THE STATE COMMITTEE ON AFFAIRS WITH THE DIASPORA OF AZERBAIJAN REPUBLIC

The history of the Committee

To provide national unity, unification of all the Azerbaijanis in the world around common interests turned to be the main duty of the state establishment after Azerbaijan gained its independence. Implementation of such an important duty in the country recently received its independence depended on the solution of some ideological, political, social-economical problems. Mobilisation of the national potentiality about the world and its direction towards the common purpose are the main conditions to preserve and develop the state, thus great works done in this sphere. Formation of the Diaspora of Azerbaijanis spread over the world, the establishment of lobbyism, turned to one of the priority directions of the foreign policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan. This means coincidence of the state policy of the republic with national interests. The Azerbaijanis of the entire world accept the Republic of Azerbaijan as the offspring of national-historical progress, the symbol of national ambition and the Motherland.

Continuity of the state and national interests was a kind of revolution in social consciousness after the soviet period and a new stage of the national progress. All the abovementioned based on great prestige of national leader of Azerbaijan people Heydar Aliyev among the Azerbaijanis in the world as the founder of the state methodology and national ideology. In the first years of its independence, the Republic of Azerbaijan under his leadership officially declared itself the supporter of the interests of world Azerbaijanis and state systematic work carried out with Azerbaijanis living in foreign countries.

During the visits to foreign countries, played great role in world integration, economic-cultural development of the Republic of Azerbaijan and real establishment of our independence, the national leader of Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev met with our countrymen, interested in their problems, gave important advices, joined our embassies to their affairs, invited our countrymen to the social, economical and cultural life of our country.

Those meetings, carried particular importance in national-cultural unification of our countrymen, address of the President to Azerbaijan people in December 31-on the day of solidarity of Azerbaijanis over the world, and in this connection, measures taken in our republic and in foreign countries, played decisive role in solution of the priority matter declared by Heydar Aliyev-the formation of our Diaspora as an organised force and also in determination of the directions and the perspectives of the activity of lobbyism.

The ideological basis of the national unity-the idea of azerbaijanism is formed by the genius. The important paragraphs of this idea providing cultural unity, common faith and activity and devotion to the motherland of all the Azerbaijanis in the world, found their conceptual reflection in "the address of the national leader Heydar Aliyev to Azerbaijan people for the year 2001, new century and new millennium". That historical document, reflecting conceptual evaluation of the past and today of our people, generalising our national evaluations, reflecting national ideals also determined the perspectives of the work with the Azerbaijanis of the world. Prevention of historical memory and heritage, the development of mother tongue, the extension of its use, prevention of cultural and ethnographic peculiarities, national ethics and morality, devotion to national ideals, supply of political-economic interests, necessity of world integration preserving national appearance and culture found their reflection in the address and the speech of the politician.

Organisation of Azerbaijanis since the first moments of its independence carried ideological and historical importance. To achieve this purpose it was necessary to establish ideological-political base of Azerbaijan state, to form strong belief in its economical power and political authority. Implementation of this idea Heydar Aliyev started taking into consideration the abovementioned facts. Formation of the historical traditions of Azerbaijan and establishment of its political base as a part of a perfect ideological system played particular role in formation of the national consciousness of state system establishment. The national consciousness of state system establishment proved itself as unique ideological conception at late 20th and early 21st century. Unification of the world Azerbaijanis is based on the abovementioned ideology, the author of which was Heydar Aliyev. Azerbaijan state, revived by great efforts of the national leader Heydar Aliyev, turned historical and political shelter and leaning point of all the Azerbaijanis in the world.

Taking into consideration the necessity to discuss the matters on strengthening the relations of countrymen all over the world with the Republic of Azerbaijan, to provide unity and solidarity of the world Azerbaijanis, strengthening and relating the activities of Azerbaijani communities, societies and the unions, Heydar Aliyev issued the decree about the First Congress of the World Azerbaijanis from May 23, 2001, aimed to implement this great ideology.

On November 9th and 10th of the same year Baku witnessed the First Congress of the World Azerbaijanis. This process entered the history of Azerbaijan as the beginning of a great process. 406 participants represented more than 200 different organisations of Azerbaijanis from 36 foreign countries and 63 guests participated at the Congress. More than 130 state and social organisations, scientific, cultural and other creative organisations, 25 parties, 702 representatives and 844 guests represented the Republic of Azerbaijan at the Congress.

