. In his introductory remarks, Mr Alakbarov particularly mentioned the special role and activities of the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Founder and Chairman of the International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA) Public Union Leyla Aliyeva for environment management and sustainable development. He further mentioned that 120 participants from 23 countries, including prominent public figures, Nobel prize-winners and experts in various fields participated in the round table dedicated to “Sustainable development and ecological civilization”. It was announced that the working languages of the Forum were Azerbaijani, Russian and English. Mr Alakbarov pointed out that in the round table “Sustainable development and ecological civilization” the discussions will take place mainly in three fields:
Co-chairman of the round table Professor of Stanford University, USA, the Nobel Prize winner in physics Robert Laughlin took the floor after the academician Urkhan Alakbarov and extended his gratitude to the organizational committee for inviting him to the Forum. The speaker, who noted that the protection of the environment, efficient mobilization of resources and ecological civilization are important global problems, voiced many interesting ideas about the listed topics. The Nobel prize-winner expressed his satisfaction with the fact that this essential Forum was organised namely in Azerbaijan and stressed the importance for everyone to benefit from this type of events for the sake of the future generations. The scientist, who stressed that he witnessed rapid development in Azerbaijan, said that the last century has been memorised as the century of physics while the 21st century is that of biology and the herald of the century of biosphere, ecology and technology, and sustainable development. Professor Laughlin also mentioned that it was necessary to approach these issues with particular attention and care. In his presentation, the scholar also mentioned the fact that the use of alternative energy resources do not always coincide with the interests of all parties. He emphasized the huge role played by the transnational corporations in directing the world economy and brought to the attention of the participants the fact that the ecological security issues also required special attention. Professor Laughlin, elaborated that papers and presentations delivered in the Forum will be useful and also added that everything has a starting and ending point and it is very important to correctly identify the objectives between these two points and plan the actions accordingly. Correspondingly, when some work or action takes place, this means that certain problems will definitely occur. Subsequently, if there is a problem, there should definitely be a solution to it. Hence, the earlier we make a diagnosis, the easier it will be to avoid disasters that may be created by those problems.
The co-chairs of the round table, the Prince of Yugoslavia Michael Karageorgevic and the former President of Estonia professor Arnold Rüütel greeted the participants of the round table and noted the importance of the discussed topics for the sustainable development of the world.
Later on, the participants started the discussions around the direction “International humanitarian cooperation for sustainable development”. The moderators of these discussions were the Honorary President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), member of the Senate of The Hague Rene van der Linden and the Rector of the Siena University Angelo Riccoboni.
Rene Van Der Linden took the floor and first of all expressed his deep and sincere gratitude to the organizers of the Forum for the excellent organization of the event and the inclusion of such important issues into the agenda for discussions. He mentioned that he would like to speak about natural disasters and their effects on human beings. According to him, one of the key steps towards sustainable development is early identification of disasters and their prevention, and secondly the rapid reaction to them. The senator analysed various methodologies preferred by various countries regarding the discussed issues. He also informed the participants about the achievements and experience attained in this sphere.
The Honorary professor Mikhael Sukkov, the President and namesake of the German Environmental Protection Foundation informed the participants about his work in Azerbaijan. Professor Sukkov noted the successful policy pursued in Azerbaijan in the field of environmental management and stressed the importance of international cooperation in this sphere. Furthermore, Mr Sukkov elaborated on the increasing and strengthening cooperation in this field between Azerbaijan and Germany during the recent years and touched upon future new achievements. The German scientist mentioned among the next aims the possibilities of creating biosphere reserves which are important from the viewpoint of securing the sustainable development.
Professor Yuriy Shilov, the Russian scientist who was another speaker at the round table, mentioned in his presentation that our perceptions of ecological civilisation were originated from ancient Sumer and Egypt. He drew attention to the fact that the ancient civilization which was formed in 7th -6th centuries BC has become the subject of his studies since 1992. Prof. Shilov stressed the democratic nature of this civilization and elaborated on its specific features. The speaker drew attention to the changes that have been taking place in civilizations since ancient times until the present and mentioned that the degradation of ecological civilizations is the source of danger for future generations. He brought to the attention of the participants the importance of organizing such forums in successfully overcoming this threat.
