On 9 April there was an opening ceremony of the I International Scientific Conference “Heydar Aliyev: Multiculturalism and the Ideology of Tolerance” dedicated to the 95th Jubilee of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev at Azerbaijan University of Languages (the AUL).

First the participants laid bouquets of flowers in front of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev’s bust in the foyer of the University and commemorated him with high esteem.

At the meeting the Rector of the University, Academician Kamal Abdulla stated that the conference is being organized jointly by the AUL, the New Azerbaijan Party and Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism. K.Abdulla, who said that this significant event was the first of its kind in the history of the AUL, stated that the aim of the conference is to advocate the activities of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev in Azerbaijani multiculturalism. The event also serves the consolidation of the relations among the universities, specialists and students. The Rector stated that negotiations have been conducted with the foreign universities where the sections of the conference will be held, and the program of joint actions has been developed. The participation of the Azerbaijani scholars in each section and of the rectors and representatives of the foreign universities has been envisaged. With its unusual character this project will give impetus both to the formation of inter-university relations and further dissemination of the National Leader’s ideas in Europe and Asia as well as the development of the ideology of Azerbaijanianism in a new format.

K.Abdulla, who touched upon the issue of teaching the course “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism”, noted that the AUL has gained a number of achievements in presenting the Azerbaijani language, culture and multiculturalism in the world. As, centres for the Azerbaijani language and culture have been opened in a number of foreign universities.

After the student anthem “Guadeamus” was played, the Chair of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations Mubariz Gurbanli gave a speech and underlined the importance of the conference from the perspective of presenting Heydar Aliyev’s ideas and the multicultural values of our country in the world. M.Gurbanli, who stated that Azerbaijan is a tolerant country, great importance is attached to the national moral and religious values in our country, and all kinds of opportunities have been created by the state for everybody’s free activity irrespective of his/her religious identity, pointed out that all this has been founded by the National Leader Heydar Aliyev.

The Deputy Minister of Education Firudin Gurbanov, who spoke of the global dangers taking place in the world, stated that Azerbaijan sees the solution to these problems in multiculturalism. Today the representatives of national minorities living in Azerbaijan speak their mother tongue freely. The use of the mother tongue at many Universities and secondary schools is provided; customs and traditions are treated with respect.

The Acting Executive Director of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism Ravan Hasanov stated that it is not a coincidence that the event has been dedicated to the National Leader Heydar Aliyev’s 95th Jubilee. Since, our nation owes the multicultural ambiance we live in to the National Leader.

The Vice-President of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Academician Isa Habibbeyli said that since the most ancient times the representatives of different nationalities have co-existed in our country. The Academician, who stated that the tolerant ambiance which has solid multicultural foundations in our country is one of the key indicators of modern development, said that the ideology of Azerbaijanianism founded by the National Leader Heydar Aliyev reflects the unity, solidarity of all the nationalities and ethnic groups in the country. The ideology of Azerbaijanianism raised to the level of a state policy by the National Leader constitutes the basis of the philosophy of multiculturalism and tolerance. Uniting all the nationalities living in our country round a single ideology which they trust and respect in the same way – Azerbaijanianism is the important achievement of our independent state.

The Head of the Department of Interethnic Relations, Multiculturalism and Religious Issues of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan Etibar Najafov informed the participants on the interethnic relations in our country. He pointed out that the social, economic and cultural issues of the national minorities living in the country are solved at high level in the frames of the policy of multiculturalism of the Republic of Azerbaijan. E.Najafov, who noted that Azerbaijan has been a tolerant country for centuries, underlined the important actions taken by the state to maintain the ethnic-cultural values of the national minorities here.

The Chief of the Executive Power of the District of Nasimi Asif Asgarov, the Ambassador of India to Azerbaijan Sanjay Rana spoke of the values of multiculturalism and tolerance of our country, the important role played by the National Leader Heydar Aliyev in the guarantee of our people’s co-existence with the other nationalities and in the regulation of the interethnic relations.

The AUL student, the Rector-Caliph Nijat Ashurov and MA student Leyla Jafarova stressed the important role the conference will play in the life of the students.

The ceremony ended with the presentation of the video-congratulations of the rectors of the Universities hosting the sections and the demonstration of a video about the National Leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev’s life and activities.

The Plenary and Closing sessions of the conference, which will last till 5 May, will be at the AUL, and the sections will be held on the bases of the relevant leading universities of different countries along with the AUL on the themes: “Modern Azerbaijan: Social, Political and Economic Development” at Erciyes University (Turkey), “Heydar Aliyev and the Turkic World” at Erzurum University (Turkey), “The Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan Is the First Democratic Republic in the East” at Ural Federal University after the First President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin (the Russian Federation), “Above the Borders: Russia and Azerbaijan: the Practice of Intercultural Dialogue” at the State Russian Language Institute after A.S.Pushkin, “The Dialogue as a Factor of Co-existence in the Polycentric World” at Moscow State Linguistics University, “Multiculturalism and Russia’s Azerbaijani Studies” at Samara Branch of Moscow City Pedagogical University, “Heydar Aliyev’s Role in the Development of Azerbaijani-Ukrainian Relations” at Kiev National Linguistics University (the Republic of Ukraine), “Heydar Aliyev and Azerbaijani-Belorussian Relations” at Minsk State Linguistics University (the Republic of Belorussia), “Azerbaijani Practice of Multiculturalism” at Belgrade University (the Republic of Serbia), “Heydar Aliyev’s Role in the Formation of Azerbaijani-Georgian Relations” at Tbilisi State University (Georgia) (with the participation of Batumi, Kutaisi, Gori, Telavi Universities, the appropriate institutes of the Georgian Academy of Sciences and the Knowledge Foundation), “One Belt – One Way: Learning of Multiculturalism” at Huzhou University (the People’s Republic of China), “Multiculturalism, Social Security, Immigration, Freedom” at Cassino and Southern Lazio University (the Republic of Italy) (with the participation of the Peace and Security Foundation, Roma Tre University, the University of Genoa, Link Campus University, the University of Nimes (France), the International Management University (Moldova)), “Azerbaijan and German Multiculturalism” at Augsburg University (the Federative Republic of Germany).