Ministerial roundtable on “Fostering Dialogue and Cultural Diversity – Baku Process: New Challenge for Dialogue between Civilizations 

Baku 13 October, 2009
As a continuation of the “Baku Process” for intercultural dialogue launched in December 2008 Government of Azerbaijan invited more than 10 states from Europe to participate at the Sixth Conference of Ministers of Culture of Islamic countries held in Baku on 13-15 October, 2009. The idea of round table was put forward at the conference of the Ministers of Culture of the European countries on December 2-3, 2008 in Baku and is implemented within the framework of Baku Process of Cross-Culture Dialogue founded in that conference. According to the initiative of the Government of Azerbaijan a Ministerial Roundtable on “Fostering Dialogue and Cultural Diversity – Baku Process: New Challenge for Dialogue between Civilizations was organized among the member states of ISESCO and invited states from Europe in the first day of this conference, 13 October, 2009. The roundtable was moderated by H.E Mr AbulfasGarayev, Minister of Culture and Tourism in the Republic of Azerbaijan, and H.E. Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of ISESCO. In this roundtable, the representative of the Council of Europe expressed the European Community’s desire to enhance North-South cooperation through concrete initiatives, and invited ISESCO and its Member States to further their cooperation relations with the Council, to attend the meetings and conferences it organizes and to contribute to the cultural projects favouring the materialization of the objectives specified in the Working Document of the ministerial roundtable and relevant documents. On the same occasion, the rest of speakers in this roundtable stressed the vital need to continue holding such meetings between the Islamic group and the European Community, to involve governments, peoples, states and cultures in this dialogue, to make the youth as the main target group of cooperation projects of the two blocs, and to focus the international efforts in this regard on caring for cultural heritage, cultural works and cultural property wherever they are endangered. At the close of this ministerial roundtable, a Communiqué was adopted in which the participants reiterated their support for the joint efforts aimed at spreading the culture of cooperation, fair dialogue and mutual respect.
Participants of the roundtable emphasized the necessity to promote bilateral, regional and international cooperation between official bodies; governmental organizations; and local community institutions through the encouragement of the free movement of ideas and persons, and the entrenching of the principles of mutual acquaintance and solidarity to transfer and share leading expertise and experience in the Communiqué.