President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin presents the “Pushkin” Medal to Leyla Aliyeva
On December 6, the 7th annual forum of the Azerbaijani Youth Organization of Russia took place at Crocus Expo International Exhibition Centre in Moscow.
Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva participated in the Forum’s work on the topic of “AYOR generation: patriotism, creativity, success”.
Organized with the support of the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan, the Forum was attended by over 500 representatives, honoured guests, and officials from Azerbaijan and Russia. Activists of AYOR’s 62 regional divisions, as well as representatives of the Azerbaijani Diaspora, and Russia’s youth organizations too joined the Forum.
At the beginning of the event, forum participants became familiarized with “Independent Azerbaijan – 25 Years” Exhibition. Stands of the Youth Forum under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, “Baku” Magazine and “IDEA” Public Union were demonstrated at the exhibition.
At the beginning of the annual Youth Forum’s opening ceremony, a documentary dedicated to the activities of AYOR in 2016 was shown.
Then, Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva addressed the Forum.
Leyla Aliyeva thanked the activists of AYOR who have been supporting the organization from the very first days of its establishment, and wished new participants successes in all their initiatives: “We have done a great deal of work during these eight years. Our primary goal has been preserving Azerbaijan’s ancient traditions, rich culture and history, while showing respect for all peoples and religions, providing mutual help and support, integration into the Russian society, and worthily representing Azerbaijan in Russia”.
Noting that the sense of love towards Azerbaijan unites the AYOR members, Leyla Aliyeva said: “We are trying to hold all our events in a creative spirit, with the sense of love. One of our primary achievements is that today AYOR has over 60 regional divisions all over Russia. Our clubs have been holding regular concerts, arranging other events. I know that most of you came to this Forum having overcome a long distance. I would like to thank you for that. It is so pleasing that today they know us everywhere, and love, and our clubs share their knowledge with other clubs and organizations”.
Azerbaijani youth has been approaching our country’s history with much care. Therefore, each year, we hold events in memory of the Khojaly Genocide victims within the framework of the campaign “Justice For Khojaly” in a number of world countries. Next year, the 25th anniversary of this horrible tragedy will be marked. It is of paramount importance that the world society gives a legal evaluation of this event in order to prevent it from recurrence in any part of the world. A number of countries, ten states of the USA, and the Islamic Cooperation Organization have recognized the Khojaly killings as a genocide. However, we will not be satisfied with what has been done so far, and works in these direction will continue. We believe that justice will gain a victory, Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity will be restored and all refuges and IDPs will return to their homes, native lands”.
It was noted that Azerbaijani youth take active part in sports games, and everybody is well aware of the annually held mini football, the Cup of Heydar Aliyev. We have held a Student Games of AYOR, and participated in military patriotic games, in the competitions of What? Where? When?. We have been supporting our KVN team participating on the Russian scene with great success. One of our most noble initiatives is the blood donation action called “Blood has no nationality”. AYOR activists pay regular visits to children’s homes and nursing homes, and arrange festivities for children in need of love and care. Leyla Aliyeva, assuring the attendees of the event, said: “We will continue our activities in this direction further”.
“AYOR is such a place where you can deepen your knowledge and gain new ones. We are very glad today our youth can study at best universities of Russia in Azerbaijan too: Branches of the Moscow State University and the I.M.Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University are operating in Azerbaijan. Foreign languages may be studied at AYOR’s office, and I’m hopeful the Azerbaijani language courses will start soon to function”.
Noting that new ideas, new initiatives can be discussed at today’s Forum, Leyla Aliyeva told the participants of the event, addressing them: “I would like to ask you to put forward new ideas in panels”.
It was mentioned that Azerbaijan and Russia have been linked by years-long friendship and kind neighbourhood relations. “It is a valuable fact that teaching the Russian language has been maintained in full volume in our schools, and the Baku Slavic University, the Russian Drama Theatre are functioning in our country. Great Russian culture, Russian literature and art are loved very much. Last year, AYOR has participated in actions called “We are successors of the Great Victory”, “Immortal regiment”, after all, this is our common history and common victory”.
Protection of the environment also was touched upon: “Five years ago, we founded IDEA. We have done a great deal of work during the period past. Our primary objective is to protect endangered animals. Recently, we have opened a shelter for homeless animals in Azerbaijan. This is one of the biggest shelters in the region designed for homeless animals. A premiere of the documentary about the Caucasian leopard, a very rare and beautiful animal, was shown on National Geographic TV Chanel. Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank the autonomous organization “The Caucasian Nature Centre” for the works they have done towards continuing the population of this rare animal species, and for the cooperation with us. Our youth have planted over 5 million trees in Azerbaijan, Of course, it is rejoicing that we have been planting trees not only in Azerbaijan, but also in Russia. Today, you will have a chance to get more detailed information in the panels about our projects. I would like to ask those who show interest to join us, as each of us may make contribution to the protection of our nature”.
“Azerbaijan has become a country where various forums and conferences are held. We host most interesting events of the world. Eurovision-2012 song contest, first European Games, Formula-1 competitions and a Chess Olympiad were held successfully in Azerbaijan. It is very rejoicing that our country is well known, loved, and the number of people coming to Azerbaijan is increasing constantly. As you know, each year we invite Russian youth to make a trip to Azerbaijan. Taking this opportunity, I would like to invite you all to visit the city of Baku”.
It was emphasized that working with AYOR is a first step towards stepping into a life full of good, independent and benevolent activities.
The tolerant environment dominating in Azerbaijan was talked about, and it was underscored that people of different nationalities, religions and cultures have always lived in our country in an environment of peace and solidarity, and that for us, tolerance is not an achievement, it has always been a lifestyle.
In conclusion, Leyla Aliyeva said: “As to difficult jobs, do not be afraid of making mistakes. After all, we learn novelties on our mistakes. Help, support each other, do whatever you do with love and leave your souls open to love”.
Minister of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan Azad Rahimov, head of the National Policy and Regional Relations Department under the Moscow Government Vitali Suchkov, chairperson of the Russian Youth and Child Unions National Council Grigori Petushkov, chief consultant of the State Service of Azerbaijan for international, multiculturalism and religious affairs Etibar Najafov, and student of the Financial University under the Russian Government Habib Abdurrahmanzadeh, chairperson of the national Assembly’s youth and sports committee Fuad Muradov and Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloghlu delivered a speech at the Forum.
At the end of the event, a ceremony of rewarding distinguished students, winners of competitions held by AYOR, and activists of youth organizations took place.
Leyla Aliyeva presented diplomas “Honours Student of the Youth Union” to Azerbaijani students studying with excellent marks at higher schools of Russia.
For covering the activities of the Azerbaijani Youth Organizations of Russia, special correspondent of AzerTAG in Russia Farida Abdullayeva, head of the Azerbaijani TV’s correspondent station in Moscow Zakir Musayev, and head of APA Agency’s Russian Office Farid Alakbarov were rewarded with diplomas of AYOR.
Then, the Forum continued its work in section meetings on the topics of “Multiculturalism as a basis for the international and interstate relations”, “2017 - a year of ecology in Russia – contribution of the Azerbaijani youth”, “The Role of the Azerbaijani Youth Organization of Russia in strengthening the Diaspora” and “Youth in business: creation and development of start-ups” .
Works of the Forum’s section meetings were finalized by a plenary session.