South Caucasus Peace Initiative

Baku Conference Promotes Peace in the South Caucasus

Baku, Azerbaijan - An international conference on “Peace Initiative in the South Caucasus: New Approaches to Peacebuilding” took place in Azerbaijan on May 29, 2012. About 120 experts from Azerbaijan, France, Japan, USA, and Russia got together in the Atrium Hotel in Baku. The conference was hosted by the chair of the Azerbaijan Peace Council, the former Prime Minister of the country, Rahim Huseinov. The key address was delivered by Dr. Thomas Walsh, President of the Universal Peace Federation. He highlighted UPF's recent peacemaking activities in the Balkan states, Northeast Asia, Nepal, and other nations.

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At the forum opening, Mr. Jacques Marion, Secretary General of UPF-Eurasia, emphasized that the main approach in solving conflicts and relaxing tension is creating a culture of peace and developing a dialogue of civilizations. “In the modern era of globalization, mutual understanding between all nationalities and religions is especially valuable,” he said. The chair of the conference, Rahim Huseinov said that many years after cease-fire in Karabakh, peaceful people keep on dying. He appealed to the Universal Peace Federation to once again remind the United Nations about the urgency to consolidate the UN position concerning this issue.

The speakers of the forum unanimously pointed out the importance of strong family values, moral and patriotic education of the youth, and cooperation of different civil sectors for establishing peace in the South Caucasus. The conference was broadcast by the TV channel 1 of Azerbaijan and a number of media publications.

Following the conference, the leaders of the Universal Peace Federation met officials of Azerbaijan: the president of the State Marine Academy, Dr. Rasim Bashirov, and the president of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Dr. Makhmud Kerimov. The parties discussed joint plans for future cooperation: exchange of experience, a dialogue of civilizations, and creating a culture of peace.

Nugai Aliyev, lecturer of the society “Education in the Republics of Asia,” opened his speech by saying that world religions such as Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, while teaching about One God, vie with each other, and this is the main cause of wars. The main cause of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia is religious differences. He also emphasized the importance of strengthening the family.

Zemfira Kerimova, a member of the Veterans' Council and war participant, shared how innocent people died and suffered during war times. She would not like to witness such events again.

Jamila Namazova, dean of the State Economic University, declared that people do not want any wars in which young people die; thus, they advocate policies that avoid or prevent war.

Dilara Nagiyeva said that family values as described by Mr. Marion are urgently needed in any society.

Hazar Emin, Asif Mamedov, Salekh Salakhov, and Zarifa Salakhova stressed the importance of solving the conflict in Karabakh through peaceful negotiations.

For more information about UPF-Eurasia's South Caucasus Peace Initiative, click here.

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