Appeal of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to the ‎participants of the debate on the national cultural policy, June 21, 2003‎

Distinguished assembly participants!

I welcome you - the participants of debates on the national cultural policy in the capital of Azerbaijan, in Baku.

Culture has an exceptional role in the expansion and formation of relations among the world countries and nations. At present when the process of globalization is speedily going on, the protection of national cultures acquires a special importance.

The culture of each nation is its national wealth, its past and present history. The reach cultural heritage created by our ancestors in these territories, the rock inscriptions in Gobustan and Gamigaya, historical monuments like the caves of Azykh and Taghlar, our oral and written- literature, examples of architecture, painting, carpeting-making, musical art are the worthy contributions of the Azerbaijani people to the treasury of the world civilization. Our culture, which is developing on the traditions of our nation, continues its development at present. Celebration of the anniversaries of the Azerbaijani poets Nizami Gancavi, Imadeddin Nesimi, Mahammed Fuzuli and the epos of ''Kitabi- Dede- Qorqud'' by YUNESCO, inclusion of Icheri- Shehe, a historical- architectural preserve, to the list of the ''World Heritage '' are striking examples that are appreciated by the world public as rich examples of our national culture.

After the restoration of its independence Azerbaijan made efforts to occupy its worthy place in the world community in all the spheres, including in the sphere of the development of culture. The development of the national culture is one of the priorities of policy of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani government materialized necessary measures regularly for the protection of the cultural heritage, for its propagation, creation of necessary conditions for the men of art and culture to continue their creative activities. The provisions of the Constitution concerning the historical and cultural monuments, museums, archives, libraries, cinematography, religion and folklore are the proof of the care of the state to the cultural wealth.

The Azerbaijani culture propagates high humane ideals like freedom, humanity, tolerance which plays an important role in the education of the young generation in a health spirit. Because of its geopolitical, geographical location Azerbaijan occupies a particular place in the world, it creates good foundation for the dialogue of cultures by integrating closely the national and universal values.

The corporation of Azerbaijan with various international organizations gives chance for its integration into the world civilization by remaining devoted to its national cultural traditions Unfortunally, our valuable monuments in the occupied territories are being destroyed barbarously as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts. The Azerbaijani nation hopes that refuges will return to home, reconstruction of the destroyed settlements by the European Union and other powerful international organizations will begin.

I believe that these debates will productively influence the establishment of strategic plans of the cultural policy, its finance, protection of the cultural heritage, formation and improvement of relations between the public and private organizations, perfection of the application of information-communication technologies.

I wish you good health, happiness and success in your activity, in the prosperity of the national culture.

Translated from the newspaper of '' Azerbaijan'', July on 22, 2003