Baku International Humanitarian Forum: Lessons for Pakistan
*Muhammad Asif Noor n October this year, two days of Baku International civilization, advances in molecular biology and biotechnology: Humanitarian Forum attracted world’s attention and brought from theory to practice, topical issues of media in the context galaxy of dignitaries from around of the world including of globalization of information space. At the end of the former Presidents, Nobel Laureates, Diplomats, prominent forum, drawing inference from all these roundtables, there is organisations, parliamentarians. The guests are from more faced by humanity in this world. than 100 countries. This forum is an annual feature and has a theme objective of opening a dialogue and exchange of views on a wide range of global issues of concern to all humanity. It was a consecutive third time that such a high level prestigious event was organised in Baku and that too into a centre named after the Father of the great Azeri nations Heyder Aliyev. The challenges of the 21st century, taking into consideration the realities of an ever rising globalized world. The forum began in 2010 on the desire of President of Azerbaijan and Russian Federation. Republic of Azerbaijan invites every year various renowned dignitaries from Pakistan as well. This time Pakistani contingent was one of the largest that were participating in this prestigious forum. The delegation includes Members of Parliament, Senators, Vice Chancellors, Journalists, Deans, society. The forum provides an opportunity to the representatives from Pakistan to indulge in deep rooted relationship building with the participants from across the globe. The Baku International Humanitarian Forum was initiated in 2010 by President of Azerbaijan Mr.Ilham Aliyev and the then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with an aim to create spaces for dialogue. Co-Chairs of the forum are President of Azerbaijan and President of Russian Federations Mr.Vladimir Putin. Pondering over the major humanitarian issues including of concern for the entire humanity are the major highlights of this august forum. Every single person is being heard and listened in the various discussion forums. Held once in a year at the capital city of Azerbaijan, the forum is embodied with recommendations where honorable representatives from various international and national organizations including leaders of states debate,discuss and exchange ideas based upon their theoretical and practical knowledge. The working language is Azerbaijani, Russian and English. The forum usually has roundtables sessions where every participant has been given a choice to select out of seven different subjects to participate in these sessions. Each and every participant has the opportunity to be heard and can participate with his/ her viewpoint. The forum is combination of roundtables addressing issues like The convergence of technologies and the shape of the future: the main challenges of the 21st century, humanitarian aspects of economic development, innovation and their transfer into education, multiculturalism and identity: in search of the valuable agreement, national identity in the postmodern era, sustainable development and ecological As a tremendously successful and visionary approach of President of Azerbaijan, Mr.Ilham Aliyev, Baku International Humanitarian Forum has remained triumphant in bringing Azerbaijan into limelight of diplomacy wherein the issues like Nagorno-Karabakh has been brought into the world’s attention. Along with this the country has utilized this forum, in particular, to enhance and propagate its relations with countries around the world. Not only members of high level attend such forums but people from civil society do participate from each country including journalists and academic community. This gives an extra leverage and opportunity to Azerbaijan to reach out to the people of any particular country and especially enhance people to people contacts. Working in such a strategically diverse diplomatic way is what we can call as a soft power image of Azerbaijan that has emerged at the world stage when the leadership of Azerbaijan is utilizing its wealth of resources not on building arms and more arms but reaching out to the world community by stretching its hands of friendship and congeniality. The forum also enhance Azerbaijan’s role as one of the leading country of the world in 21st century with diversifying economy and outlook of gazing beyond future and beginning to act as a one of the major regional power. Pakistan has a lot to learn from this forum in terms of promoting softer image, highlighting the role of country in front of the world since the forum is one of the best examples ever of diplomatic way of achieving state’s objectives. This international forum provides Pakistan an excellent opportunity also to enhance its partnership and cooperation with countries representing their various similar stands points on issues highlighted in different discussion forums. The forum provides opening to participants to network and develop collaboration and relations with representatives of various countries from around world. Participants from Pakistan have a heavy responsibility in this regard that they need to drag this occasion and bring back home all the related dividends cemented with this forum. They being representative of Pakistan also need to create chances for others to not only indulge in new and diverse discourse learnt from the forum but also invest their energies and minds to develop are various lessons that can be learned from such forums for Pakistani political and diplomatic leadership need to work out and many other similar forums.
*The writer works for The Diplomatic Insight Magazine