We've been setting this exhibition up for nearly two years. I believe that its language – the language of Art – eloquently conveys the great accomplishments our country has made in all spheres of achievement.
Opening of the exhibition “My Seas, My Oceans”, organized on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action) Public Association, with the support of the United Nation’s Geneva Office and the permanent representative office of Azerbaijan under the Geneva Office of the UN, took place.
Director General of the UN’s Geneva Office Tatiana Valovaya, Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, founder and head of IDEA Public Association Leyla Aliyeva, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Geneva and of public organizations, as well as our fellow countrymen attended the exhibition’s opening ceremony.
Director General of the UN’s Geneva office Tatiana Valovaya noted, in her opening speech, that the month of June is when conferences and other events of the UN dedicated to protection of oceans and water reservoirs are traditionally held. Organization of an exhibition aiming to draw attention to the ecological condition of the oceans and seas on that eve through the language of art is of special significance. Water reserves that occupy over 70 percent of the world, as well as ecological systems of seas and oceans are more and more subjected to negative impacts.
She thanked Leyla Aliyeva, the artists who participated in the exhibition with their artworks, as well as the curators of the exhibition for publicizing such an important issue through art.
Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, founder and head of IDEA Public Association Leyla Aliyeva, in her speech, expressed her gratitude for welcoming the guests at the exhibition “My Seas, My Oceans”. She noted that this exhibition was an opportunity to draw attention to some global issues through the language of art. Artistic creativity has been one of the best ways to touch peoples’ souls and call on them: “At IDEA, we have always benefited from art and artistic creativity in order to send a message on the importance of saving the environment. Our organization was established in 2011, aiming to protect our nature and biodiversity. We aim to encourage people to education, art, music, enlightenment and, above all, spending more time in nature”.
It was mentioned that IDEA has been paying attention also to combatting the pollution, and protecting animals and vulnerable ecosystems at seas, as water is essential to the existence of the humankind, being the life itself. It is very hard to recognise that 50 percent of the marine plants/ animals have died out in the course of the last 50 years. The humanity has had a serious impact on rivers, seas, and oceans: “I would say humans and nature are closely interrelated. If we had caused harm to the nature, we would have, thereby, caused damage, first of all, to ourselves. However, I believe indeed that we can return the disappeared pieces by a positive thinking. I think the happier people are the more care they would show towards the nature. It is the nature that makes us, in the first place, happy”, - said Leyla Aliyeva.
The founder and head of IDEA Public Association thanked the partners who have participated in the organization of the exhibition, as well as the curators and artists whose artworks were displayed at the exhibition.
Director of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) European Office Bruno Pozzi expressed gratitude, on behalf of the organization he represented in the capacity of IDEA’s partner, for joining the event. It was mentioned that the exhibition aimed at an issue concerning all. Water is the most important resource and source of life on our blue planet. As our planet could not exist without water, initiatives on protecting water, water reservoirs and the living beings therein should be supported by all means available. Protection of water resources in the contemporary time when climate change occur should be a priority issue.
Permanent representative of Azerbaijan at the Geneva Office of the UN Galib Israfilov thanked the Geneva Office of the UN and IDEA Public Association for the organization of the exhibition. He underscored that the exhibition reflected artistic expressions of young Azerbaijani persons of art about the global challenges everybody is concerned of through art.
After the speeches, the child dance group “Irs” operating in Geneva performed a programme comprised of Azerbaijani popular songs. Then, public view of the exhibition started.
Artworks of nine Azerbaijani contemporary artists are displayed at the exhibition, which will run until June 30th at the Palace of Nations in Geneva. The importance of protecting water resources for future generations is underscored via artworks being displayed at the exhibition, at the same time, reminding that the best way of achieving the Sustainable Development Targets passed through creativity.
Partnership of governments, private sector and civil society towards making sure that we hand over a better planet to future generations is of great importance towards achieving the Sustainable Development Targets.
No doubt, art is among the most influential means to convey the importance of problems the world has been facing in the protection of environment and ensuring the sustainable development. Among these challenges are climate change, pollution, excessive fishing, as well as promotion of possibilities of ecological enlightenment.
