We, politicians, scientists and representatives of culture, education and mass media from around the world, assembled in Baku on 4–5 October 2012 at the International Humanitarian Forum.
- guided by the United Nations Millennium Declaration and recognizing the need to bring justice to the process of globalization;
- calling on the political and scientific elite and influential international structures to pay constant attention to humanitarian problems in the dynamically developing global society;
- noting that progress in science and technology in the modern era is leading to the deep transformation of mankind, society and civilization as a whole;
- paying heed to the need to review such aspects of humanitarian problems as:
- realizing that sustainable economic development requires a new quality of human capital and is impossible without taking account of the human factor in its entirety;
- aware that we live in an era of global change, rapid scientific development and converging technologies;
- recognizing that today’s technology is able to change radically not only international politics, society and national cultures but the human phenomenon itself;
- considering that the growing role of the mass media and social networks in the life of modern society demands the evaluation of a range of new problems;
- emphasizing that in the prevailing situation the link between mankind and culture is decisive for the whole of mankind;
- noting that post-modernist criteria, a review of values, stereotypes and the universals of the modern are characteristic of the changing cultural context;
- taking account of all new aspects of globalization and their influence on social and socio-cultural processes;
- paying heed to the fact that technologies, changing the view of modern medicine and molecular biology, closely linked with the application of bio-, nano- and information-technologies and touching on the nature of man himself, bring urgently to the fore the issue of new humanitarian ethics;
- aware of the need for new interpretations of multiculturalism in conditions of globalization and considering it the most effective instrument to encourage the growing cultural variety and the formation of intercultural dialogue;
- consider it necessary to note the great effectiveness of the discussions at the forum on a whole range of humanitarian problems, caused by globalization, the development of science and technology and affirmation of the rights of the information society;
- think that the comprehensive, multi-level dialogue during the Baku Humanitarian Forum gives hope for the potential for an effective response to the current challenges of our time;
- note the ever-growing importance of a rethink of the conception of multiculturalism and its role in modern society;
- emphasize the need to use the opportunities of multiculturalism as a component of state policy and its significance both for the development of different cultures, and for the preservation and increase of the cultural achievements of all humanity;
- pay especial heed to the need for further elaboration of philosophical and ethical aspects of the problems of multiculturalism alongside their appropriate coverage in the mass media in order to prevent xenophobia, racism and intolerance;
- call on international society, politicians and academics to give their whole-hearted backing to Azerbaijan’s initiative to create in the world a special Centre for Research into the Problems of Multiculturalism;
- think that modern processes, promoting cooperation and mutual understanding, alongside the growing trends of resistance in different parts of the world, should be the focus of academic work in universities, academies of science and the relevant foundations;
- recognize that the rapid development of science leads to the creation of new, interdisciplinary scientific paradigms and requires the reflection of these processes in education, demanding the formation of a single, holistic map of the world for the new generation;
- note the role and significance of converging technologies for the future;
- consider it necessary to pay great attention to the development of nano-, bio-, information- and cognitive technologies and their appropriate application;
- are aware of the variety in developmental processes in every society, dependent on the specifics of the socio-cultural ground;
- recognize the growth in the role of new technologies and social networks, and of their role in the formation and distribution of information as a phenomenon without compare in previous eras;
- call on international structures and different humanitarian organizations systematically to initiate forums, conferences, discussions and round tables in order to achieve genuine intercultural dialogue between states, civil societies and faith groups, destined to cultivate the creation of an atmosphere of tolerance and to prevent conflicts between civilizations.
- expressing our conviction of the need for such forums to be held annually, we express our deep gratitude to the President and government of Azerbaijan and all organizers of the Baku International Humanitarian Forum for an event on such a scale which made Baku the centre for the discussion of humanitarian problems on 4–5 October this year.
- consider necessary the adoption of this declaration and its use in organizing international humanitarian cooperation and assistance in effective coordination to this end.
The Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation, Mikhail SHVYDKOY, thanked the government of Azerbaijan for the high-level organization of the forum. He said:
Your Excellency, dear Ilham Heydar oglu,
Dear Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva,
Ladies and gentlemen!
Over a little more than three years since the Baku Humanitarian Forum began, it has become clear that it is one of the most serious and interesting platforms to discuss fundamental problems of modern civilization. In the three years, Azerbaijan and Baku have proved that this country is developing extremely rapidly, its achievements and successes are evident. I think that one of the symbols of this development is this wonderful center and this hall where we are conducting the Second International Humanitarian Forum. The list of participants of this forum is evidence of the international recognition of Azerbaijan, its leadership and President Aliyev. I have the honor of reading out a message from Russian President Vladimir Putin to the forum participants.
