Azerbaijan, University for Peace in pursuit of cooperation and dialogue through education

Baku, June 17, AZERTAC

On 1 May 2019, ADA University and the University for Peace (UPEACE) established by the United Nations General Assembly signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the purpose of training diplomats in the field of diplomacy, multilateralism and peace. This is part of a long and enriching educational cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Held in different workshops since the signature, UPEACE has shared with diplomats some good practices developed by the United Nations machinery in the past years.

In light of this strong cooperation, on February 22-24, 2021, ADA University organized in cooperation UPEACE in Geneva a first ever “Program on Multilateral Diplomacy” with the participation of 40 Azerbaijani diplomats from different embassies and missions of Azerbaijan distributed in the world. The program was based in three breakout sessions, namely: Introduction to multilateralism and diplomacy: History, rules and challenges; Negotiation skills in light of the multilateral practice and the significance of the Azerbaijani diplomats at the multilateral system: Priorities and actions.

UPEACE has been also very engaged with the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, which is an international forum held in Baku, Azerbaijan since 2011 to establish an effective and efficient dialogue between cultures and civilizations. In the context of the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue held on May 2–3, 2019 in Baku, UPEACE co-organized with the Government of Azerbaijan a workshop on the strengthening of multilateralism and the diplomacy for peace within the United Nations system, with the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and UNESCO and the moderation of the Vice-rector of ADA University.

These initiatives led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan in cooperation with UPEACE in Geneva is an example to be highlighted in the today commemoration of the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, which was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution on “promoting inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance in countering hate speech” in 2021. Combating hate speech should be a priority for all governments. Incitement to violence and hatred against any faith on the earth cannot be erased easily and cannot be justified nor legitimated by freedom of expression.

On such a day against Hate Speech, it should be emphasized that the manifestations of intolerance based on religion or belief are unfortunately dramatically increasing. In this sense, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev stated at the opening ceremony of the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue under the motto "Building dialogue into action against discrimination, inequality and violent conflict” in 2019 that “… Dialogue is what we need. We need dialogue in issues related to culture, in issues related to inter-religious relations. We need dialogue on all the issues…”.

Since that peoples of all nations from ancient times have recognized the status of diplomats as agents of peace, the future cooperation between Azerbaijan and UPEACE will stress the importance of the use of multilateral decision-making and diplomacy in achieving peaceful resolutions to conflicts among nations. This cooperation will emphasize the importance of respect for religious and cultural diversity, as well as interreligious, interfaith and intercultural dialogue aimed at promoting a culture of tolerance and respect among individuals, societies and nations.

Dr. David Fernandez Puyana

Ambassador and Permanent Observer of the University for Peace to the United Nations and UNESCO


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