In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan,
Excellency Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, First Lady of Azerbaijan, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador and President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to address you at the opening of the Fourth International Humanitarian Forum of Baku. I am honored to, first of all, express my sincerest appreciation and gratitude to H.E. Mr Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, for launching this world-class humanitarian initiative from Baku, a haven of dialogue, harmony and tolerance.
President Ilham Aliyev has evolved this Forum into a globally important gathering of intellectuals, academics, media professionals, spiritual leaders, religious scholars and decision makers from all disciplines to collaboratively discuss issues of intercultural dialogue and alliance of civilizations, within a spirit of mutual respect and confidence.
Never was the world so in need of building harmonious relations and combined action on firm grounds for world peace and security than it is today. We are at a juncture which – it is no exaggeration to say – is so critical and extremely delicate. The international community is in a state of great uncertainty, confusion and turmoil, engulfed as it is in a multitude of perils that pose a real threat to world peace and present daunting challenges that cannot be met except through sincere and concerted efforts, guided by respect for the international law and the principles of human rights.
The Baku International Humanitarian Forum is – in its objectives and mechanisms – a form of world intellectual alliance for peace. This much is true, because combating terrorism in all its manifestations begins with eradicating extremist ideas, depraved tendencies and alien concepts. And this is hard to achieve without carrying into the world the values of justice and peace, harmony, mutual acceptance and recognition of the right to difference.
The main objective of this Forum, established in 2011, was to draw up a new humanitarian agenda in the era of globalization with the ultimate aim of advancing it worldwide. This is one of the noble goals pursued by the Republic of Azerbaijan as part of its commitment, before the international community, to fulfilling its mission of human civilization advancement. In this regard, a dozen of international conferences on the issues of dialogue, mutual understanding, tolerance and human collaboration were held in Baku and some of which were co-organized by ISESCO. Through such events, Baku has admirably captured the attention of the world with its long tradition of serving human culture, and deservedly established itself as an ideal platform for this human project of so great importance to world peace.
That is why I, in 2011, described this Forum as a project with noble intentions for human civilization. It is an important milestone in the global effort to promote cooperation at the level of governments, regional and international organizations, and local-community institutions. I now tend to consider this Forum as a true expression of human alliance, its key goal being to promote a culture of dialogue and interaction between peoples and nations and contribute to the global effort to stamp out hatred, discrimination, extremism and terrorism and save humanity from these perils that challenge world peace and security.
It is unfortunate that the international community continues to turn a blind eye to the ugly occupation of the Nagorno-Karabagh region by the Armenian forces, in a blatant violation of the international law and the UN Security Council resolutions. I, from this platform, once again, call, on behalf of ISESCO, for adopting bold and immediate measures to put an end to this unlawful occupation.
I have no doubt the role of this Forum has become even more important and crucial at this juncture when the world is uniting into an alliance for peace and against terrorism.
Thank you very much for your attention.