Mikhail Shvydkoy read out a message from Russian President Vladimir Putin to the forum participants.
The message reads: “To the participants and guests of the Baku International Humanitarian Forum “21st century: hopes and challenges”
“I am glad to salute the participants and guests of the Baku International Humanitarian Forum “21st century: hopes and challenges”. Your forum expands its borders every year, becoming a significant and much anticipated event in the social life of Russia, Azerbaijan and other countries. It attracts attention of renowned politicians, scientists and intellectuals and makes an important contribution to the dialogue on key aspects of international humanitarian cooperation. I am sure that the forthcoming discussion will bring about fresh and constructive ideas meeting the challenges of the day, new important initiatives in the field of science and culture, education and mass communication.
I wish everyone good work and all the best.
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.”
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In his remarks, the president of the UNESCO General Conference and Hungary’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Katalin BOGYAY, noted that the Baku forum on humanitarian cooperation was an excellent opportunity for taking steps towards peace and security on the planet.
“Azerbaijan is a valuable partner of UNESCO,” Katalin Bogyay said, noting that humanitarian aid is the foundation of progress of free societies. Stressing the importance of preventing negative factors that have led to the global financial crisis, the UNESCO representative noted the need for significant steps to address environmental problems and poverty reduction in the world. She said UNESCO and her mission were paying attention to the development of people’s creative potential, and the organization’s multicultural platform seeks to form new ways of thinking and develop traditional experience. Stressing that the Baku forum was important for a broad exchange of views on these issues, Katalin Bogyay said:
– The Baku International Humanitarian Forum, which brings together leaders and prominent personalities from around the world, is making a great contribution to our ongoing struggle for human values. I thank the President and First Lady of Azerbaijan, the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO, for organizing this special event and look forward to participating in the “round table”. I hope that we will exchange views on the “Ubuntu” principle.
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Then a video message of UNESCO Director General Irina BOKOVA to the forum participants was demonstrated:
– Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honor for me to address the Baku International Humanitarian Forum 2012.
I want to thank the First Lady of Azerbaijan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, for the commitment to the goals of UNESCO. The Baku International Humanitarian Forum launched as an initiative in 2010 has already taken its place in the international calendar.
We have a need for such new opportunities to discuss the current trends in the rapidly changing world and think about the future. This forum will consider the humanitarian prospects of the role of science and culture in the globalizing world, cultural diversity and media issues.
In her video address Irina Bokova also said that UNESCO as a humanitarian organization would continue to step up efforts to achieve cultural diversity, innovation and sustainable development. It is necessary to adopt a new approach to the issues of concern to people in the 21st century, in particular issues such as the protection of our planet, poverty, discrimination, instability. “We see a way out in working together,” Irina Bokova said, noting in this regard the special importance of the Baku forum. She wished the forum every success.
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In remarks at the forum, ISESCO Director General Abdulaziz Othman ALTWAIJRI said:
– I am pleased to participate at the Baku International Humanitarian Forum, which has actually become one of the most important forums in the world. This forum brings together political, intellectual, scientific and academic personalities, elite groups of different backgrounds and from different countries. In the true sense of the word, this is one of the most highly valued of our initiatives. This initiative was launched by President Ilham Aliyev. The international community has been offered that we, relying on this approach, demonstrate our confidence in the world.
This important step is actually a great contribution to international efforts aimed at creating a new and strong structure in the world. In fact, it is based on such universally accepted values as tolerance, dialogue, mutual approach between people and nations, and international law. In this way, we can ensure a balanced and secure peace for all.
“This forum is contributing to international efforts in this area,” Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri said, noting that such forums are important on the path to a more secure future. For this, it is important to respect human values and take economic measures.
“The road map being prepared for the future should be based on effective progress and committed innovation,” the ISESCO General Director said and added that the world was in need of further reforms. As part of these reforms, it is necessary to seriously consider international political developments. Various human approaches to this issue should be in the spotlight.
Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri said:
– This event aims to strengthen the dialogue between cultures and civilizations, promote a proper culture of peace. In this case, special attention should be paid to the problems of people affected by the occupation. As an example, we can refer to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Therefore, a new rationalization of international relations is an important issue. In this case, we truly need to give a new impetus to international politics. This is our responsibility. It is the responsibility, the duty of the political, intellectual and academic elites participating in this forum.
Before concluding my remarks, I wish to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the President of Azerbaijan, His Excellency Ilham Aliyev, for the support extended to ISESCO. Mr. President has launched many initiatives. These initiatives can bring people together and make the dialogue effective. I wish this forum success and think that Baku will become the embodiment of intellectual and cultural education and that the forum of intellectuals will be successful.
