The 2nd WORLD FORUM ON INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE was held from May 29 to June 01, 2013 in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan under patronage of H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in cooperation with UNESCO, UN Alliance of Civilizations, UN World Tourism Organization, Council of Europe, ISESCO, North-South Center of the Council of Europe.
The 2nd Baku Forum addressed challenges of intercultural dialogue in its various aspects regarding conceptual frameworks, governance, policy and practice. It has tackled the barriers to dialogue and faced concretely how dialogue can best be pursued in diverse contexts. It provided an opportunity for sharing of good practices and the launch of new initiatives within this intercultural platform. 600 representatives from 115 countries from all continents, head of governments and many international organizations, NGOs, media representatives, scholars, experts and etc. participated in the Forum. The Forum adopted the overall theme of ‘Living together peacefully in a diverse world’ and continued the commitment made by President Ilham Aliyev for the creation of a global platform for the promotion of intercultural dialogue, to raise awareness and understanding about cultural diversity. In welcoming delegates, President Iham Aliyev emphasised the holding of the Forum as a manifestation of the “Baku process”. The “Baku process” began in 2008, the start of a broad process, will be remembered for the participation of Culture Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation member-states in the Baku meeting of Culture Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2008. Following in 2009, Baku hosted a meeting of the Culture Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation that was attended by theircolleagues from the Council of Europe. In other words, Baku, essentially playing the role of a geographical bridge, has also successfully performed the function of an intercultural bridge.
“Azerbaijan has been the homeland for the representatives of all ethnicities and confessions living here for centuries, and as an independent country, Azerbaijan is still a multi-ethnic and multireligious country. Representatives of all religions and ethnicities live here like one family, in an atmosphere of peace, friendship and mutual understanding. It is our great asset, a great advantage, and I believe that this factor has also played a role in the successful development of Azerbaijan.”
Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan,
opening remarks, 30 May 2013