Azerbaijan draws attention to water issues at UN Office [PHOTO]
By Laman Ismayilova
Around 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered with water while oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth's water, Azernews reports.
Climate change adds undue pressure on water systems. Ecosystems of the seas and oceans face serious threats. Therefore, it is necessary to protect water resources from negative effects.
An exhibition "My Seas, My Oceans" raises public awareness of water issues.
The project was initiated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and IDEA Public Union with the support of the United Nations (UN) Office in Geneva and the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan to the UN Office in Geneva.
The exhibition brought together Azerbaijani artists Javid Ilham, Diana Aliyeva, Elshan Karaja, Erkin Alakbarli, Gunel Ravilova, Leyla Aliyeva, Mirali Seyidov, Nazrin Khalafova, and Nazrin Mammadova. Through art, the artists provide a broader understanding of the water issues.
Vice President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, founder and head of the IDEA Public Union Leyla Aliyeva addressed the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Azernews reports citing Azertag.
In her speech, Leyla Aliyeva stressed that the exhibition provides a good opportunity to focus on some global issues through art.
"At IDEA Public Union, we always use art and creativity to convey the importance of protecting the environment. Our organization was established in 2011 with a mission to protect our nature and biodiversity. We want to encourage people to study, art, music, enlightenment and, most importantly, to spend more time in nature," she said.
She noted that IDEA also focuses on combating pollution and protecting animals and the marine ecosystem.
Around 50 percent of marine life has been destroyed in the last fifty years. Human actions seriously affect water resources.
"I would say that people and nature are closely related to each other. By depriving nature, we first of all harm ourselves. However, I do believe that through positive thinking, we will be able to glue the torn pieces together. I believe that the happier people are, the more they will care about nature...," she said.
In conclusion, Leyla Aliyeva expressed her gratitude to the artists participating in the exhibition for raising awareness about water issues.
In her remarks, Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva Tatiana Valova noted that June is traditionally a time for conferences and other events dedicated to the protection of the UN oceans and watersheds.
On this eve, the organization of an exhibition focusing on the ecological situation in the oceans and seas through art is of particular importance.
She expressed her gratitude to Leyla Aliyeva and the artists who participated in the exhibition with their works, as well as the curators of the exhibition.
Director of the Europe Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Bruno Pozzi expressed satisfaction on behalf of the organization, which has been an IDEA partner for a long time.
"Our planet cannot exist without water, and therefore initiatives aimed at protecting water basins and the living world in them must be supported in all possible ways. In times of climate change, the protection of water resources must be a priority among global challenges," she said.
Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations Office at Geneva Galib Israfilov thanked the UN Geneva Office and the IDEA Public Union for organizing the exhibition. He stressed that this exhibition reflects the artistic expression of young Azerbaijani artists on a global challenge that makes the world think.
As part of her visit to Switzerland, Vice President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, founder and head of the IDEA Public Union Leyla Aliyeva met with the Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva Tatiana Valova.
The sides exchanged views on the participation of IDEA staff and experts in projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals, youth, gender equality, environmental protection, etc.
On the same day, Leyla Aliyeva got acquainted with the project on reconstruction of the "Azerbaijan Room" in the UN Geneva Office.
Restored in 2007 by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the room decorated with national carpets and works of Azerbaijani artists is used to hold important meetings and events on regional topics.
The German company "Luther Design" came up with a reconstruction project. It is planned to start reconstruction works at the end of this year.
Furthermore, Leyla Aliyeva viewed a sculpture "Thoughts and Dreams" donated by the Azerbaijani state in Ariana Park. The sculpture was erected in front of the Palace of Nations at the UN Geneva Office.
The monument was designed by People's Artists Salhab Mammadov and Ali Ibadullayev on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Azerbaijan's membership in the UN.
During her visit to Geneva, Leyla Aliyeva presented books about Azerbaijan to the library of the UN Geneva Office.
The head of the library, Francesco Pisano, thanked the publications that enriched the library fund and spoke about the history of the library.
It was noted that the library held many important documents, as well as archival documents relating to the Paris Peace Conference.
This archive is of exceptional importance for Azerbaijan since the originals of many historical documents relating to the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic are stored here.
Among these documents are letters and appeals prepared by the Azerbaijani delegation that took part in the Paris peace talks, maps, and other important historical documents. In 2016, these materials were digitized and included in the online catalog.
Francesco Pisano expressed hope that in the future the library fund would be expanded with even more books about Azerbaijan.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lamiva993