This year marks the “Year of Multiculturalism” in Azerbaijan, a transcontinental country in the Caucasus region located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, The Korea Herald, Korea’s leading English-language newspaper said.
To celebrate the initiative, launched by the government of President Ilham Aliyev, Baku will host the seventh Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC) under the theme of “Living together in inclusive societies” April 25-27, according to the newspaper.
As the highest profile event of the alliance organization, the venue will gather politicians, diplomats, businesspeople, civil society workers, students, scholars and journalists from around the world to promote dialogue and discussion on cross-cultural engagement, tolerance and coexistence, said the article of the newspaper.
The forum will examine and review ways to prevent violent extremism and best practices in social inclusion in two plenaries. At the end of the conference, a Baku Declaration will be produced on inclusive living alongside the launch of an UNAOC advisory council.
Azerbaijan is a multiethnic country with the majority of its population being Azerbaijanis, followed by small minorities of Lezgians, Armenians, Russians, Talysh, Avars, Turks, Tatars, Tats, Ukrainians, Tsakhurs, Georgians, Jews and Kurds, according to the newspaper.
There are many centers for ethnic minorities in the country, including the German cultural society “Kapellhaus,” Slavic cultural centers, Azerbaijani-Israeli communities, Kurdish cultural centers, the International Talysh Association, Lezgin national center “Samur,” Azerbaijani-Tatar communities and the Crimean Tatars society, the article in the newspaper said.
Many Azerbaijanis are Shiite Muslims, and the country has high levels of human development on par with most Eastern European countries, according to the United Nations Development Program, according to the newspaper.