Addressing the opening ceremony of the Fourth World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, Ilham Aliyev said majority-Muslim countries are being “victimized” by terrorism.
“We are against the idea that Islam is associated with terrorism,” he said.
He also highlighted that multiculturalism helps prevent further risks in the world, saying that the world currently faces “dangerous trends.”
“The reason why civil wars and conflicts emerge is that different cultures can’t get along with each other,” Aliyev said. “We need to unite and show that we are living in a multicultural world.”
Aliyev said xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and separatism emerge in the absence of multiculturalism.
“The only way to make the world danger-free is promoting multiculturalism,” he said.
UNESCO’s Fourth World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue starts today, with the theme “Advancing Intercultural Dialogue – New avenues for human security, peace and sustainable development.”
The two-day forum is organized under Aliyev’s patronage, in cooperation with UNESCO, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the UN World Tourism Organization (WTO), the Council of Europe, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the North-South Center of the Council of Europe.
Aliyev urges action on Upper Karabakh
Aliyev also decried the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and Karabakh issue, saying that more than a million people have been displaced by Armenia’s occupation.
“We see that there is a double standard here. UN Security Council decisions must be implemented,” Aliyev said, adding that some resolutions are implemented within days.
Despite a 1994 peace deal, border skirmishes are a frequent occurrence. In April 2016, these escalated into the worst outbreak of fighting since the initial conflict, resulting in the deaths of dozens of Azerbaijani troops.