National declaration of Azerbaijan presented to the session of the Executive Board of UNESCO
BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 5. The 214th session of the Executive Board of UNESCO is taking place in Paris and the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to UNESCO elected to this important body of UNESCO – the Executive Board with the broad support of Member States, Elman Abdullayev, presented Azerbaijan’s national statement during the session, Trend Reports.
This meeting of the Executive Council is being held at a time of turmoil for the international community against the backdrop of a serious deterioration of the situation in Ukraine and around it, Abdullayev said.
“Azerbaijan expresses its deep regret that the efforts for a peaceful settlement have not yet yielded results capable of stopping the fighting. Of particular concern is the increase in the number of civilian casualties. We reaffirm the need for strict respect for international humanitarian law in order to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, including cultural heritage and educational institutions,” the Permanent Representative said.
“Azerbaijan has been subjected to armed aggression by Armenia for about 30 years. In recent years, serious war crimes have been committed, as well as crimes against humanity, the norms of international law on the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflict have been flagrantly violated,” noted Abdullayev.
“Once fairly prosperous Azerbaijani territories were destroyed. For many years, the Armenian government pursued a systematic policy of destruction, looting and misappropriation of the cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, both in the territories that he occupied for 30 years and in Armenia himself,” he added.
The representative of Azerbaijan said that mines and the presence of unexploded ordnance in the territories of Azerbaijan liberated from Armenian occupation pose a serious threat to the cultural heritage of these lands, hamper restoration work and delay the return of civilians. As a result, mine explosions killed and injured several civilians, as well as a journalist, Abdullayev said.
The Permanent Representative thanked the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, for the statement condemning the deaths of Azerbaijani journalists and recalled that the representatives of the Azerbaijani media Siraj Abishov and Maharram Ibrahimov died following the explosion of a mine on June 4, 2021 in the Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan. .
After the end of the armed conflict, Azerbaijan entered the stage of post-conflict reconstruction, restoration and reintegration, he noted.
According to Abdullayev, Azerbaijan is determined to properly preserve, restore and put into operation all cultural and religious monuments of the liberated territories, regardless of their origin. Azerbaijan continues to cooperate with the international community, including relevant specialized institutions and United Nations agencies, in the ongoing large-scale rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the liberated territories, Abdullayev said.
The Permanent Representative also expressed the hope of a contribution from UNESCO in this direction.
“The Azerbaijani government wishes to conduct an independent and impartial UNESCO technical mission to assess the state of cultural heritage in the country. Our country is ready to continue working in this direction without delay and hopes that there will be no more obstacles due to In this context, it is necessary to accelerate the organization’s response to the proposals submitted by Azerbaijan seven months ago – on August 19, 2021. Such a UNESCO mission should be carried out with full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” he stressed.
According to him, in addition to sending a UNESCO mission to the liberated territories of Azerbaijan, it is extremely necessary for the organization to assess the state of cultural heritage of Azerbaijan in Armenia.
“Azerbaijan is ready to make an effective contribution to the work of the session. We highly appreciate the strengthening of UNESCO’s role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by supporting and assisting countries through the Global Coalition for education, which we are proud to join,” said Abdullayev.
Everyone knows about Azerbaijan’s long-term partnership with African countries. In this sense, our country also supports the global African priority of UNESCO and calls for special attention to be paid to the needs of small island developing States,” he noted.
Climate change, as one of the major global issues, continues to pose a threat to World Heritage properties, he added.
“Azerbaijan actively supports UNESCO’s initiatives in the field of intercultural dialogue, in particular the UNESCO electronic platform for intercultural dialogue, which was launched in 2018 and developed with the financial support of the Azerbaijani government. Azerbaijan supports the active role of young people in the decision-making process and we welcome the 12th UNESCO Youth Forum dedicated to developing a post-COVID-19 action plan,” said Abdullayev.
According to him, given the growing importance of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in international issues, Azerbaijan, as a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO, will try to strengthen the existing coordination mechanism. of the countries participating in the NAM within this council. .