President Aliyev attends the Leaders’ Forum at UNESCO General Conference

By: Nigar Orujova

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attended the Leaders’ Forum of the 38th Session of UNESCO General Conference held in Paris on November 17.

The 38th session of the General Conference marks the 70th anniversary of UNESCO.

The head of state first signed the Visitor’s Book at UNESCO headquarters. Following, President Aliyev and his spouse had a brief talk with former UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura.

General Conference President, Namibian deputy minister of information and communication technologies Stanley Mutumba Simataa opened the Forum and provided information about the agenda.

President of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca voiced the conviction that the “founding mandate of UNESCO remains as valid today as it was 70 years ago” and added that the Organization “must be reoriented toward today’s concerns, securing its relevance and affirming its mandate to foster a lasting peace.”

Preca called on world leaders to support UNESCO’s work and shared her vision for its future “as a global leader in advancing knowledge and understanding among people; in championing true equality; in furthering popular education and culture; and in increasing and diffusing knowledge on a global scale.”

Slovakia’s deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Miroslav Lajcak condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and stressed the importance of fighting against terrorism.

General Conference President Stanley Mutumba Simataa highlighted Azerbaijan`s development under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev. He called Azerbaijan a reliable partner of UNESCO.

President Ilham Aliyev addressed the forum.

Then a message of US President Barack Obama was read out.

French President Francois Hollande emphasized the importance of cultural heritage as a unifying force in the fight against violent extremism.

Successful co-op between Azerbaijan, UNESCO

After the Forum, President Aliyev and Mehriban Aliyeva had a meeting with Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova.

The sides hailed long-term successful cooperation between Azerbaijan and UNESCO.

They described the Azerbaijani president’s and his wife’s participation in the UNESCO Leader’s Forum as a good sign of the bilateral cooperation. President Ilham Aliyev’s speech at the Forum was emphasized during the meeting.

Azerbaijan’s contribution to UNESCO’s work was hailed. The development of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan, the country’s role in strengthening inter-cultural dialogue was also emphasized. The sides underlined the significance of international events held in Azerbaijan through UNESCO, voicing confidence that the cooperation will expand.

President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva viewed the Executive Council’s and delegates’ halls.

The head of state and his wife viewed stone ram and horse sculptures presented by the Republic of Azerbaijan to UNESCO on the occasion of the country’s membership of the organization. Found in Ashagi Ayibli village, Tovuz, the sculptures date back to the 12th-12th centuries.

President Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva also viewed sculptures donated by other countries.


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