Baku Humanitarian Forum – A Home for All Humanity

Every two years Azerbaijan holds the Baku International Humanitarian Forum.

This year, in the VI Baku International Humanitarian Forum, 581 delegates, from 97 countries, plus 24 international organizations mingled peacefully in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

The Forum was initiated in 2010 by Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Ilham Aliyev, Republic of Azerbaijan President opens the Forum
Ilham Aliyev, Republic of Azerbaijan President opens the Forum

Baku International Humanitarian Forum is an event in which political, scientific, and cultural representatives from the four corners of the world, hold dialogues, discussions and exchange of views on wide range of global issues in the interest of all humanity.

Forum audience at the Heydar Aliyev Convention Center
Forum audience at the Heydar Aliyev Convention Center

The organizers and participants’ goal is to form a new humanitarian agenda, addressing optimal solution to vital problems, which disturb all humanity, with the aim that it will further be considered on a world’s scale.

Azerbaijan is a smart country. Knowing that it is not well known in the world, the country’s leadership makes sure the world becomes familiar with their country. They do so by often inviting people to partake in international political, cultural and sports events, held in the capital Baku, while the participants indulge in the country’s flagship hospitality, embedded deep on the nature of this fine nation’s people.

I was invited to attend the VI Baku International Humanitarian Forum that took place on the 25-26, October, 2018. Sitting in a friendly atmosphere with people representing many countries, which I would hardly have an opportunity to meet otherwise, is nothing less than a remarkable experience. A representative of the Arab League in Cairo, representatives of Montenegro, Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, USA, Israel, etc., all sitting together at dinner sipping Azerbaijani wine and finding common language is what one can call, harmonious forum format.

Heydar Aliyev Convention Centre designed as the waves, painted all in white, the color of peace
Heydar Aliyev Convention Centre designed as the waves, painted all in white, the color of peace

Yes, Azerbaijan may be looking at the world with euphoric glasses but this country is all about harmony and coexistence among its own people and the people it invites to events such as the Humanitarian Forum.

Humanitarian, What Does It Mean?

People often use the word humanitarian. It basically means the concern with or seeking to promote human welfare.

Synonyms to humanitarian are compassionate, humane, unselfish, altruistic, and generous. Humanitarian also encompasses the terms magnanimous, benevolent, civilized, merciful, kind, good, sympathetic, benignant, charitable, philanthropic, public-spirited, socially concerned, doing good works. This basically describes Azerbaijani virtuous nature.

Denoting an event, or situation, which causes or involves widespread human suffering, especially one which requires the large-scale provision of aid is Humanitarianism.

2018 Forum Discussions, Tasks and Goals

  • Defuse tension around the world;
  • Azerbaijan to act as an example to defuse the negative outlook at multiculturalism; the country offers fertile ground to teach about its multiculturalism, which should be emulated. Therefore, Azerbaijan sees its duty to open a window to the world and show its multiculturalism approach, intertwined in its national and ethnic values image. Bringing people from all over the world together helps spread a common approach to multiculturalism;
  • Making friends with people from around the world makes good neighborhood and causes for the economy to grow as well as causes political and economic stability;
  • Giving a stage to tell the world about Azerbaijan’s achievements at home and globally and when the participants go back to their countries they spread the word; a natural PR action, educating the media and the public at large;
  • Humanitarianism builds trust, which is a daunting international task;
  • Education is a factor, it is human capital; the methodology and application of education for the future. Creativity and sustainable human development of knowledge, skill and attitude to empower society;
  • Innovation – good relations with neighboring countries spills innovation to the surrounding countries with the respect and protection of the Intellectual Property (IP);
  • While the world is going through the 4th industrial revolution there will be jobs’ loss. The evolution of the digital industry, the algorithmic industry, the fast growing digital pharma industry will destroy old industries and automation is a game changer that requires creative economy;
  • In conclusion – investing in the future, toward sustainable and inclusive development.
  • Coexistence Forum Panel - Kamal Abdullayev leads the panel
    Coexistence Forum Panel – Kamal Abdullayev leads the panel

Multiculturalism Is Azerbaijan’s State Policy

At the Forum, multiculturalism and tolerance, embedded in the Azerbaijani consciousness, was a prime discussion. Multi-faith, compassionate and tolerant society, with respect to all religions is a firm state policy.

Azerbaijan is a pool of universal ideas and diversity. Diversity means variety, a range of different things; in Azerbaijan it means variety of people living together, bound by freedom and shared ideas, while each of the country’s 35 ethnic groups preserve their ancient culture.

Azerbaijan Is Thinking Out of the Box

The Forum makes one strong point that Azerbaijan is constantly planning the future for itself and helping the world to do the same.

With each visit to Azerbaijan I have learned that there is a place in the world where, through the prism of harmony and coexistence it creates a caressing human fabric; this is Azerbaijan.

Baku long promenade early foggy Monday morning
The writer on Baku long promenade early foggy Monday morning

During the 2006 second Lebanon War, Nurit Greenger, referenced then as the “Accidental Reporter” felt compelled to become an activist. Being an ‘out-of-the-box thinker, Nurit is a passionately committed advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States, and the Free World in general. From Southern California, Nurit serves as a “one-woman Hasbarah army” for Israel who believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
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