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 Report - Activities of the Azerbaijan Culture Association "Simurg" for the years 1990-2000 (SIMURG)

 Report date: 31.12.1999

Activities of the Azerbaijan Culture Association "Simurg" (1990-2000)

Trying to approach its goal, the Association has fulfilled the following social commitments:

  1. As a result of the scientific reach work done by the Association on culture, its history and its role in human and social development, state building and management in Azerbaijan, the Association has issued a number of historical, theoretical and methodological works. A series of publications appeared in Ganun, Trend, Regeneration, as well as in the materials of numerous international conferences. The Association has issued two thematic scientific collections "Culture and Society", combining articles by Azeri and foreign scientists. To assist the development of small and medium-size businesses the Association has prepared for publication and published the following five books "Culture of Business", "Business Negotiations", "Contract Signing", "Pricing", "Methodology of Labor Assessment", "Business Partnership". Numerous articles on the problem of culture and the activities of the Association itself have been published in the local newspapers "Azerbaijan", "Khalg Gazeti", "Bakinsky Rabochiy", "Panorama", "Gunay", etc. The Association has given a number of TV and radio interviews. On the whole the Association has issued more than 200 books, collections of articles and other publications on the history, theory and practice of the national and world culture.
  1. Based on the interests and needs of the Azerbaijani society, the Association has worked out and submitted to the state management bodies a number of cultural scientific concepts and projects focused on progressive reforms in the realm of spiritual culture of spiritual production, called on to stimulate the development of education, science and scientific enlightenment, new state cultural policy formation, oriented on the human development priorities.
  1. To assist the formulation of the new understanding and practical use of the constructive opportunities of the Azeri culture, the Association regularly holds the republican scientific-practical seminar "Culture and Society" attended by famous foreign scientists, experts, diplomats, students as well as common public. Twenty four sessions have been carried out since the beginning of the 90s, the main objects of which were to assist the understanding of the history, innovations and key elements of the world and national cultures, the essence of culture as the foundation of social development, the formation of democratic ways of thinking and democratic culture in the Republic. Such seminars assist the development of cultural studies and scientific enlightenment, open cultural dialog and knowledge exchange among intellectuals, working in the state institutions, non-government organizations and political parties, the development of cultural cooperation with foreign specialists and diplomats, understanding of the opportunities provided by democratic culture. There have been a number of seminars dedicated to the problems of the Azerbaijani culture on the threshold of the XXI century, education, democracy culture, market economy, ideology, medicine, religion, youth, UN activities, the experience of the social-cultural development of Germany, Norway, the US, etc.
  1. Based on the UN concept of steadfast human development the Association has founded two schools – "Sisters of Charity" and "Business School". More than fifty people (including school and collage students) have received training in the realm of first medical aid, patient care, pregnancy and babyhood care as well as management, accounting and business. The Medical department of the Association has prepared and issued a number of extremely actual for the population of the Republic booklets under the common title " While ambulance is on the way".
  1. To assist the development of the professional qualifications of culture system employees in the Republic, in the years 1996-2000 the Association has given a series of lectures on the history and theory of the world and national cultures.
  1. Under the support of the UN representative office in Azerbaijan, in the year 1995 the Association established for the first time ever in the life of the Republic International University of World Culture. The project was highly approved by the UN resident-coordinator in Baku Mr. Paolo Lembo, diplomats, international offices representatives, the leaders of scientific institutions, creative units, religious confessions and the Milli Mejlis Committee. Unfortunately, due to the lack of governmental support and financial funds the University doesn’t function at the present.
  1. The specialists of the Information and Media Department have gained international acknowledgement in the field of information culture development, particularly in computer information technology and spreading of the knowledge in colleges throughout Azerbaijan. In April 2000 for their efforts in the field the members of the Association were awarded five international certificates.
  1. The Association has been actively involved in the development of Azerbaijan’s social and cultural cooperation with foreign countries. A number of the outstanding scientists, publicists, diplomats from Costa Rica, Norway, Russia, Germany, the USA, Turkey, Great Britain, etc. are among the honorable members of the Association. As a civil culture initiative, in 1991 the Association organized a successful trip to Costa Rica. A number of vitally important meetings were held during the trip in San Hose. Fruitful contacts were established with the Minister of Culture of Costa Rica Aida Vaisleder. This act of national diplomacy resulted in the signing of the Agreement on Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture of Costa Rica and the Azerbaijan Culture Association "Simurg". These meetings assisted the acknowledgement of Azerbaijan as an independent state by Costa Rica in the fall of 1991.
  2. In the years 1992-1993 the Association took place in the work of a number of international conferences on conflict resolution and peace-making issues in Moscow, Russia. In December 1992 the Association participated in the international conference "Karabakh Syndrome of Russian Diplomacy".

    One of the indicators of the international acknowledge of the Association was the official invitation to take part in the international conference on culture and cultural policy, which was held in Bergen, Norway in November 1999. At the conference the activity of the Association was highly praised by foreign specialists and European experts. As the result, the Association was included in the number of experts cooperating with the Council of Europe on its programs on culture and cultural policy.

  3. A huge amount of work has been carried by the Association to assist the development of the Third Sector in the Republic. In particular under the support of the international foundation "ISAR" and the charity foundation "Charity Know How" in 1996 in the Institute of Social Management and Politology the Association carried out a seminar for a number of Azeri non-government organizations. In October 1996 at the International Meeting of Non-government Organizations in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, the Association presented a report on "Third Sector in Azerbaijan: present stage and perspectives". The NGO development model proposed by the Association was accepted as the priory pattern for the Caucasus as a whole. The Association has prepared and submitted to the Presidential Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan its recommendations on the Third Sector Development. The logical continuation of the process was the establishment of the UN Resource Center for non-government organizations in Baku in 1998. In the year 1999 under the UN initiative together with a number of organizations including the Azerbaijan Culture Association "Simurg" established the Forum of Non-government Organizations of the country.

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