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South Caucasus Peace Initiative

Azerbaijanis Discuss UPF's Potential for Resolving Conflicts

Baku, Azerbaijan - UPF-Azerbaijan held a seminar for Ambassadors for Peace in Baku on April 18 on the theme of "Conflicts in the World and UPF." The event was hosted by Toru Nishiwaki, the Chairman of UPF-Azerbaijan. The program took place at the Irshad Conference Center of Prof. Rafik Aliev, the former Minister of Religious Affairs of the Azerbaijan Government.

Among the books exhibited in conference center is a copy of the My World and I school textbook translated by Prof. Aliev in the mid-1990s. The book is based on the thought of UPF Founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon. Prior to the seminar we had a warm meeting with Prof. Aliev, who expressed his respect for Dr. Moon and the UPF activities in Azerbaijan. He said that he is closely watching the development of our movement and is happy with its progress. He had been visited by journalists who probed into his association with our movement and criticized his friendship with UPF. In response, he stated that UPF works for the benefit of the nation and for the sake of world peace.  Despite sensitive political situations in Azerbaijan, Prof. Aliev regularly provides space in his Conference Center for UPF programs.

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Prior to the seminar we had another personal meeting. Toru Nishiwaki and Konstantin Krylov were personally received by Prof. Isahan Veliyev, the former General Prosecutor of Azerbaijan. He came back to Azerbaijan from UPF Assembly that took place in Seoul, Korea. He expressed that his life changed after shaking hands with Dr. Moon. His relatives, friends, and all of us noticed that indeed he continues shinning like a star even two months after the meeting with Dr. Moon at his birthday celebration.

On April 18, 11 professors, scholars, and NGO representatives listened to a one-day seminar on principles of peace given by Konstantin Krylov. the UPF-Eurasia Assistant Secretary General. One of the participants was Prof. Ahmad Mamedov of the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences. The response of the participants to the philosophy was outstanding. The seminar is the fourth in the 2010-2011 series. Each program is highly appreciated by the brightest among Azerbaijan's intellectuals.

The cost of the meals, hospitality, transportation, and all other expenses related to the UPF conference were fully covered by the Ambassadors for Peace of Azerbaijan. It is also important to note that the Ambassadors for Peace of this nation undertook on their own to translate the autobiography of Dr. Moon. The translators are Sabina Mammedkerimova, a staff member of the Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan, and Elmira Mahhadinl,i the press secretary of the former Prime Minister of Azerbaijan.

On April 19, the UPF National Conference took place at the prestigious Ambassador Hotel in Baku. This conference is held on a quarterly basis in Azerbaijan. Every time, dozens of prominent participants attend the event. This time the event was hosted by H.E. Rahim Huseynov, the former Prime Minister of Azerbaijan. He sent out personal invitations to high-level leaders in the nation. Sixty leaders gathered for the conference entitled “Conflicts in the World and UPF.”

Among the participants one notes Rustam Ramasanov the Representative of the Minister of Religious Affairs of Azerbaijan, Dr. Bayramzade Hanlar the former Supreme Judge of Azerbaijan and the Professor of Baku State University on Criminal Law, Dr. Vahid Mamedov the member of Parliament of Azerbaijan and a famous economic reforms leaders of Azerbaijan Government, Hazar Emin the vice-president of World Azerbaijani Union, Prof. Yakub Mamedov the President of the National Medical University, Isa Garashev the ex-member of Parliament  and a big businessman of Azerbaijan, Bayram Yusifov the Chairman of the Council of Elders of Azerbaijan, Nadir Ahmadov the former minister of communications. Dilara Nagieva the President of the Club of Millionaires of Azerbaijan and an Association of the National Treasures Protection, Elchin Isgandaroov a well-known medical doctor and an activist working with refugees also attended the event.  Several prominent businessmen of Azerbaijan came. Such were Vidady Mamedov, Akif Kerimov, Abbas Zeinarov, Ismail Gasanov and Mehman Aliev. They are the main financial supporters of UPF in Azerbaijan. Several other distinguished academic, artists and NGO leaders attended the program.

Whereas the topic of the conference was to do with conflict origins and resolution, the discussion moved to the experiences of new and old Peace Ambassadors with UPF and its founders.

Dr. Isahan Veliyev the ex-Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan was the main speaker at the program. He shared his reflections on his attending UPF Assembly in February 2011. It was his first time to visit UPF international event. For the first time he met the founder of UPF. He shared Dr. Moon's vision with the participants as “world peace can be achieved if people take the existence of God into consideration. The United Nations needs an upper chamber composed of religious leaders guiding political leaders. Dr. Moon’s ideology does not promote Christianity or any other specific religion. This vision is beyond the borders of one denomination but promotes mankind as a one family under God. It is important to mention that marriage blessings of partners from enemy nations is a special tool to make world peace.” He expressed that he fully shares Dr. Moon’s vision.

Gulara Munis, a poetess and journalist, expressed the need to involve women in UPF activities since women are peacemakers by nature.

Prof. Valy Aliev, the famous historian and a member of National Academy of Sciences, said “Academicians should be more involved in UPF work; they should work more closely with businessmen to share resources for UPF programs.”

Mamedali Jafarov, a former Minister of Internal Affairs and a businessman, expressed that “the marriage blessing ceremonies establishing new loving families will be an important asset to the establishment of world peace”.

Dr. Ismail Hasanov, a former chief veterinary doctor of Azerbaijan and a famous inventor of brucellosis vaccine, was one of the members of Azerbaijan delegation to the UPF Assembly in Seoul in February 2011. He expressed his support for UPF work. He called on the participants in the conference to work together under the UPF framework to create a peaceful world.

H.E. Rahim Huseynov conducted the program. He stressed that it is very important for Azerbaijan to closely participate to UPF local and world-level projects.

Toru Nishiwaki and Rahim Huseynov appointed four new Ambassadors for Peace. Congratulations to Musa Abasov, the Director of the Central State Hospital of Azerbaijan; Fahraddin Azizov from the National Oil Company; Jamila Namazova, the Director of the Economics Department at the National University of Economy, and Isfandiar Isfandiarov, a businessman.

This was a successful program. UPF-Azerbaijan is announcing another national conference in June 2011. The planned forum will inaugurate the publication of Dr. Moon’s autobiography in Azeri language.

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