In Rome the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation hosted the conference on the theme “Towards the Profound Answer in the OSCE Region: On Combating Intolerance and Discrimination on the Ground of Religion and Belief” by the joint organizational support of the Italian Chair of the OSCE and the Democratic Organizations and Human Rights Bureau of the organization.

The Head of the Department of Interethnic Relations, Multiculturalism and Religious Issues of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan Etibar Najafov was also attending the conference.

The high-level conference dealt with racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, intolerance towards Christians, Muslims and representatives of other religions and beliefs. Also, there was a discussion of the issues of promoting tolerance and non-discrimination in guaranteeing religious freedom and pluralism.

The event focused the attention to the role of the mass media in the eradication of the increasing manifestations of discrimination and intolerance as well as the importance of the educational programs in the elimination of the negative stereotypes widely spread in society lately and in the promotion of mutual respect and understanding. Further, special importance was attached to the broad discussion of the OSCE member countries’ positive experience in eliminating all forms of discrimination and intolerance.

Etibar Najafov spoke on the theme “The Characteristics of Relations Between the State and Religion in the Republic of Azerbaijan” on the panel dedicated to the theme “Good Experiences in Tolerance and Solution to Discrimination”. Stating about the increase in the ethnic, religious, cultural diversities in the world countries in the modern period under the conditions of globalization, he pointed out the necessity in their regulation.

The Head of the Department pointed out the policy of multiculturalism as the most ideal policy model in the regulation of ethnic and cultural diversities and focused the attention to the fact that Azerbaijan is among the rare countries where the ethnic and cultural diversities are regulated by the policy of multiculturalism whose foundations were laid by the National Leader Heydar Aliyev and in the modern period this policy is being successfully pursued by President Ilham Aliyev. He underlined the profound support of both the state and the people to multiculturalism in Azerbaijan, while it encounters deep crisis in Western countries.

The official representative of the Presidential Administration, who said that multiculturalism acts as part of Azerbaijan’s internal policy, pointed out the high level of the relations between the state and religion in our country as one of its important manifestations. As its key indicators, he focused the attention of the conference participants to the guarantee of religious freedoms in our country, the equality of all the religions, sects before the law, all kinds of state support to the activities of religious communities, the establishment of interreligious relations on the basis of mutual respect and cooperation.