President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin presents the “Pushkin” Medal to Leyla Aliyeva
The newspaper “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” published an article about the proceedings of the Azerbaijani Youth Organisation of Russia conference held in Moscow over 12th-13th October 2012.
RG correspondent Marina Aleshina’s article ‘What AYOR can offer’ draws attention to the main issues discussed at the Azerbaijani Youth Organisation of Russia (AYOR) conference. ‘There was a broad agenda – from elections for the leadership of AYOR to discussion of plans to protect the country’s wildlife. This was already AYOR’s fourth such conference, and by tradition it opened with the national anthems of both Russia and Azerbaijan. In the elections, Leyla Aliyeva – the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation – was re-elected to chair AYOR for another term’ the article said.
In her address to the conference delegates, Leyla Aliyeva spoke about the cultural ties between the two countries. “I feel that a lively, warm and sincere relationship between our peoples is the most important thing. Azerbaijan has always been a country where peace and tolerance have been the guiding principles between people of different faiths, nationalities and cultures.” Mrs Aliyeva went on to note that Russian language is still taught in all schools in Azerbaijan, and Russian organisations such as the Russian Dramatic Theatre, the Russian Cultural Centre, and a branch of Moscow State University are represented. “We have the largest Russian diaspora of all countries in the Southern Caucasus. In my opinion this is very valuable for both sides, because nothing is more valuable for strengthening friendship or bringing people together than a diversity of cultural events” the AYOR President said. During the conference she had the chance to meet Azerbaijani first-year students studying at Russian universities, of whom some were decorated with the the award of “Exceptional Representative of AYOR” for their academic achievement.
The AYOR forum also signed a Cooperation Agreement between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the environmental campaign group IDEA, also founded by Mrs Aliyeva. The topic of ecology is a major theme under the heading “Responsibility For Cleaner Future”. This project is supported by representatives of the United Nations Environmental Program UNEP. Other main topics of interest for the conference delegates were the work of other working groups - “The internet, social media and youth” and “There are no alternatives to multiculturalism”.