Thank you for your attention.
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Then a film about Azerbaijan was shown. It provided detailed information about the ancient history and culture of our country, the development road covered by the Land of Fire, a country serving as a bridge between the East and the West and playing a special part in intercultural dialogue. The film describes the major projects Azerbaijan has initiated in recent years and the measures being taken to improve the city of Baku.
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After the break, the first part of the plenary session of the Baku International Humanitarian Forum was held. It was attended by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
The first part of the plenary session was chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar MAMMADYAROV.
Speaking about the importance of the Baku International Humanitarian Forum, the former president of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus, said that the Forum, which brings together well-known public figures and cultural workers from around the world, has turned into an authoritative scientific and political platform for the exchange of views on various issues.
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Praising the work of the Forum, the former president of Estonia, Arnold RUUTEL, expressed his satisfaction with the holding of the grand event which brings together prominent members of the scientific and cultural elite in Azerbaijan. He said that new information and ideas quickly spread through social networks in today’s world. And this has led to new challenges in our modern life. Such grand events are important in terms of finding answers to the new challenges.
Speaking of Azerbaijan’s great economic successes achieved in recent years, A. Ruutel noted the rapid development of the country’s economy.
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Noting that Azerbaijan is one of the unique countries in terms of ethnic and religious tolerance, the former president of Croatia, Stjepan MESIC, said that the development he saw in Baku had made a great impression on him. He described the Baku International Humanitarian Forum as a very important platform of intercultural dialogue.
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The former president of Bulgaria, Zhelyu Zhelev, said with confidence that this great event would play a special role in the development of relations between countries. Noting that Azerbaijan is already experienced in hosting such prestigious events, the former Bulgarian president said that the issues to be discussed at the forum would contribute to finding solutions to some of the problems facing humanity.
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“We live in a single world, and at this junction it is very important to protect human values,” the former president of Latvia, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, said. In her remarks, the former Latvian leader focused on the protection of human rights. She said that as in many countries of the world, human rights are also violated in Azerbaijan – over a million Azerbaijanis have been driven out of their native lands. It was noted that the world community must demonstrate a categorical position in this matter.
Stressing that Azerbaijan is a model country in terms of tolerance, Vaira Vike-Freiberg described the participation of well-known politicians, Nobel prize winners, representatives of international organizations in the forum as an example of Azerbaijan’s growing authority. She noted that the rapid development of our country opens up new opportunities for the implementation of new ideas.
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A member of the European Parliament and the mayor of the 7th district of Paris, Rachida Dati, said the rapidly developing Azerbaijan, a country initiating regional projects, is a unique country in the world. Stressing that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to multiculturalism, R. Dati noted that representatives of different religions live in the conditions of mutual respect and understanding in our country.
R. Dati said that the holding of such an important event in Baku significantly enhances the value of the forum because Baku is a place where different cultures, ancient and modern times converge. She added that this international event would achieve its objectives of discussing many issues and finding solutions.
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The former president of Romania, Emil Constantinescu, expressed his confidence that, as was the case last year, the Baku International Humanitarian Forum would be a success. He stressed that the issues to be discussed at the event would be remembered as an important contribution in terms of responses to the challenges facing humanity. Because the discussion of important issues by the people of different professions, in particular those representing cultural sphere, in Baku is a great result.
Constantinescu said that Azerbaijan, which has organized the Baku International Humanitarian Forum at a high level, has already turned it into a tradition.
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The former president of the Kyrgyz Republic, Roza Otunbayeva, spoke about Azerbaijan’s rich history and cultural heritage.
The former president also noted the growing influence of Azerbaijan, which developed from Soviet times to independence and beyond. Speaking about the importance of the forum, Otunbayeva stressed the relevance of multiculturalism and the role of media in society.
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Expressing his gratitude to the President of Azerbaijan for the excellent organization of the Baku International Humanitarian Forum, the former president of Bulgaria, Peter Stoyanov, focused on multiculturalism. He stressed that multiculturalism, which involves understanding and respect for other peoples and religions, enjoys special attention in Azerbaijan. He noted that by bringing together influential representatives of the global elite, Azerbaijan had achieved great success by organizing the forum.
Therefore, the forum is an important platform for discussing current world affairs and sharing cultural values. Noting that Azerbaijan was introducing its cultural values to the world, Stoyanov said that Azerbaijan, using its favorable geographical location and the tradition of multiculturalism, had developed into an important center of dialogue in the world.
Speaking about the rapid economic development of our country in recent years, Peter Stoyanov praised President Aliyev and the country’s successful political course. Most importantly, Azerbaijan always seeks to share its successful experience with other countries.