The First Congress of the World Azerbaijanis was turning point in the process of organisation of our fellow citizens. Realisation of this historical event by Heydar Aliyev gave start to more centralised and dynamic activity of Azerbaijan Diaspora. Each of the measures taken by Azerbaijan provided active participation of our compatriots in the realisation of the national interests.

We may proud that world Azerbaijanis started to gather round national self-consciousness and the general idea of azerbaijanism, independent state and national-cultural values.

In his speech at the Congress, the national leader Heydar Aliyev pointed out the necessity to settle some duties. To strengthen the activity of Azerbaijan communities he suggested to establish a special state organ and determined more concrete ways for realization of the abovementioned historical mission.

Prominent historical document-the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev 'about establishment of the State Committee on the Affairs with Azerbaijanis living in foreign countries' from July 5, 2002 played a great role in coordination of the activity of Azerbaijan Diaspora and in supply of the ideological and political unity of world Azerbaijanis. The establishment of the Committee gave the opportunity to take reasonable measures in solution of the problems of the kind and to centralise the activity of Azerbaijan Diaspora on implementation of national interests.

National leader exactly appreciated the social-political situation in the sequence of the historical processes and considered national unity of Azerbaijanis to be a very important duty. The achievements of the past period prove wisdom of Heydar Aliyev.

One of the main spheres of Diaspora establishment is working out and implementation f the state policy concerning Azerbaijanis living abroad. This policy has been realised by the purposeful activity of Heydar Aliyev for many years. The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "about the State Policy on Azerbaijanis living in foreign countries" dated December 27, 2002, creates great perspectives to our compatriots and presupposes their unification for national interests of our country.

This law predetermines legal principles that provide the opportunity to settle the unique strategy with the purpose to increase the state care in the development of Azerbaijan Diaspora and to get definite achievements in this sphere.

In June 2009, Germany’s Bundestag has adopted the Resolution on Strengthening Security, Stability and Democracy in the South Caucasus. Bundestag, the supreme power of Germany, recognizes the territorial integrity of all three South Caucasian countries and supports the solution to the regional conflicts based on the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty of those countries. Bundestag calls on the German government ‘to mobilize all its efforts for fulfillment of UN, Council of Europe and OSCE resolutions on the Daghlig Garabagh conflict’.

One of important events in 2009 was naming one of the central squares in Ulyanovsk, Russia after national leader Heydar Aliyev. In 2008, the monument to national leader of Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev was opened in Ulyanovsk and large renovation works were carried out in the Heydar Aliyev Square, where the monument is located. Besides, opening of the Museum of History and Culture of Azerbaijan was held at Ulyanovsk Secondary School No 78. The Museum includes a stand on the life and activity of Heydar Aliyev, members of the family of the genuine leader, as well as prominent figures of Azerbaijan. Decision on setting national leader Heydar Aliyev’s monument in Ulyanovsk, creating the Heydar Aliyev Museum and naming that square after the great leader was adopted after Ulyanovsk Regional Office of All-Russian Azerbaijanis Congress applied to the administration of the province and city.

The Azerbaijan diaspora takes active part in protection of national interests. Diaspora organizations immediately express protest against an injustice committed against Azerbaijan by states and international organizations. The Azeri and Turkish diaspora organizations expressed a huge concern over a number of stories happened in the region in 2009, in particular, the protocols ‘On Establishment of Diplomatic Relations’ and ‘On Development of Bilateral Ties’ signed between Turkey and Armenia. The State Committee received a lot of appeals from diaspora organizations on the issue. November 2009, joint meeting of the European Azerbaijanis Congress and the Azerbaijan-Turk Diaspora Organizations Coordination Board took place in Frankfurt. In the meeting, the diaspora organizations stated opening of Turkey-Armenia frontiers is inaccessible unless the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Daghlig Garabagh conflict is not settled and supported the position of Azerbaijan on the problem. The participants of the meeting adopted an address to the presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey.

November 2009, the initiative group of European Azerbaijan Women Organizations Union was founded to enhance cooperation of Azeri women and women organizations in Europe.