The Rector of the Siena University of Italy, Professor Angelo Riccoboni commenced his presentation thanking the leadership of Azerbaijan and the organizers of the event for organizing such a noteworthy Forum. The speaker recalled that today, hundred millions of people live in the state of poverty and have even been deprived from fundamental education and health care services. Alongside with this, he warned that water pollution, ecological degradation, soil salinization, deforestation and climate changes are the signals indicating that humanity has entered a new dangerous era. Professor Riccoboni also went through the UN priority goals for the year 2015 set forth in the report of 2000 and analysed the possibilities of developing countries to put them into reality. Prof. Riccoboni spoke about diplomatic settlement of global problems and drew attention to the huge importance of the programs implemented by the UN, including the International Humanitarian Forum held in Baku, for the solution of these types of challenges.
Chairman of the Committee of the Russian Chemists, academician Oleq Nefedov emphasised that it is an indication of the sensitive attitude of the country’s leadership to this issue and the problems of the world that this international Forum has been held in Baku. Academician Nefedov also elaborated on revolutionary innovations taking place in various scientific fields, modern global structure of the world, revolting crisis, and economic instability. Informing the audience about the basics of sustainable development he mentioned that the future of humanity is directly linked to its ecological civilisation culture. He introduced his theses on how the changes in the fields of chemistry and biology may be used for the sake of sustainable development and brought complex factors to the attention of participants.
Professor Ehud Menipaz, the head of the Business Technologies and Society Centre of Israel, Professor of the Universities in USA and Israel, who joined the discussions around the topic, dedicated his presentation to aviation industry, nanotechnologies, corporate sustainability, agriculture and protein production. According to him, the inventions in the 20th century resulted in the changes of people’s lives and life style in the 21st century. The engineering of 21st century introduces the best high technologies to the world to rapidly change the future. Professor Menipaz also spoke about economy of resources, transition from resources economy to production economy, and transition from production to innovation economy, and the role of the innovations and information science in today’s world economy of sustainable development. He articulated their differences both within the boundaries of the country and in a continental scale.
Mrs Elizabeth Florescu, the Director of Research of the Millennium Project of the World Federation of UN Associations also took the floor in the discussions. In the outset of her speech she noted the excellent organization of the Forum and perfect and relevant choice of topic of the round table and extended her gratitude to the organizational committee. She mentioned the important role that sustainable development and ecological civilization occupy in the Project of Millennium and drew attention to the significance of international cooperation in this sphere. Mrs Florescu also spoke about the directions of productive cooperation in Azerbaijan. The speaker stated that it is important that the entire society, including the civil society, participates in this process in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
The President of the “Futura21” Institute Mr Roberto Bonino (Italy) made a presentation in the “International Humanitarian Cooperation for Sustainable development” section where he particularly touched upon the importance of humanitarian cooperation in securing sustainable development in the new age. Professor of the Advanced Science and Technologies Institute operating in the Republic of Korea Heekuung Park spoke about the practice of environmental management in modern city planning and construction for the sake of sustainable development and importance of the cooperation in this field for the humanitarian development.
Fuad Mammadov, professor of the Public Administration Academy under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan covered the cultural aspects of sustainable development and issues concerning the formation of ecological culture.
After the break, the co-chairman of the round table Urkhan Alakbarov opened the section “Regional cultural diversity and innovative technologies as factors for sustainable development” and gave the floor to one of the moderators of the section Prof. Sergey Markov, Vice-rector on Relations with State and Public Organizations of the Economic University of Russia named after Plekhanov. Sergey Markov briefly welcomed the participants and introduced other moderators of the section, the Regional Minister for Social Welfare, Women Development and Special Education Ms Rubina Saadat Kaimkhani (Pakistan) and professor of the Colombia University John Laurence (USA).