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“The Baku International Humanitarian Forum is an idea that was put forward at the right time,” said the former president of Latvia, Valdis Zatlers, and expressed his appreciation for the excellent organization of the event. Stressing that the global world is rapidly changing and that technological development further strengthens this change, the former president said that the main thing is to adapt to the change. Technological development has no cultural and historical measure. It poses new challenges to society.
To address these challenges and adapt to this change, we need to establish closer and more friendly relations with each other. Valdis Zatlers said that the people and government of Azerbaijan are confident and know what steps to take. Such a grand event is an indication of precisely this confidence.
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In his remarks, the former president of Bulgaria, Georgi Parvanov, said that the Baku International Humanitarian Forum went beyond regional boundaries to become one of the major events that contribute to the discussion of global issues. Georgi Parvanov praised Azerbaijan for conducting such large-scale events at the highest level.
“Another value of this forum is its direct involvement in issues of global security,” Georgi Parvanov said, adding that the European Union should treat Azerbaijan as a strategic partner because there are many factors contributing to this. Georgi Parvanov urged UNESCO and the Council of Europe to further support Azerbaijan in the annual organization of such grand forums.
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The Secretary General of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States, Halil Akinci, highlighted the importance of the forum in terms of regional peace and security. He spoke about the activities carried out by the organization he heads, the steps taken to strengthen the ties between Turkic-speaking countries and the decisions made.
Halil Akinci thanked President Ilham Aliyev for the excellent organization of this Forum.
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The second part of the plenary session of the Baku International Humanitarian Forum, chaired by President of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences Mahmud Karimov, featured presentations by winners of the Nobel Prize.
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The winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Ahmed Zewail, highlighted the fact that the development of science and education in the modern world should be a priority. He approved of the fact that our country attaches special attention to that.
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The winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Kenneth Joseph Arrow, noted the great importance of the issues discussed at the forum. Mr. Arrow said that despite various efforts, the number of conflicts around the world is not reducing. The reason for this is the lack of a comprehensive approach. Talking about the economic processes occurring in the world, the winner of the Nobel Prize said that despite the existence of relations between countries in various fields, including the sphere of tourism, the problems in the global economy have not been resolved.
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The winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Rudolph Arthur Marcus, speaking about environmental issues, said that the most pressing issue in the world is climate change. The scientist said that changes in the scientific field are occurring very fast and are even of revolutionary nature. For example, scientists still can’t say anything specific about the expansion of the ozone hole. Despite this, science can succeed in resolving global problems.
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Nobel Prize-winning physicist Robert Betts Laughlin touched upon energy issues and noted that Azerbaijan’s activities in this field are of great interest in the world. The Baku forum is significant from the standpoint of studying Azerbaijan’s experience in this sphere.
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According to the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Finn Kydland, President Aliyev raised some important issues in his speech. Noting the importance of the exchange of information in the modern world, he stressed the efficiency of Azerbaijan’s experience in this field.
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According to Nobel Prize-winning physicist David Jonathan Gross, science and education are at the heart of global development. David Gross said that science is the most important form of international activity. In this context, science can become an essential tool for international cooperation. In a globalizing world, all problems are global, so there should be a single model in dealing with them.
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The winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Edward Prescott, built his speech around the issues of importance in terms of eliminating the problems of the environment and ecology. The Nobel Prize-winning expert said that now people are concerned about global warming. However, global cooling is a more serious problem. Today we are in one of the world’s most beautiful cities where extensive work is done “to turn black gold into human capital”. This event demonstrates that by conducting such activities we enrich each other, he said.
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Nobel Prize-winning physicist George Fitzgerald Smoot, in turn, stressed the need for the introduction of modern technologies in order to avoid serious consequences of climate change which are worrying the world now. In order to discuss ways of addressing them and come to a conclusion, the Baku International Humanitarian Forum is a very effective platform. I am very happy to be involved in this forum.
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The problems of the financial crisis in the USA were described by the Nobel laureate in economics, Roger Bruce Myerson. He noted that in a globalizing world such problems weaken the economy not just of one country, but of many other states. In order to prevent this, it is necessary to use all the opportunities and make a lot of effort.
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The Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Ada Yonath, stressed that the Baku International Forum is an important platform for the discussion of fundamental issues of concern. I am sure that we will hold useful discussions, share experiences and find solutions at this forum.
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In his remarks, the Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Dan Shechtman, spoke about the consequences of demographic processes in the world. He said that the number of people in the world was growing and would soon reach 7 billion. If under such circumstances energy sources are depleted, how will humanity live on! In this matter a great responsibility lies with the scientists. By developing technology, they can find a solution to global problems.