THE OPENING SPEECH OF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CAUCASUS MUSLIMS` BOARD, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE BAKU INTERNATIONAL INTERFAITH AND INTER-SIVILIZATIONAL COOPERATION CENTRE SHEIKH-UL-ISLAM ALLAHSHUKUR PASHAZADEH
In the name of the Great Creator!
Distinguished participants of the International Conference!
As Sheikh-ul-Islam of Caucasus, I heartily welcome and greet all the participants who have accepted our invitation and come to the conference, and I give my blessing to the event.
I would like to express my deep gratitude to our co-organizers - the Executive Director of the Geneva Center for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, the Secretary General of KAICIID - my dear friend and brother Faisal bin Muaammar, as well as to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani Embassy in Austria, for their support . My deep gratitude is to UN Under-Secretary-General, High-Representative for Alliance of Civilizations Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos, Assistant to UN Secretary General Mr. Rashid Khalikov, Adviser to the President of the United Arab Emirates for the religious affairs Mr. Ali Al-Hashim, Assistant to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ali Hasanov and the members of the Azerbaijani delegation – state men, members of the Parliament, religious and scientific leaders, as well as to the high-level religious leaders and state men from the different countries of the world, and my distinguished colleagues – members of KAICIID Board of Directors – I say WELCOME to everybody.
Distinguished participants! Today, when the World is concerned by arising conflicts and contradictions, terrorism, extremism, xenophobia anti-Semitism, Christianophobia, Islamophobia, and the war against religious and cultural values, Azerbaijan offers its unique experience - the model of multiculturalism. This model is being promoted in the global forums and events regularly held in our country and different countries of the World within the framework of the Baku Process on Intercultural Cooperation, as well as the Years of Multiculturalism, Islamic Solidarity announced by the President of Azerbaijan. Following the successful international conferences held in Spain and Germany, organized by the BCIC - Baku International Center for Interfaith and Inter-Civilizational Cooperation, established in 2017 according to the recommendation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, today we have an honor to share the views with you here in Austria.
Distinguished Participants! Azerbaijan, which has always attached great importance to national and universal values, multicultural traditions, has been well-known today as a center of spiritual values in the world. Multiculturalism is being implemented in our country at the level of state policy. The basis of this wise policy was laid by our national leader Heydar Aliyev. Thanks to the efforts of President Ilham Aliyev, who continues and develops this policy at a high level today, Azerbaijan has become a country of inter-religious, inter-confessional and inter-sectarian solidarity, a unique example of national and spiritual unity, religious and cultural diversity. The first vice-president of Azerbaijan, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva's worldwide activity in the fields of cultural heritage, her care of the universal values along with promotion our national-spiritual heritage at the highest level, has made Azerbaijan a remarkable player in this area.
Dear participants of the International Conference! We urge all political and religious leaders around the world to strive for the sake of preserving peace and stability and to benefit from the possibilities of interreligious and intercultural cooperation. The massacres, destruction of cultural material and spiritual heritage, attacks against pilgrims in Egypt, situation in Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya, brutal terror attacks on religious sites in New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pittsburgh and other places are deepening polarization among civilizations. We believe that joint efforts of state leaders, public and religious leaders are of the highest importance for elimination of these manifestations.
Dear participants of the International Conference! Our will for the protracted problem of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – where 20 per cent of our territories has been occupied by Armenia, which threatens peace in the region and in the whole world, is a peaceful solution of in the framework of our territorial integrity, we demand implementation of the corresponding UN resolutions by Armenia, we expect a realistic outcome from the peacemaking mission of the Minsk Group of OSCE.
Distinguished Participants! Combining their forces and efforts to withstand the global challenges, the high-level state men and religious leaders prove the importance and prospects of collaboration, as well as the vitality of the global ideas put forward by Azerbaijan. According to the order of the President of Azerbaijan, the II Baku Summit of the World Religious Leaders will take place on November 14-15. This event will make significant contribution to the development of inter-Civilizational dialogue, protection of human rights and creating a climate of mutual trust at the global scale.
As the religious leader, I wish all the political, public and religious figures who are present at this prestigious event blessings from the Lord in their good deeds, and all success to the Vienna International Conference. I also would express deep appreciation of hospitality of Austria, wishing this Land all success.
May the Almighty bless our conference of good will! AMEN!