- 15 Members of the Club de Madrid, all democratically elected former Presidents and Prime Ministers, and 16 Nizami Ganjavi International Center Board Members will join the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Georgia Mikheil Saakhasvili, HM Queen Noor of Jordan and more than 300 political and business leaders, scholars and practitioners to raise awareness for a Shared Society and women’s empowerment in Azerbaijan.
- Nazim Ibrahim, Minister of State, Chairman of the State Committee on Work with the Diaspora; John Mayor, former Prime Minister of the UK; Ehud Barak Former Prime Minister and Former Minister of Defence of Israel and; former Ministers of Foreign Affairs including David Miliband of the UK, Hikmet Cetin of Turkey and Dora Bakoyannis of Greece, will also join the discussions
From the 5th to the 8th of May the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, a cultural, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the memory of Azerbaijan poet, Nizami Ganjavi, and the Club de Madrid, the largest global forum of democratically elected former Presidents and Prime Ministers, will co-organize this first “Club de Madrid South Caucasus Forum on Inclusion; Promoting Women’s Empowerment and Building Shared Societies in Azerbaijan”. The gathering aims to share the experience and vision of the Members of the Club de Madrid and the Nizami Ganjavi International Center with numerous stakeholders from Azerbaijan and the region to provide them with leadership counsel and support in facing the challenges of democratic development, particularly inclusion of minorities, gender equality and internally displaced persons.
The Forum will start with a workshop on women’s empowerment to be held in Ganja, the second city of Azerbaijan, from the 5th to the 6th of May. Ensuring gender equality is not a mere commitment or goal but a living reality for all. That’s why some of the key topics on the agenda are the need for a more active participation of women in politics and policy making, the fight against violence against women and discrimination in the South Caucasus labour market. The commitments made at the Club de Madrid’s December 2012 Annual Conference in Little Rock “Harnessing 21stCentury Solutions: a Focus on Women” will be presented to explore how these can be relevant to the specific situation of Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus region.
Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, will hold the most important session of the Forum, from the 7th to the 8th of May. This gathering will allow for the presentation of the key messages and commitments of the Club de Madrid’s Shared Societies Project, raising awareness and contributing to building an inclusive society in Azerbaijan. Plenary sessions will cover an array of topics such as how Shared Societies can be a tool for conflict resolution; inter-religious and inter-cultural relations for functional societies; identity pluralism and lessons learnt to tackle human trafficking.
High level participants
National, regional and international authorities will attend this Forum, including the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev; the President of the Republic of Georgia Mikheil Saakasvili, Taher Masri, President of the Jordan Senate; the President of the Club de Madrid, Prime Minister Wim Kok, and Club de Madrid Members Jorge Quiroga, Kim Campbell, Cassam Uteem, Jennifer M. Shipley, as well Co-Chairs of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Ismail Serageldin and its Members Suleyman Demirel, Tarja Halonen and Federico Mayor Zaragoza. Representatives of multilateral organizations will include Nafis Sadik, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General, and Mina Swaminathan, UNESCO Special representative on Child Education amongst others.
The list of high-level political names includes more than 50 former Heads of State, Prime Ministers and Ministers. Among others, Besir Atalay, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey; Constantine Mistosotakis, former Prime Minister of Greece; Emil Constantinescu and Ion Iliescu, former Presidents of Romania; Petar Stoyanov, former President of Bulgaria; Vitautas Landsbergis, Former President of Lithuania; Zhelyu Zhelev, former President of Bulgaria; Valdis Zatlers, Former President of Latvia and Piotr Lucinski Former President of Moldavia, all of whom have confirmed their visit to Azerbaijan for this event.
Representatives of the economic and cultural spectrum, civil society leaders and other relevant stakeholders like Susan Sher, former Chief of Staff of US First Lady, Michelle Obama; Farida Allaghi, President of the Libyan Forum for Civil Society; Mira Sorvino, Actress and Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and; singer Lara Fabian will also be joining the Forum in Baku.
You can check the preliminary schedule and list of participants here: