A solemn ceremony of awarding the laureates of the “Stars of the Commonwealth” Interstate Prize was held in Moscow, in the Pashkov House of the Russian State Library. First Lady of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, member of the Milli Majlis, UNESCO and ISESCO Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded the “Stars of the Commonwealth” Prize for her humanitarian activity. This high prize was initiated by the Humanitarian Cooperation Council (HCC) of CIS member states and the Interstate Humanitarian Cooperation Foundation (IHCF) of CIS member countries.
The ceremony was opened by Chairman of the State Duma Sergey Naryshkin. He noted the significance of humanitarian intercultural cooperation in CIS. The Russian Federation Parliament’s speaker gave short information about each of the laureates’ notable services, and personally greeted the First Lady of Azerbaijan. He specifically underlined Mehriban Aliyeva’s notable services in the sphere of public health, social sphere, culture and humanitarian fields and her the exclusive role in strengthening the integration processes for the prosperity of all nations of the Commonwealth. Sergey Naryshkin said: “I am very pleased to welcome Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, who has greatly contributed, with her energy and warmth of her heart, to strengthening the universal values, friendship and mutual understanding between our countries and nations. We know that Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded UNESCO and ISESCO goodwill ambassadors honorary titles, a prize of the World Health Organization for her services in strengthening mother and families’ health, and has been contributing to the development of Olympic movement in Azerbaijan.”.
Then Chairman of the State Duma Sergey Naryshkin presented the Prize to First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva.
Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva thanked HCC and IHCF for the prize and for high evaluation of her activity. She said: “I appreciate this prize as recognition of modern Azerbaijan’s services and contribution of my country to strengthening the traditional friendship relations between our countries and nations.”.
She said preserving and strengthening positive tendencies such as friendly neighbourhood and cooperation in the period of our countries’ formation as independent states were of great significance.
M. Aliyeva said: “From the geographical point of view, Azerbaijan is located in the centre of Eurasia and for centuries our country has been incorporating signs of many cultures and civilizations.”.
Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva specifically underlined that the First Azerbaijani-Russian Forum was held in Baku in 2010 on Humanitarian Cooperation, and later this event turned into an International Humanitarian Forum. It is obvious that sometimes simple relations of mutual understanding, tolerance and respect are missing in a complicated and controversial world we have been living in. Mehriban Aliyeva noted at the end of her speech: “To my opinion, strengthening the trust, achieving mutual understanding and creating a mechanism of solution of pending problems is possible only by our joint efforts and by basing on universal values such as morality, humanism, benevolence, confidence and sharing each-other’s grief and, of course, by strengthening the humanitarian and cultural relations. Large-scale projects in the sphere of education, science an culture such as strengthening the economic ties are also contributing to our countries’ seeking for piece and prosperity.”.
Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu, special envoy of the Russian President for international cultural cooperation Michael Shvidkov, head of the CIS Executive Committee Sergey Lebedev, head of the State Duma Machinery Jahan Polliyeva also congratulated the laureates.
A solemn ceremony of awarding prizes was hosted by Honoured Person of Art Svyatoslav Belza.
At the end of the event, a festive concert was given with participation of the orchestra headed by Vladimir Spivakov. Young representative from Azerbaijan, a talented violinist Elvin Ganiyev performed at the concert.
Mehriban Arif gyzy Aliyeva is the First Lady of Azerbaijan, the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador and member of the Milli Majlis, and she has been very well known for her philanthropic activity both in the country and also beyond its boundaries. Large-scale projects being implemented by headed by her Heydar Aliyev Foundation covers all areas of vital importance of the country including education, science, culture, environment, sports, religion etc. Construction of new clinics and schools, restoration of mosques, shrines and religious monuments related to other confessions, supporting contemporary art and promotion of the cultural heritage are an incomplete list covering the areas of activity of Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva. She is a member of the National Olympic Committee’s Executive Committee and President of the Azerbaijani Gymnastics Federation. For her notable services in serving the highest ideals of the universe she was awarded a prize of the World Health Organization in 2007 and “Golden Heart” international prize.
Mehriban Aliyeva has been actively engaged in maters related to increasing women’s role in society, protection of and strengthening mothers’ and family health. Unique Mugham Centre and Modern Art Museum were constructed in Baku, and a World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue was held in 2011 on her initiative.
In 2010, M.Aliyeva was honoured with the Honoured Legion Order’s title of officer of France, UNESCO’s “Golden Mozart” medal and the “Serving the Turkish World” Prize.
Last year she was honoured with a Gold Medal of the Crans Montana Forum.
Mehriban Aliyeva is an honoured professor of the First Moscow State Medical University’s after I.M.Schenov, which she has graduated from.
M.Aliyeva has been heading the Organizational Committee for holding the International Eurovision-2012 Song Contest in Azerbaijan.
It should be noted that the “Stars of the Commonwealth” Interstate Prize is awarded for great successes and contributions in spheres of education, science, culture and art, as well as for humanitarian activity conforming to world achievements level and creating conditions for humanitarian cooperation between CIS countries.
Laureates of the lat year, representatives of the commonwealth countries’ scientific and creative intellectuals, board members of the Humanitarian Cooperation Council of the CIS member states and the Interstate Humanitarian Cooperation Foundation, as well as representatives of the CIS countries’ ministries and departments, diplomatic corps attended the solemn awarding ceremony.