In a dazzling display of international collaboration and scientific innovation, the 74th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) opened its doors at the Baku Convention Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. The grand event, held on [Date], was graced by the presence of President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, and their son Heydar Aliyev, underscoring the nation’s commitment to space exploration and global cooperation in the field of astronautics.”
A Vision of Unity
The opening ceremony of the 74th IAC was more than just a mere introduction to a week-long conference; it was a testament to the power of unity in the pursuit of the cosmos. Delegates from all corners of the Earth gathered in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, to celebrate our shared fascination with space and the limitless possibilities it presents.
President Ilham Aliyev, a staunch advocate for the development of Azerbaijan’s space industry, welcomed the international community with open arms. In his opening remarks, he highlighted the importance of cooperation in the exploration of space, emphasizing that “space knows no borders, and it is our collective responsibility to explore its mysteries and harness its potential for the betterment of humanity.”
He said “During the times of independence, Azerbaijan transformed into an active member of international community. Our policy is always very clear, transparent, straightforward, and is aimed at winning friends and enhancing cooperation. Azerbaijan participates as an active member of the international community in numerous political, economic and regional development projects. We, for the fourth year, are chairing the second largest international institution after the United Nations – the Non-Aligned Movement, and we’ve been entrusted the honor to chair this institution by unanimous decision of 120 countries. So, this really reflects the broad international support to Azerbaijan.
At the same time, our cooperation with the European institutions also develop successfully. With nine members of the EU, Azerbaijan signed declarations on strategic partnership. So, that actually demonstrates our foreign policy agenda, which is absolutely open and as I already said, aimed at cooperation and broader regional involvement and inclusivity.
Azerbaijan is a member of two important international institutions – Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Council of Europe – and is one of the very few countries, which is a member of both. More than 100 countries are participants in these two international organizations. So, this actually is a reflection of not only our geography and our culture, but also our political intentions. Because being situated just between Europe and Asia, being a kind of natural transportation, cultural, and now also economic bridge, which connects two continents, surely gives us this basic opportunity to create a broad international cooperation in our region.
Azerbaijan had a multicultural and multiconfessional society. Now during more than 30 years of independence, we have strengthened this factor of our life. We consider it as an important factor of stability, predictability, and the peaceful coexistence between representatives of all ethnic groups and representatives of all confessions in Azerbaijan. We really live like in one family, and it is also noted and reflected in decisions of international organizations like United Nations, which fully support Azerbaijan’s efforts to promote multiculturalism. By the way, the regular World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, which is held by our initiative in our country, is a unique platform for making interactions between different civilizations, more results oriented.
Azerbaijan was the initiator of the Baku Process more than a decade ago, which for the first time in history united the Council of Europe and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in one platform addressing important issues of global politics, intercultural dialogue and peaceful development.
Azerbaijan is also known as a country where the first oil in the world was produced in the middle of the 19th century. And at that time, we were producing more than half of the world’s oil production and also maybe not many people know that the first offshore oil was also produced in Azerbaijan in the Caspian by Azerbaijani oil workers in the middle of 20th century.
If you look at today’s map of energy and transportation routes, including pipelines, you will see the touch of Azerbaijan. The projects, which we initiated and successfully completed together with our neighbors and partners, actually, is a big contribution to energy security, not only of our region. And today, as we all know, energy security is an integral part of the national security of every country. Today Azerbaijan is a reliable supplier of energy resources to international markets, and is considered by the European Union as a pan-European supplier. But among our partners, there are dozens of countries in different continents, and all that serves the international cooperation, predictability, and at the same time, successful economic development of our country.”
A Glimpse of the Future
The Baku Convention Center, with its state-of-the-art facilities and futuristic architecture, provided an ideal backdrop for the inauguration of this monumental event. The ceremony itself was a captivating display of technology and artistry, combining traditional Azerbaijani culture with modern space exploration themes.
The highlight of the evening was the breathtaking projection mapping show, which transformed the convention center into a canvas of cosmic wonders. From the birth of stars to the exploration of distant planets, the visuals narrated the story of human curiosity and ambition, capturing the essence of the IAC’s mission.
The 74th International Astronautical Congress promises to be a groundbreaking event, featuring a diverse range of sessions, workshops, and presentations on space-related topics. Participants will engage in discussions on space exploration, satellite technology, space policy, and much more. It provides a unique opportunity for professionals and enthusiasts to exchange ideas, forge partnerships, and shape the future of space exploration.
As the world watches the skies with anticipation, the opening ceremony of the 74th IAC at the Baku Convention Center has set the stage for a week of discovery, collaboration, and inspiration. With President Ilham Aliyev’s visionary leadership and Azerbaijan’s commitment to the space industry, the IAC is poised to chart a course towards a brighter, more interconnected future in the realm of astronautics.
In the spirit of unity and shared purpose, the 74th IAC invites all to reach for the stars and continue our quest to unlock the mysteries of the universe. As the event unfolds, the world eagerly awaits the groundbreaking insights and innovations that will undoubtedly emerge from this cosmic gathering in Baku.