Sergey Markov, started his presentation referring to the speeches of the Nobel Prize laureates delivered on the previous day. It should be reminded that 5 of them stressed biology as one of the leading sciences of the 21stcentury. Markov, drawing a parallel, mentioned that the leading science of the 20th century was physics, which still identifies our development today. However, in the 18th-19th centuries this status belonged to mechanics that boosted the establishment of the massive industrial society. From this viewpoint, according to professor Markov, biology has a chance to become the science of the 21st century, as new and modern technologies serving the goals of sustainable development and possessing the ability to change the world have been created within the framework of the science of biology. The speaker said that first of all, the human life will be prolonged owing to those technologies. In his presentation, Mr Markov paid attention to organ transplantation, intracellular therapy, technologies of anti-age effect on cells, individual therapy, and other modern technologies that will prolong the human life span and change the world and elaborated on their affect on social, political, and economic aspects.
The presentation of the Regional Minister for Social Welfare, Women Development and Special Education of Pakistan Mrs Rubina Saadat Kaimkhani was dedicated to participation of woman in social, political, and economic life. In her speech, she stressed the particular importance that shall be paid to the education of human beings in the world. Elaborating on the gender issues she said that one of the outstanding issues was the creation of conditions for women to fully enjoy all their rights for the sake of the future development of the world.
Professor of the Colombia University, USA, John Laurence analysed in his presentation the impact of nanotechnologies on development of ecological civilizations in the techno-genic world. He also spoke about the problems faced by the integration processes in various regions of the world. The speaker mentioned that the technological transformation and competitive economy have great impact on the integration processes taking place in the world. In his conclusion, Professor Laurence drew attention to the necessity of conducting important works for the sake of sustainable development and noted the high level organization of the Humanitarian Forum.
Professor of the Dortmund Technological University of Germany Dietwald Gruehn started his speech expressing his thanks for the invitation to the Forum that was excellently organised. He noted that during recent times cooperation was established between Azerbaijan and Germany in the field of technologies and stated that it was very important to have student exchange for enlargement of inter-university scientific-practical exchange. According to the scholar, this may contribute to the development of scientific cooperation between the countries.
The Head of section of the Centre of Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Vusal Gasimli spoke in his presentation about the issues related to regulation of economic and political development of environment. Vusal Gasimli, who based his presentation mainly on global subsidies for mine fuels and traditional development issues in line with green development, shared his views with the participants around the topic “Azerbaijan as a Global Green Corridor”. Georgiy Bakalov, the Chairman of the Union of Architects of Bulgaria also participated in discussions and informed the participants of the round table about the works carried out in his country in the field which was subject of discussions. Mr Alen de Benoist (France), the editor-in-chief of “Nouvelle Ecole” and “Crisis” magazines expressed his views regarding raising awareness of the population with the assistance of the press and perspectives of sustainable development. Representative of Morocco Abdeslem el Misbahi started with expressing his gratitude to the leadership of the Republic of Azerbaijan as the initiator and organizer of this important and relevant event and noted the importance of international cooperation, particularly the significance of information exchange between the developed and developing countries in achieving the goals of sustainable development. Professor Eyyub Isbir, the General Director of the Institute of Turkey and Central Asian States spoke about the importance of international cooperation in management of sustainable development processes, including that of the present Forum; he stressed once again his appreciation for the initiatives of the Republic of Azerbaijan and its President Ilham Aliyev in the field of humanitarian cooperation.
After the break, academician Urkhan Alakbarov opened the session of the section “Ecological civilization – the goal of sustainable development” and gave the floor to the moderator of the section – Alexander Zuev, the Resident Coordinator of the UNDP.
