Azerbaijan's multicultural model and youth policy discussed at PACE session

The session of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) has discussed Azerbaijan's multicultural model and youth policy.

The session started its work with discussion of the report titled "Culture and democracy." Azerbaijani MP, chairperson of the Assembly's Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons Sahiba Gafarova participated in the discussions.

She hailed Azerbaijan's culture, saying the country's ancient cultural and historical heritage is known to the whole world. Underlining the importance of the issues discussed in the session, Sahiba Gafarova highlighted the work done to promote multiculturalism and preserve cultural and historical heritage in the country. She said: "The issues discussed in the reports are very important nowadays. It is a fact that nowadays the world community is facing many serious threats: serious damage to economies of the countries caused by the ongoing global processes and consequences of the financial crisis on one hand and public concern with regard to confrontation occurring at the political arena on the other hand. Along with that, religious and racial discrimination, as well as terror outbreaks, cannot leave us indifferent to that problem. In this situation the role of culture and democracy is increased. Active participation in cultural activities helps people to acquire a critical mind, to develop a broader understanding of different world views, to interact with others, to have a voice and to define their role in society."

"I agree with the rapporteur, that long-term human investment in culture and education must be given equal priority with investment in the economy, infrastructure, security and all other areas seen as crucial to Europe's global economic competitiveness and stability. The issue for governments today is not only how to make the best use of limited resources, but also how to find a way to ensure that culture and education are given due recognition and a lasting political priority," she said.

"I would like to inform colleagues of the measures taken by the Azerbaijani state in this area. “Azerbaijan, incorporating the cultures of east and west, is rich in cultural heritage. In this context, great responsibility to preserve this heritage falls on the state. The Azerbaijani Government applies substantial and comprehensive measures to develop multiculturalism, national culture, encourage effective activity within its various spheres, protect cultural and historical heritage. In 2014 Service of the State Counsellor on Multiculturalism, Interethnic and Religious Affairs was established. The same year by the Decrees of the President of Azerbaijan the Baku International Centre for Multiculturalism and Knowledge Foundation were established which aimed to make analysis of compatibility of social, political and other aspects of multicultural models of other countries with the multicultural environment of Azerbaijan as well as enhance scientific, technical, socio-economic and humanitarian knowledge, analyze the processes taking place in the context of globalization. The year of 2016 in our country was declared as the "Year of Multiculturalism."

The big role in the development of culture and democracy plays the educational policy. Supporting talented young people must be one of the main goals of the government.”

“I bring to your notice the fact that Azerbaijan has adopted a law on youth and is implementing a special programme related to young people. Specific measures with regard to the development of youth are reflected in the law and the programme. In order to promote the development of the youth potential, the state has established the youth foundation, which enables the development of the creative abilities of young people, motivates their activity and focuses them on becoming involved in management. Every year, hundreds of young people are assigned to study abroad. Their education is financed by our state," Gafarova said.