Professor appointed Azerbaijan special adviser

Coventry University Professor Mike Hardy has been appointed as special adviser for intercultural dialogue to the Government of Azerbaijan.

Professor Mike Hardy

Professor Mike Hardy

Following the declaration by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, a high level international forum meeting devoted to various aspects of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect and understanding between all cultures of the world was first held in Baku in April 2011.

Professor Hardy, Executive Director of the Institute of Community Cohesion (iCoCo) at Coventry University, has been appointed to act as special adviser to the Azerbaijan Minister of Culture and Tourism, Dr Garayev Aboulfas Mursal oglu. He will primarily be responsible for developing the concept and programme for the 2nd World Forum, to be held 29th May to 1stJune 2013.

The Baku Forum addresses challenges of intercultural dialogue and examined how dialogue can best be pursued in diverse contexts. More than 500 representatives from 102 countries from all continents, many NGOs, media representative, scholars and experts participated in the first forum.

The 2013 meeting will take place under the patronage of Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in cooperation with UNESCO, UN Alliance of Civilisations, Council of Europe, ISESCU, North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and the World Tourism Organisation.

Mike said:“Azerbaijan is one of the unique places where different cultures meet at the crossroad between the East and the West, the North and the South, and as a member of both Islamic and European organisations provides an opportunity to provide a genuine bridge.

“I am delighted that Coventry University will have the opportunity of participating and have influence at this global platform, helping to further emphasise the impact that we are having with our work in human security”.

Mike was also awarded the OBE in 2001 for his work in the Middle East, and was appointed a Companion of Honour of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2010 for his work internationally in Intercultural Dialogue.