NGIC and Club de Madrid frame the debate for the “Shared Societies Forum 2014”

Leaders present in this preparatory meeting in Baku, 4-6th of September, included: Minister of State of Diaspora Nazim Ibrahimov; Co-Chairs of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center Ismail Serageldin and Vaira Vike-Freiberga (also a Club de Madrid Member); NGIC and Club de Madrid Board Member Tarja Halonen; President of the Club de Madrid, Wim Kok, Vice President Jorge Quiroga, Members Chandrika Kumaratunga and Cassam Uteem and partners as Petar Stoyanov President of Center for Global Dialogue and Cooperation.

The meeting focused on the review and definition of the conference structure for the above mentioned “Shared Societies Forum 2014”. The working groups of the preparatory high level meeting were:

  • Women and Shared Societies: experience has shown that women are often in the vanguard in breaking through the barriers of ethnic and other forms of discrimination providing leadership to their own communities and ultimately to the wider society. This session allowed to explore insights on this topic and contributed with recommendations to the Club de Madrid’s Working Group on Double Discrimination which will be meeting in Madrid on 1-2 October of this year.
  • Religious Minorities and Shared Societies: This session provided the opportunity to consider the project’s current understanding of the issues and discuss the potential for a new focus on faith and shared societies, based on openness and respect between faiths and between the faith community and the secular world
  • Conflict resolution in the South-Caucasus: The Caucasus region continues to be a challenge for peace. This session looked at different examples of how identity are forged in the context of complex pluralistic societies and speakers shared their experience and best practices in conflict-resolution that can be applicable to the South Caucasus region.
  • Shared Societies and The Post 2015 Development Agenda: the project’s progress to date was reviewed and critical steps still needed were identified to ensure that social inclusion is at the heart of future global and national development. During the meeting a Shared Societies position paper on Post 2015 Development Agenda was discussed.


  • Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former President of Latvia, Co-Chair the Nizami Ganjavi IC and Member of the Club de Madrid
  • Ismail Serageldin, Director Library of Alexandria, Co-Chair the Nizami Ganjavi IC
  • Wim Kok, former Prime Minister of Netherlands, President, Club de Madrid
  • Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland, Board Member the Nizami Ganjavi IC and Member of the Club de Madrid
  • Jennifer M. Shipley, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, VP the Club de Madrid
  • Jorge Quiroga, former President of Bolivia, VP the Club de Madrid
  • Chandrika Kumaratunga: former President of Sri Lanka
  • Petar Stoyanov, former President of Bulgaria, Chairman CGDC
  • Ambassador Walter Fust, President Global Ethics, Board Member the Nizami Ganjavi IC
  • Nazim Ibrahimov, Minister of the State for Diaspora, Republic of Azerbaijan
  • Giuli Alasania, Chair BoT University of Georgia, Board Member the Nizami Ganjavi IC
  • Carlos Westendorp, Secretary General, Club de Madrid
  • Ivo Slaus, President World Academy of Art and Sciences
  • Garry Jacobs, CEO, Chair Board of the World Academy of Art and Sciences
  • Maria Elena Agüero, Deputy Secretary General, Club de Madrid
  • Steman Stanchev, Secretary General the Center for Global Dialogue and Cooperation

Background information

The cooperation between the Nizami Gangavi Center and the Club de Madrid started with the First South Caucasus Forum, held from 5th to the 8th of May in Ganja and Baku, Azerbaijan. It concluded with a Memorandum of Understanding between the organizations to join forces and work together to strengthen the Club de Madrid’s mission of “democracy that delivers” s well as that of building functional and inclusive societies, where the leadership experience of the Club’s Members is most valuable.

The partnership agreement was centered on two significant elements of today’s international agenda, -shared societies and women’s empowerment, covering on one hand, the inclusion of minorities, social cohesion and internally displaced people and, on the other, the issues of women’s participation in politics and policy making, participation in the labor market and in peace and security processes.

The high level participants at the First South Caucasus Forum Conference included the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Georgia, Mikheil Saakhasvili and Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan who joined Co-Chairs of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Ismail Serageldin as well as other NGIC Board Members, Tarja Halonen, Minister of State of Diaspora Nazim Ibrahimov as well as President of the Club de Madrid, Wim Kok, Vice Presidents of the Club de Madrid, Jenny Mary Shipley and Jorge Quiroga along with other Members of  both institutions.


The Shared Societies Project

Club de Madrid’s Shared Societies Project was launched 2007 in a response from leaders worldwide for options and action plans to address the challenge of coexistence that every society faces. Since then CdM works globally with various governments, institutions and their leaders, advising them on the best approaches to building a shared society. CdM define a shared society as one in which all individuals and constituent groups hold status as equally contributing participants, free to express their differences while integrating their voices within the broader population.”




* The Nizami Ganjavi International Center is a cultural, non-profit, non-political organization dedicated to the memory of Azerbaijani poet, Nizami Ganjavi, the study and dissemination of his works, the promotion of the principles embodied in his writings, the advancement of culture and creative expression, and the promotion of learning, dialogue, tolerance and understanding between cultures and people.


The Nizami Ganjavi International Center was established in the Republic of Azerbaijan under the Patronage of an International Board that includes a number of highly respected and recognized international figures who graciously offer their time, experience and gravitas to the development of the Center and its initiatives.


* The Club de Madrid is an independent non-profit organization composed of more than 90 democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers from 62 different countries, constituting the world´s largest forum of former Heads of State and Government. The Club de Madrid works to respond to a growing demand for support among leaders in two key areas: democratic leadership and governance; and response to crisis and post-crisis situations. Both lines of work share the common goal of addressing the challenge of democratic governance and political conflict, as well as that of building functional and inclusive societies, where the leadership experience of our Members is most valuable.


The Club de Madrid assists in identifying politically sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by today’s leaders, developing practical recommendations, action plans and implementation strategies. The direct exchanges with current leaders on a peer to peer basis, and the Members’ ability to deliver the right message at the right time are an essential part of its work and are the core of the Club de Madrid’s impact.


* The New Library of Alexandria is dedicated to recapture the spirit of openness and scholarship of the original Bibliotheca Alexandria and called to be window of Egypt to the world and worlds window to the Egypt.


The New Library of Alexandria’s mission is the production and dissemination of knowledge on a national, regional and international level, and to provide a space of freedom for the dialogue and understanding between peoples and cultures