Directing messages in their artworks at the exhibition to such issues, Javid Ilham, Diana Aliyeva, Elshan Karaja, Erkin Alakbarli, Gunel Ravilova, Leyla Aliyeva, Mirali Seyidov, Nazrin Khalafova and Nazrin Mammadova ensure that people have broader imagination of the subject and gather support for ecological activity, whereby, contribute to global targets.
On a visit to Geneva city of Switzerland, Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, founder and head of IDEA Public Association Leyla Aliyeva met with Director General of the UN’s Geneva Office Tatiana Valovaya, June 14.
At the UN’s Geneva Office, Tatiana Valovaya thanked for the organization of the exhibition “My Seas, My Oceans”, comprised of artworks of Azerbaijani artists. She said that the fact that the exhibition coincides with the month of June when a summit of the UN dedicated to oceans and water reservoirs will be held would contribute to promotion of this global issue through art. Tatiana Valovaya underscored the significance of the essence of the works displayed at the exhibition, in particular, urgency of the water issue and its significance on the global level.
Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, founder and head of IDEA Public Association Leyla Aliyeva thanked Tatiana Valovaya for her personal attention to the exhibition’s organization, and her participation in its inauguration.
Significance of researching the possibilities of cooperation between the UN and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation was underscored, noting the importance of extending contacts in the near future. Exchange of opinions was held also with regard to IDEA’s joining projects associated with Sustainable Development Targets, youth, gender equality, protection of the environment etc., as well as various events at the Geneva Office of the UN with IDEA’s experts and employees. At the same time, taking into account the urgency of such an issue as protection of women rights and augmenting their role in society, discussions were held on cooperation in this field.
During the meeting was touched also upon the visit by T. Valovaya to Azerbaijan, as well as the meetings she would have in Baku.
On the same day, Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, founder and head of IDEA Public Association Leyla Aliyeva became familiar with the presentation associated with the reconstruction of the “Azerbaijani room” located in the headquarters of the UN’s Geneva Office.
It was informed that there were rooms and halls dedicated to over 20 countries in the UN’s Geneva Office. Restored in 2007 by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and decorated with national carpets and artworks of Azerbaijani artists and artisans of applied art, the Azerbaijani room has been used for holding significant meetings and assemblies on regional issues. A new project is launched in order to ensure that the room meets contemporary technological standards. Germany’s Luther Design company, by preserving the concept of the historical building in which the room is located, has come forward with a project in which Azerbaijani culture, art, craftsmanship and national music are presented.
Reconstruction works on the Azerbaijani room will be launched at the end of this year.
Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, founder and head of IDEA Public Association Leyla Aliyeva visited a sculptural monument called “Thoughts and dreams”, a present by the Azerbaijani state in the Ariane Park located before the palace of nations in the UN’s Geneva Office.
It was informed that, constructed during 1929-1938, the Palace of Nations was one of the largest public buildings of the world, and the 46-hectare Ariane Park where it is located was among the largest parks of Geneva. Over 2000 works of art, paintings and sculptures are demonstrated in the building of the Palace of Nations and in the Ariane Park. This rich collection covers such basic values of the UN as peace, equality, development, progress, freedom, human rights, and environment.
Authors of the monument presented in connection with the 25th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s becoming a member of the UN are Salhab Mammadov and Ali Ibadullayev.
Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, founder and head of IDEA Public Association Leyla Aliyeva presented books about Azerbaijan to the library of the UN’s Geneva Office.
Head of the library Francesko Pisano thanked for the publications enriching the library fund, giving information about the history of the library.
It was informed that a number of important documents, including archive documents related to the Paris Peace Conference, were preserved in the library’s fund. The archive is of matchless importance to Azerbaijan, as a number of historical documents related to the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic are preserved here. Among these documents are the letter and appeals prepared by the Azerbaijani delegation who participated in the Paris peace talks, as well as maps and other important historical documents. In 2016, these materials were transformed into a digital format and included in the online catalogue.
F. Pisano expressed hope that in future, the library fund would be enriched with more books about Azerbaijan.