Pakistan`s “Defense Journal”: Strategic Importance of Intercultural Dialogue

Baku, June 23, AZERTAC

Pakistani Defense Journal has published an article by Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan titled “Strategic Importance of Intercultural Dialogue”.

The author highlights the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue held in Baku.

The article says: “The 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku was held on the theme “Advancing Intercultural Dialogue-New avenues for human security, peace and sustainable development”. It aimed at further promoting and sustaining understanding and dialogue within and between cultures.”

The article also narrates about Azerbaijan development: “The country is one of the unique places where different cultures and civilizations meet at the crossroad between the East and the West, the North and the South. At the same time, being a member of both Islamic and European organizations Azerbaijan absorbs the values of both civilizations, thus enabling it to assume a role of genuine bridge. Under patronage of 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 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue was held in Baku.”

“The World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue has already played a remarkable role by taking responsibility for delivering the global agenda on the Dialogue among Civilizations adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (November 2001), the UNESCO Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), the Islamic Declaration on Cultural Diversity, which was adopted by ISESCO in 2004, Declaration and Action Plan of the Third Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe member states, the Council of Europe White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue (May 2008), as well as the Baku Declaration for the Promotion of Intercultural Dialogue.”

“World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue has already prioritized its agenda by placing intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity higher on the international agenda is critical for human security and a prime responsibility of our time. World Forums organized so far have reached remarkable achievements by bringing together head of governments, ministers, and heads of various international organizations, senior policy makers, cultural professionals, goodwill ambassadors, experts, journalists, practitioners, prominent intellectuals and activists. The World Forums became an international platform to enable and encourage people, countries and organizations around the globe to take concrete actions to support diversity, dialogue and mutual understanding among nations by raising awareness on the importance of intercultural dialogue worldwide,” the article says.

“President of Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev rightly pointed out strategic importance of “Intercultural Dialogue” among different cultures, civilizations, faiths, sects and philosophies, terming it are the only possible way out from all kinds of prejudices, bigotries and enemies. President Ilham Aliyev rightly projected Azerbaijan’s important role as a stabilizing factor in the region and beyond. He pointed out his government’s initiatives aiming at regional cooperation, predictability, and the strengthening of security measures in our region. President Ilham Aliyev also mentioned emerging global human crisis in shape of massive migration and termed external political and military interference into the internal affairs of these countries as factors of this human crisis. It led to radicalization of societies of the countries where the migrants are heading and as the consequence of that radicalization of the political elite, he further added.”

“Azerbaijan itself suffered from wars, occupation, humanitarian catastrophe as a result of Armenian aggression and occupation of our territory. This occupation lasts for more than 20 years. Almost 20 per cent of the internationally recognized part of Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh and seven districts, which surround Nagorno-Karabakh, are under Armenian occupation”.

“This conflict is a result of Armenian aggression against its neighbor. It’s a result of separatism and war against Azerbaijan. And million Azerbaijanis suffered from that. They became refugees, and internally displaced persons. This figure is one of the highest per capita figures in the world”.

“President Ilham Aliyev labeled Azerbaijan as a cultural bridge. He pinpointed positive, sustainable, safe, stable development of his country for promoting atmosphere of mutual respect, multiculturalism, and respect for traditions, religion and roots of others. He termed Azerbaijan as a multi-confessional and multi-ethnic country. “

“Our world is at critical point where human survival is endangered due to increasing incidents of “unilateralism”, polarization of power structure as well as communities, societies, group and countries, national protections/economic nationalism and above all sever obsession of power. Denial of rule of law and disrespect of international treaties/decrees and laws has already burnt the true spirits of humanity. Chessboard of power politics has already spoiled face of humanity which needs to be rediscovered by “intercultural dialogue” by dancing among different cultures. It supports globalization and greater socio-economic prosperity, human dignity, security and sustainable development.”

“Lesson of successful series of World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue is that “Deeds/actions must speaker louder than words for the wellbeing of “children of lesser god”. We all jointly work for achieving an equitable world where privileged class may not be in a position to dictate its terms and conditions.”

“Humanity is scared which should be respected. Human differences are main source of diversity which must not be used a decisive destruction. All types of discriminations must be dealt with irony hands because it is now high time to speak above all kinds of prejudices, limitations, bigotries, stigmas and phobias,” the article says.

“We are children of God who makes equal so everybody must play its part for achieving an equal world for a shared prosperity. Azerbaijan is the role model of refugees and migrant management which must be used for controlling ongoing global crisis of migrants. Azerbaijan is also an ideal country of peace, harmony, and peaceful co-existence for all the faiths, sects and minorities in the country which must be guideline for any kind of intercultural dialogue,” the article concluded.

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