Baku In­ter­na­tional Hu­man­i­tar­ian Fo­rum: Lessons for Pak­istan

The Diplomatic Insight - - Baku International Humanitarian Forum -

*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

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