Alexander Zuev expressed his sincere thanks to everyone who worked for the organization of the event and mentioned that economic and social development demonstrated by Azerbaijan during the recent years was possible thanks to the determination and successful administration experience of the President Ilham Aliyev; he drew attention to the fact that Azerbaijan’s reputation has been strengthened in the international arena and the country has been converted into the leading country of the region; this once again proves what was mentioned earlier. He emphasised the great importance of active involvement of Azerbaijan in all peace building activities of the UN. A. Zuev mentioned the deep changes observed today in developing countries. Indeed, any country wants to find itself in the list of developed countries. According to the speaker, it is necessary to work hard for this purpose, particularly work hard observing the efficient use and management of resources. At the same time, Mr Zuev mentioned the important works carried out by the UN in the countries where shortages of food, educational and health care services exist.
The floor was given next to the Rector of the Public Administration Academy under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan academician Urkhan Alakbarov. Mr Alakbarov started his speech thanking the all previous speakers. Then he drew the attention of participants to the projects and programmes implemented in Azerbaijan during the recent years in the fields of sustainable development, green economic development and environment. The speaker stressed that the achievements our country attained due to the perfect governance of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev increase day by day and mentioned that today Azerbaijan demonstrates to the world an unprecedented specific development model due to the economic growth and at the same time increasing the efficiency of the energy and different resources mobilization. Success of the public policy directed toward sustainable development and evaluation given to these achievements in the reports of the UN, World Bank and other international organizations prove the aforesaid once again; in certain cases, the innovative nature of these achievements is particularly stressed. Academician Alakbarov mentioned that during the recent ten years the use of energy for producing each unit of the GDP has rapidly diminished. This is considered as one of the significant indicators of sustainable development, green economy and ecological civilization and speaks about the fact that the knowledge-based development constitutes a priority. This attitude is very important for the solution of global problems alongside national economic security. Thus, using less energy for achieving the same or more economic results is one of the key methods of prevention the climate changes which is considered to be a global problem. The fact that the concept of ecological civilization was created in Azerbaijan in the 1980s and the significance of the consumption culture from the viewpoint of sustainable development were also stressed in the presentation.
The next speaker was Professor Nizami Mammadov, Director of the Globalization and Sustainable Development Institute of the Academy of Economy and Civil Service of Russia who mentioned that his speech will be based on three philosophical questions and added that those questions were linked to sustainable development: (1) Why do human beings destroy nature? (2) To which extent is it possible to build a wonderful future? (3) What is the solution of the historical process: economy or culture? Professor Mammadov conducted detailed analysis around these three questions. Professor Anton Karaja, Director of the International Relations and Economic Cooperation Institute of Romania mentioned once again the achievements attained by Azerbaijan in the field of humanitarian cooperation and stressed their great importance for sustainable development in future.
In the beginning of his speech, professor of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Academy of Sciences of Russia Professor Valery Neronov expressed his thanks to the organizers and participants of the round table and International Humanitarian Forum. He informed the participants that Vladimir Vernadski conducted a detailed and comprehensive research concerning the ecological civilization in transformation from biosphere to noosphere and future development. His researches and studies put light on the way of young researches and scientists in the number of spheres also today. After elaborating on the key goals, Professor Neronov brought examples about social and economic dimensions and touched upon the ways of solving the problems related to protection and management of resources for development. Professor V. Neronov mentioned the significance of biosphere reserves for the sustainable development and reminded the necessity of cooperating in this direction. Rector of the Gelishim University of Turkey, Professor Burhan Aykaç elaborated on the importance of education in the modern world.
In his final speech, the co-chair of the round table professor Robert B. Laughlin said that the conducted discussions were useful and expressed his hopes that they will be reflected in the Declaration of the Forum.
In the closing of the event, academician Urkhan Alakbarov concluding the works of all three sections noted the high quality of the presentations and speeches and thanked the participants. Urkhan Alakbarov extended the deep gratitude of all participants of the Forum to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and its President Mehriban Aliyeva, the Vice President of the Foundation and the initiator of the present round table Leyla Aliyeva and all the organizers of the 3rd Baku International Humanitarian Forum. Mr Alakbarov requested the participants to elaborate on the text of the Declaration of the Baku International Humanitarian Forum. The Declaration was adopted unanimously. Thus, the round table “Sustainable development and ecological civilization” completed its work.