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ISESCO as a partner of Baku Process

20.12.2008

Republic of Azerbaijan has conducted highly productive relations with the Islamic World and Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), and organized many international events in global context. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is rapidly developing collaborative ties with the Islamic Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO). The Cooperation Protocol between the Ministry and ISESCO was signed during the Fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (September, 2006, Baku). The Republic of Azerbaijan was nominated as a member of the Consultative Council for the Implementation of the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World for 2005-2008. This cooperation was developed by the partnership with ISESCO at “Baku Process” for the promotion of intercultural dialogue in 2008 initiated by H.E Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Baku Process comprises an open and respectful exchange of views between individuals and groups with different ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds and heritage living on different continents, on the basis of mutual understanding and respect. This event was the first of its kind, brought together the ministers of culture of the Council of Europe and the ministers of culture of number of Muslim countries which makes this Conference another major step in the development of dialogue and mutual understanding in the globalized world. As a continuation of this cooperation, Government of Azerbaijan invited more than 10 states from Europe to participate at the Sixth Conference of Ministers of Culture of Islamic countries held in Baku on 13-15 October, 2009. According to the initiative of the Government of Azerbaijan, a Ministerial Roundtable on “Fostering Dialogue and Cultural Diversity – Baku Process: New Challenge for Dialogue between Civilizations” was organized among the member states of ISESCO and invited states from Europe in the first day of this conference, 13 October, 2009. On the same occasion, the rest of speakers in this roundtable stressed the vital need to continue holding such meetings between the Islamic community and the European Community, to involve governments, peoples, states and cultures in this dialogue, to make the youth as the main target group of cooperation projects of the two blocs, and to focus the international efforts in this regard. At the end of this ministerial roundtable, a Communiqué was adopted in which the participants reiterated their support for the joint efforts aimed at spreading the culture of cooperation, fair dialogue and mutual respect. After the Islamic and European conferences Government of Azerbaijan decided to organize World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue on 7-9 April, 2011 in Baku under patronage of H.E. Mr.Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Forum supported by prestigious international organizations such as UNESCO, UN Alliance of Civilizations, World Tourism Organization, Council of Europe, North-South Center of the Council of Europe and ISESCO and was held in this format for the first time ever, was to advance the initiatives, realized by Azerbaijan in the sphere of intercultural dialogue, from regional context into the global level, and to establish a fully-functioning International Forum in the country. ISESCO has been one of the main partner organizations of the World Forums on Intercultural Dialogue since then and with the support of ISESCO, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th World Forums on Intercultural Dialogue were held in Baku, Azerbaijan in the framework of Baku Process. As a result of this collaboration, the National Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan for Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) chaired by Minister of Culture and Tourism was established in January 2016.