September 9, 2004

President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded the title of Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO

In the frame of the visit of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev to France, a ceremony dedicated to granting to spouse of the Head of Azerbaijan State Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva the honorary title of Goodwill Ambassador of this Organization was held on 9 September, in the HQ of UNESCO.

Director General of UNESCO Koichiro Matsuura, chief of Program the Goodwill Ambassadors Program Mrs. Basma Irsheid and other officials warmly welcomed President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva.

After the meeting, a ceremony dedicated to granting to spouse of the Azerbaijan President Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva the honorary title of Goodwill Ambassador of this Organization was held.

At the ceremony, the general director of UNESCO Koichiro Matsuura made a speech.


Dear Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva!

President of the Azerbaijan Republic, Your Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev!

Dear Ambassadors of Goodwill, ladies and gentlemen!

Welcome in the house of UNESCO. With deep satisfaction I welcome all of you in the Headquarters of UNESCO.

This significant day, Chairperson of the Fund of Friends to the Azerbaijan Culture Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva receives the title of the Ambassador of Goodwill of UNESCO. This rank is given to her for merits in preservation and development of the heritage of oral and musical creativity. It is great honor for me that in this ceremony takes part the President of the Azerbaijan Republic H.E. Ilham Aliyev. I address the President and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva: В"Welcome in the house of UNESCO! В" Using this opportunity, I want to express also to His Excellency Mr. President, our huge admiration of the successes achieved by him in the field of the state construction and social development.

Assignment to Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva of this high rank occurs in important moment in the history of our Organization. This rewarding testifies that the culture is a wreath of development, and it is much valuable than all jewelry decorating the crowns.

The UNESCO always considered and counts culture and development inseparable from each other. We do not consider separately economic development. Saying "development", we also mean a high intellectual level, spiritual, moral and emotional satisfaction. Alongside with the future of groups, communities and the nations, this development provides also protection of their history.

Therefore, with feeling of deep satisfaction I want to tell to dear visitors who have gathered here about untiring activity of Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva in the field of culture in Azerbaijan. I would like to emphasize especially the work, which she carries out in the field of protection of cultural heritage including musical, in sphere of music education. The Fund of Friends to the Azerbaijan Culture supervised by Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva has been created on her initiative in 1995 and to this day carries out successful activity.

The music education and education of young generation constantly were in the center of attention of the Fund over which Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva supervises. It is worthy of approval and respect the fact that charitable concerts organized by the Fund brings pleasure to students, and serves also to continuation of rich traditions of national culture. Due to activity of the Fund in Azerbaijan the musical schools have been capitally repaired, fine conditions are created that thousand teenagers have managed to join the world of music. The special attention is deserved with the fact of attraction to this process of children of deprived families.

With deep satisfaction I want to remind the magazine "Azerbaijan-IRS" issued in three languages also. Mrs. Aliyeva acts as the editor-in-chief of this magazine. This magazine is not limited to only one distribution of the information on the history and culture of Azerbaijan, and also the entire also Caucasian region. It, at the same time in detail narrates about customs and traditions of all nations of the world.

I know that Mrs. Aliyeva attaches great importance to distribution of musical and oral national creativity to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan possesses rich traditions of musical and oral national creativity. And last years interest to this sphere has increased in notable degreeВ".

The Director General also dwelt on the UNESCO activities on preservation of cultural heritage in the world and stated that as a Goodwill Ambassador, Mehriban Khanum would make further contributions in this field.

The UNESCO Director General presented the Diploma and certificate of Goodwill Ambassador to Mehriban Khanum Aliyeva and congratulated her, wishing further success in her activity in this field.

Then, the floor was given to the spouse of the President of Azerbaijan, to the Ambassador of Goodwill of UNESCO Mehriban Aliyeva.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made speech at the ceremony.


Dear Mr. Director-General!

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

Dear friends!

Today is a very important day in cultural life of Azerbaijan. Representative of our country is deserved the name of Goodwill ambassador of UNESCO. It is very significant event. Because it shows strengthening of our cultural relations.

Azerbaijan and UNESCO cooperation has deep historical roots. We remember visit of General Director to our country. His discussions were very significant. Now we carry out joint projects and programs to protect and to extend cultural and historical heritage of Azerbaijani people.

Azerbaijan possesses very ancient and rich cultural heritage. Our country gave many gifts to world culture. As well, examples of world culture were widely represented in Azerbaijan. Mutual cooperation with UNESCO will contribute to closer relations between us in future.

Azerbaijan is a part of international world, country newly obtained its independence. Of course, there are many to do for full integration of our country into international union. We conduct active work in this direction. We widely cooperate with European countries and international organizations in political, social and economic levels.

Undoubtedly, we wish to achieve more in cultural cooperation. I am sure that appointment of Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva UNESCO's Goodwill ambassador will help us in this field. Fund, leaded by Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva for up to 10 years, had a big role in development of culture, protection of cultural heritage, living of traditions of our people. Magazine founded by her, different projects and programs implemented by fund, have a positive impact in general development of art and culture in our country. I am sure that activity of both Mrs. M. Aliyeva and fund will catch more attention in international scale after this appointment.

This day is double momentous for me. Because it is not only an appointment of Azerbaijani representative Goodwill ambassador of UNESCO, also it is awarding of my spouse. I am very glad that hey functioning is so highly appreciated and recognized. I think she deserves name of Goodwill ambassador. Because she always differed with her good relation and desire to people. It is her distinctive feature. I am sure that she will actively function in this new work and will do her best for our general goals. Our general goals are to know each others more closely, to introduce opportunities and cultures, to benefit from cultures of different peoples and countries.

I am sure that Mrs. M. Aliyeva will fulfill this position willingly and will obtain successes in this necessary work.

I express twice my gratitude to UNESCO for granting this honorary name, congratulate new ambassador and wish her luck.

After official part, a reception was arranged on awarding of honorary name of Goodwill ambassador to Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva.

Then ceremony participants got acquaintance with magazine devoted to activity of Mehriban Aliyeva, as well, with point covering information on traditions, habits and life of our people.