In cultural sphere Azerbaijan cooperates with UNESCO (UN's specialized organization on Education, Science and Culture), ISESCO (Organization on Education, Science and Culture of the Islamic Conference) and the Council of Europe.
Azerbaijan participates at different projects in cultural sphere. One of them is the Joint initiative of the Council of Europe and European Union named European Heritage Days Company.
Azerbaijan has joined to this project in 2000. Azerbaijan participates in series of international cultural projects. Thus, Cultural Heritage Days-2003 Company of the Council of Europe was held in Azerbaijan on September 26-28, 2003. During the Cultural Heritage Days-2003 Company of the Council of Europe it was organized the unveiling of monuments, the reconstruction of which had been finished in the framework of international projects, also review of the monuments, the reconstruction of which hadn't been finished yet, the presentation of exhibition and catalogue on "Photoexpertise -2003" International Photo Initiative. In the framework of this project there had been given facultative lessons on "European Common Heritage" Program, Cultural Heritage Days-2003 Company, on the theme "The protection of the cultural heritage is my civic duty" in schools and universities.
The topic of “European Heritage Days” held in 2005 was “Cultures and peaceful process”. Campaign consisted of two events:
- Baku International “East-West” Festival.
- Photo exhibition of children and youth within the frame of “Photo-experience-2005” was held and in the end, the works was introduced at the Republic Youth Forum.
On December 9-10, 2005 event dedicated to 50 years anniversary of European Cultural Convention was held in Wroclaw (Poland). The event where Azerbaijan delegation took part announced beginning of 50 years anniversary of European Cultural Convention. With conference held in Faro (Portugal) on October 27-28, 2005, celebrating of 50 years anniversary was closed.
Azerbaijan took part in other project on cultural issues of the Council of Europe known as "STAGE" ("Support for Transition in the Arts in Greater Europe"). This project included Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. The main principals of this project were following: supporting the cultural identity, cultural diversity, creativity and the participation of all groups of society in cultural life of the country. The Expert Group of the CE visited Baku in the framework of "STAGE" project in May 2001. During this visit, experts noted the areas where the CE assistance was available and considered inputs of the representatives of civil society. In the framework of this project, the seminar on "Financing the Culture in the period of transition" was held in Tbilisi on June 13-17, 2001. The delegation consisting of six people represent Azerbaijan in this seminar.
The Kyiv Initiative (KI) for democratic development through culture in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia was initiated in September 2005 during the 5th enlarged ministerial Colloquy of the countries participating in the STAGE. On December 15, at ministerial meeting in Bucharest, opening conference of the KI was held and Kyiv Initiative Declaration was adopted. KI is an operative frame for monitoring of the development process of culture and protection of cultural heritage, as well as regional cooperation.
On September 19, 2007 concert of the musicians from Azerbaijan was held at Palais des Nations (Geneva) by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva.
On April 17, 2008 the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva organized at Palais des Nations (Geneva) exhibition of photographs from Azerbaijan named “A land where cultures meet: strength with diversity” which was dedicated to the topic of tolerance.
In May 2008, several child concerts and exhibitions dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan were held in Paris, Strasbourg and Brussels.
One of the main priorities of the state policy is to improve materialtechnical basis of the cultural heritage as well as to maintenance historicalcultural, literary-artistic and science-philosophic heritage of the country.
A lot of state programs have been adopted by the government, including state program on development of the library-information field during 2008-2013 in the Republic of Azerbaijan confirmed by the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated 6 October 2008, № 3072. 3993 public libraries with 36 million library stock, as well as 2750 clubs, 226 museums, 28 professional theatres, 4 philharmonic societies, 6 musical collectives, 2 concert halls, and 365 cultural and rest parks provide population of the country with service.
Number of attendees of museums and theatres during 2010 was 2.3 million persons. Repertoires of the theatres are being changed regularly and theatrical performances are being shown in Azerbaijan, Russian and Lezghin languages.
“Theatres, museums – all cultural heritages should be repaired both in Baku and regions and new buildings should be constructed”- these words of the President is being confirmed day-by-day. Hundred libraries, museums, theatres, cultural institutions, historical and cultural sites were repaired and restored. In the result of cooperation with international organizations regarding to protection and maintenance of the cultural heritages the National historical-cultural reserve Gobustan was included in the UNESCO World Heritages list. The social protection of the cultural workers is under attention of the President of the Republic and creative persons are conferred on different honorary titles and special grants.
The presentation of the first number of a magazine “Mugham” founded by Fond of Friends of Azerbaijan Culture as well as several publications within the framework of the Project “Mugham – Anthology” and magazine “Baku” issued in Moscow was held with the purpose to propagandize and develop national-cultural heritage of Azerbaijan. “Mugham competition” carrying out in the country gains great popularity among population and community of the country and demonstrates rich national cultural heritage to the world.
Azerbaijan won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 and obtained the right to host this event in 2012. Azerbaijan emerged triumphant at the Eurovision song contest held in Dusseldorf, Germany with Ell/Nikki duo who received the highest number of points from televoters and juries from the 43 countries.
One of the main priorities of the state policy is to improve material-technical basis of the cultural heritage as well as to maintenance historical-cultural, literary-artistic and science- philosophic heritage of the country. A number of state programs have been adopted. 3242 public libraries with 33 million library stock, as well as 2650 clubs, 234 museums, 28 professional theatres, 4 philharmonic societies, 5 musical collectives, 5 concert halls, and 347 cultural and rest parks provide population of the country with service.
One of the main directions of the state policy in the area of culture is construction of new cultural buildings. Heydar Aliyev Center, National Flag Square, Sport and Concert Complex “Baku Crystall Hall”, Baku Congress Center, Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, International Mugam Center and tens of other culture objects have taken the decent place among the world masterpieces of culture and architecture. Azerbaijan turns into the world center of culture and contributes to establishment of the new multiculturalism ideas in the world through hosting of traditional civilizational, intercultural and humanitarian forums.