Azerbaijan takes part in CoE forum on cultural routes [PHOTO]
By Laman Ismayilova
The 11th Annual Advisory Forum on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe has been held in Chania, Greece.
The 2022 Chania Forum was devoted to the topic "Cultural Routes: Safeguarding European values, heritage and dialogue" and brought together over 400 participants, including representatives from EPA member states, certified Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, and candidate networks, international organizations, universities, and academic centers, as well as stakeholders from cultural and heritage institutions and the tourism sectors.
The program included general panels with discussions, thematic and special sessions, as well as certification ceremonies for newly 2022 certified "Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe", accession ceremonies for new member states of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, as well as Best Practices Awards.
Advisor for the Division of Cooperation with the International Organizations at the Azerbaijani Culture Ministry Araz Bagirli took part in the closed meeting of the management of the Council of Europe Cultural Routes.
In his speech, Araz Bagirli stressed that Azerbaijan, as one of the first countries that joined the program, highly values the development of the platform and that the number of countries and routes is increasing, which is a positive indicator.
He emphasized that Azerbaijan always supports projects aimed at promoting intercultural dialogue.
Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to join the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes in 2011.
The country hosted the 4th Annual Advisory Forum on Cultural Routes in 2014.
A special panel session dedicated to cultural routes was organized within the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue held in Baku in 2017.
After the meeting, there was a bilateral exchange of views with the Chairman of the Board of the Expanded Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes.
Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe Faxraddin Ismayilov opened the panel, called "Promotion of intercultural dialogue" on the second day of the forum with his introductory speech.
In the speech, he mentioned the significance of the cultural programs in the Council of Europe and the Baku Process, initiated by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in 2008 for the promotion of intercultural dialogue.
Later, the culture ministers, various experts, and representatives addressed the panel session.
A bilateral meeting was also held between the Azerbaijan delegation and the Executive Secretary of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes Stefano Dominioni.
During the meeting, Araz Bagirli informed Stefano Dominioni about Azerbaijan's contributions to the intercultural dialogue, the Baku Process, and the global events planned within the framework of this initiative.
The sides discussed prospects of cooperation and the perspectives of cultural routes passing through the territory of Azerbaijan.
Within the forum, meetings were also organized between the culture ministers and the leadership of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), the Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP), and the European Route of Industrial Heritage that exist in 48 countries.
On the last day of the forum, Advisor for the Division of Cooperation with the International Organizations at the Azerbaijani Culture Ministry Araz Bagirli, representatives of the Azerbaijani State Tourism Agency Elshan Mustafayev and Sadagat Davudova as well as the head of the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe Prehistoric Rock Art Trails, Ph.D. Ramon Montes, the head of Iter Vitis Cultural Route Emanuela Panke, the head of the Routes of the Olive Tree Marinella Katsilieri discussed the prospects of cooperation within B2B sessions.
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