New Internet site (www.diaspora.gov.az) of the State Committee for Diaspora was launched in 2009. The site contains comprehensive information on the state and nation of Azerbaijan, including government, history, geography, economy, population, educational system, culture, tourism, traditions, cuisine, sports. Information on Azerbaijan diaspora is available in a separate section, which talks of history of the diaspora, habitation geography of countrymen, diaspora organizations based abroad. The site includes legislation on diaspora. ‘State and Diaspora’ section is dedicated to the care of the state of Azerbaijan to the diaspora.

III book ‘Governmental Care to the Azerbaijan Diaspora’ talking of the care of the state of Azerbaijan to the development of the diaspora was published in 2010. The book includes decrees and orders President Ilham Aliyev signed towards improvement of formation of diaspora, solution of problems of Azeris abroad, his appeals to the world Azerbaijanis and diaspora organizations, speeches he delivered at forums and congresses, his meetings with diaspora representatives.

Decision was adopted in 2010 to name a street in Lidice, Czechia after Khojaly and a street in Khojaly after Lidice. March 1, 2010, Khojaly City Executive Power signed memorandum on mutual cooperation with Lidice Memorial Complex and NKP Lezaky Memorial. According to the memorandum, cooperation between Khojaly City Executive Power and Lidice Memorial Complex envisages mutual promotion actions, exhibitions on the tragedy in both cities, meetings of Lidice residents and Khojaly genocide witnesses, access to archives for scientific studies, exchange of publications on the genocide, joint publications, release of historical materials, contests for children and youth.

International conference ‘Mass Media and Regional Conflicts’ was held in Tel Aviv, May 2010. The role of media in conflict resolution was discussed in the event organized by the State Committee for Diaspora and Azerbaijan-Israel International Association. State officials, politicians and experts specialized in the regional conflicts, heads of Russian-speaking mass media operating in Azerbaijan, Israel, USA, Ukraine and Russia were present in the conference. Ground breaking ceremony of alley named after national leader of Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev was held in Hadera, Israel May 6. In this street a music school will be opened and complex created next to the Heydar Aliyev Park. Upon Israel-based Azerbaijan-Israel International Association’s appeal, Hadera City Municipality passed a decision on perpetuation of the memory of national leader of Azerbaijani nation Heydar Aliyev.

I Forum of Ukrainian Azeri Youth took place in 2010. Attended by over 700 youth from Ukraine’s 27 provinces and cities, the Forum declared 24 April every year the Ukrainian Azerbaijanis Solidarity Day to reply to the ideological diversions of Armenians, established Coordination Board of Ukrainian Azeri Youth. The 1st Congress of Georgian Azeri Youth took place in Marneuli in 2010. In the event, the Union of Georgian Azeri Youth was instituted, its Regulations approved, Board of 13 persons elected. Azerbaijani youth living in Sweden founded a new organization titled ‘Young Azerbaijanis of Sweden’.

The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "about the State Policy on Azerbaijanis living in Foreign Countries" proves that the Republic of Azerbaijan is the provider of national unity and progress of the world Azerbaijanis. Taking this Law into force determined the basis of the activity of the state organs related with its implementation.

Main duties of the Committee

The purpose and the duties of the State Committee are reflected in the "Regulation about the State Committee on the Affairs with Azerbaijanis living in Foreign Countries" confirmed by the decree # 780 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan from August 28, 2002. According to that Regulation, the State Committee is a central executive organ that proves the implementation of the state policy on the affairs with the Azerbaijanis living abroad, extension and development of the relations with them, coordination of the activities of the state organs and non-governmental organizations. The Committee carries out its activity together with the other central and local executive and municipal organs, diplomatic representations of the Republic of Azerbaijan in foreign countries, non-governmental organizations working with Azerbaijanis living in foreign countries and the individuals. The Committee provides organizational, informative, material and cultural assistance to Azerbaijanis living abroad, the organisations and mass media established by them for the purpose to contact with their historical lands, to study, preserve and develop the mother tongue and national-cultural values.

The main duties of the Committee are the follows:

Rights of the committee

International relations of the committee

The Regulation of the State Committee on Affairs with the Azerbaijanis living in foreign countries does not suppose branches of the Committee in foreign countries.

Address of the committee

Address: Baku, Samed Vurgun str., 24
Phone: 493-10-54; 493-28-69; Fax: 498-61-87
E-mail: info@diaspora.gov.az
Web site: www.diaspora.gov.az
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