Regarding the 10th International Conference “Caucasian Albania: Religious and Social Life” held in Baku
On April 14, 2023, the 10th international conference "Caucasian Albania: Religious and Public Life" was held in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, with the participation of "researchers" from 9 countries of the world (including Russia, Georgia, Italy) (https://mir24.tv/news/16549064/na-konferenciyu-kavkazskaya-albaniya-v-baku-priehali-uchenye-iz-devyati-stran ). The researchers presented their reports on different periods of the history and cultural heritage of Caucasian Albania. President of the Albanian-Udi community Robert Mobili noted that “today the Albanian-Udi community enjoys great support from the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations, the Baku International Center for Multiculturalism, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and ordinary citizens of Azerbaijan. And President Ilham Aliyev gives us the greatest support.”
The head of the community also noted that Azerbaijan is the successor of the cultural heritage of Caucasian Albania (https://mir24.tv/news/16549064/na-konferenciyu-kavkazskaya-albaniya-v-baku-priehali-uchenye-iz-devyati-stran ), and that there is a rich Albanian heritage in Azerbaijan, especially in Karabakh: “Historical monuments and Christian churches are located in these regions. Armenians want to appropriate the history of the Albanians. But Armenians have neither churches nor monuments in these lands of Azerbaijan. These examples of Christian cultural heritage belong to the Albanian Church” (https://report.az/ru/religiya/predsedatel-obshiny-azerbajdzhan-yavlyaetsya-preemnikom-bogatogo-albanskogo-naslediya-v-karabahe/).
The executive director of the Baku International Center for Multiculturalism, Ravan Hasanov, stated that "Azerbaijan is the direct historical heir and custodian of the rich Albanian ethno-cultural heritage, the ancient and early medieval culture of Caucasian Albania, the entire historical and religious heritage created by the ethnic group that lived on this territory in subsequent centuries" (https://ru.oxu.az/society/718279 ). Mubariz Gurbanli, the Chairman of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations of Azerbaijan, added that Armenians allegedly destroyed about 200 cultural monuments of Azerbaijan in the occupied territories (https://t.me/cidir_duzu/10238).
We would like to recall that in 2021, The Hague International Court of Justice condemned the desecration of Armenian churches by a Decree of December 7: “Azerbaijan is obliged to take all necessary measures to prevent and punish acts of vandalism and desecration committed against the Armenian cultural heritage... (see: International Court of Justice, Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Armenia v. Azerbaijan), 7 December 2021, No. 2021/34).
And according to PACE Resolution 2583, the denial of the fact of Armenian cultural values and their belonging to Albanians was recognized as an "Azerbaijani fiction" (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Humanitarian consequences of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan / Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Resolution 2391 (2021), article 18.4).
From a legal point of view, the policy of appropriation also violates article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, which guarantees the right of everyone to take part in cultural life. The Fribourg Declaration on Cultural Rights of 2007 also defines such a right, considering cultural rights as an opportunity for self-expression, the use of various cultural resources and knowledge. Azerbaijan also violates the provisions of the conventions "On the Protection of Cultural Diversity" (2001) and "On the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions" (2005), to which it is a party.