By Laman Ismayilova
The destruction of Azerbaijan's material and spiritual heritage, historical monuments and religious temples over Armenia's three-decade occupation of Karabakh have been discussed at an ICESCO session in Cairo.
In an address to the 14th session of the General Conference of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), Azerbaijani Culture Minister Anar Karimov spoke in detail about the destroyed museums and the exhibits looted by the Armenian occupiers over 30 years.
Karimov expressed satisfaction with the participation in the prestigious event held in the ancient Egyptian capital Cairo.
In his speech, Karimov also touched on the Baku Process, initiated in 2008 to establish an effective and efficient dialogue between cultures and civilizations as well as the Peace4Culture campaign aimed at preserving cultural heritage and creating peaceful and sustainable societies.
He pointed out that Azerbaijan had signed a number of important projects to maintain peace and stability in the region.
Karimov noted that Azerbaijan is a multicultural country with great respect for the culture, language and religion of a number of nations living on its territory.
The culture minister stressed the importance of ensuring regional peace from this standpoint.
The speech aroused great interest among the conference participants.
The Culture Ministry also opened an exhibition dedicated to Azerbaijani culture and history. The exhibition featured books highlighting the country's culture and history as well as the poetic legacy of Azerbaijan's great poet and thinker Nizami Ganjavi.
A series of videos about Shusha, known as Azerbaijan's cultural capital, Karabakh region were screened as part of the exhibition.
Notably, ICESCO's session brought together 49 delegations out of the 51 ICESCO member states.
As part of its new vision, ICESCO follows a new approach in holding the 14th Session of the General Conference, which is completely different from the previous sessions and aims to yield practical outcomes with field impact.
The agenda of ICESCO's 14th Session of General Conference in Cairo included an opening ceremony, in conjunction with the organization of the Global Forum on Higher Education and Scientific Research.
Afterward, the General Conference hosted its opening session, followed by a procedural session to examine the credentials and the list of delegations, the Conference Draft Agenda and Draft Programme, and compose the General Conference Bureau.
The General Conference concluded its proceedings with a plenary session, followed by a closing session to approve Members of ICESCO's 43rd Executive Council, announce the date and venue of the 15th Session of the General Conference and adopt the Conference resolutions.
Over the past years, Azerbaijan and ICESCO have built strong ties, based on common values.
The visit of the ICESCO delegation to Azerbaijan early in January was an important step in this direction. Moreover, ICESCO has proposed to declare Shusha as the capital of the Islamic world.
Azerbaijan implemented numerous international projects with ICESCO. Baku (2009) and Nakhchivan (2018) were named the Capital of Islamic Culture.
Azerbaijan's capital hosted the meeting of the ICESCO culture ministers in 2009. The 12th General Conference and the 36th meeting of the ICESCO Executive Board were held as well.
ICESCO is also one of the main partners of the Baku Process initiated by President Ilham Aliyev and adopted by the United Nations. The organization has been an official partner in the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue held in 2011.
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