Azerbaijan is renowned as a model of multiculturalism
Q: Ms.Abdullayeva, how do you estimate the results of 2014? What achievements did it mark from the point of view of socio-economic development?
A: I think that the year 2014 was successful for the Republic of Azerbaijan in general. Our country is confidently moving forward on the path of democracy and development, and is the regional leader. International projects initiated by Azerbaijan and successfully implemented. The standing of Azerbaijan in the system of international relations has considerably strengthened. The country`s presidency of the Committee of Ministers of eh Council of Europe should be emphasized here.
Last year also marked considerable success in the field of economy. Much was done under the Year of Industry. Azerbaijan managed to withdraw the negative impact of economic crisis thanks to President Ilham Aliyev`s wise and far-sighted policy. And the government`s well-though-out policy towards settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which is out greatest pain, should also be underlined. Our policy of isolating Armenia continued, with Armenian remained aside from all regional projects. At the same time, our military and defense potential considerably increased. Military budget is growing. Our armed forces gave a proper response to Armenian provocations. All his is a vivid evidence of the Supreme Commander in Chief, President Ilham Aliyev`s successful policy.
Q: We would like you to speak of the government`s humanitarian policy last year…
A: as you know like all spheres of life, humanitarian area is the focus of the President`s attention. The head of state signed an executive order on the establishment of the International Multiculturalism Center. This is a remarkable event. Azerbaijan is known throughout the world as the center of tolerance and multiculturalism. This experience is already studied by other countries. The year 2014 saw our country implement a large number of humanitarian events, projects and programs. Among them we can underline the Global Forum of Youth Policy, traditional International Baku Humanitarian Forum, Global Shared Societies Forum. All these events demonstrate that there is an Azerbaijani model in this area, which is of great interest to other countries. Azerbaijan is a country where religious, ethnic, cultural tolerance reigns. However in Europe there are growing Islamophobia and anti-Semitism trends.
In Azerbaijan, there are communities of almost all religious confessions. They enjoy free, and comfortable life. Over the centuries, representatives of different nations and religions have lived in Azerbaijan in the atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect, prosperity, friendship and brotherhood. It is no coincidence that Azerbaijan is recognized worldwide as an example of tolerance, a society of dialogue between civilizations and cultures, a country with advanced traditions of multiculturalism. The preservation and further development of the national and historical heritage and the ethno-cultural diversity today is one of the most important directions of the state policy pursued in Azerbaijan.
Q: What can you say of reforms in eh education sector?
A: The education reforms carried out in our country since it gained independence have global nature and cover all its aspects. The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan approved "The Reform Program in Education" which aims to identify strategic dimensions of reforms in education sphere. I would like to emphasize President Ilham Aliyev`s saying “We must turn oil revenue into human capital.” This is a number one priority in the government`s education policy. Last year a large number of schools and kindergartens were reconstructed and built, their material and technical infrastructure. I would also like to emphasize the role of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in developing education in the country. The foundation patronizes the reconstruction and building of schools, kindergartens and other educational facilities both in the capital and regions of the country.
Q: You are a member of the MilliMajlis Cultural Committee. We would like you to highlight the work to promote Azerbaijani culture across the world?
A: Azerbaijan has rich and ancient cultural traditions. We can rightly be proud of our cultural heritage. The government of Azerbaijan is doing tremendous work to preserve and promote our culture abroad. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation, headed by Mehriban Aliyeva, consistently supports and assists this policy.
Two years ago we readopted the Law on culture. It was amended and supplemented. I would like to emphasize one fact: the law defines tasks with regard to promote Azerbaijani culture. One of the key priorities is creating Azerbaijani houses that will directly deal with this issue. Another remarkable issue is that the law requires the return of all cultural objects and samples belonging to Azerbaijan to our country. The law also puts emphasis on promotion of Azerbaijani cuisine, mugham, ashigs art, carpet-weaving. I would like to underline mugham. As you know Mehriban Aliyeva is tirelessly working to promote our culture, especially mugham.
Q: As we know state program on socio-economic development of the regions is successfully carried out. In this context, what can you say of the construction and redevelopment activities in Sumgayit?
A: As national leader Heydar Aliyev said Sumgayit is “a city of friendship, unity”. As you know President Ilham Aliyev attaches special attention to Sumgayit. Construction work and redevelopment activities here are personally supervised by the head of state. He personally visited Sumgayit several times.
Large-scaled programs and projects are carried out in our city today. I would like to note Sumgayit Technologies Park, Nasimi Park and environmental projects.