The message reads, in part:
“I would like to warmly welcome participants and guests to the International Humanitarian Forum in Baku. The forum was convened on the initiative of both nations and has attracted attention from scientists and culture specialists in many nations around the world. It is held under the patronage of the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan.
In the modern world, humanitarian cooperation plays an enormous stabilising role. It promotes sustainable development, has a positive influence on relations between nations and penetrates nearly every area of human activity: from economics, science, and culture to legal policy and security issues.
Scientific discoveries in the last several decades have seriously altered our understanding of our world and the people in it, as well as the correlation between science and the humanities. This forum in Baku will address philosophical issues in the development of science, as well as humanitarian aspects of existing economic models, ethics problems in modern biotechnology and many other current issues.
Humanitarian cooperation is rightly called a “soft power,” since it helps overcome barriers in dialogue between civilisations, bringing together nations and peoples on the basis of the values of justice and tolerance, solidarity and mutual respect. All this opens broad opportunities for public diplomacy and the implementation of joint programmes in science, education, healthcare and the arts, the very areas that are most sensitive and proximate to peoples’ spiritual needs.
In recent years, the need for a humanitarian element in international relations has become increasingly more apparent. New interstate mechanisms are being created, serving as examples of effective cooperation between members of the creative elite. And naturally, public initiatives and movements that make a significant input into the formation of a new humanitarian space play a particular role. I am certain that this forum will hold an important place among them.”
Dmitry Medvedev’s greetings were read by Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Naryshkin at the Forum’s opening ceremony.
The Humanitarian Forum is being held on October 10–11, 2011 in Baku.