An international conference entitled “Minorities in Europe: the South Tyrol model and its relevance for the Caucasus” was held today in JW Marriot Absheron Baku Hotel.
The event was co-organized by the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SAM) and the Institute of International Affairs (IAI).
Director of the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Farhad Mammadov said that the aim of the conference is to study different models of autonomy in the world and implementation of some elements of these models in the settlement of the conflicts in Caucasus. He said that the determination of the status of Nagorno Karabakh is a long-term process, which can not be finalized in one stage. “The President of Azerbaijan stressed many times that the conflict must be solved phase-by-phase. It is necessary to liberate the occupied lands in the first phase and then to return Azerbaijani population to Nagorno Karabakh and surrounding territories. Then, it would be possible to speak about the determination of the status of Nagorno Karabakh in the second phase.”
Farhad Mammadov noted that SAM is realizing a series of projects on studying mechanisms of the settlement of ethno-territorial conflicts over the world and peaceful co-existence in post-conflict phase. “In the end of 2011, SAM representatives visited the region of South Tyrol in Italy and started the project on studying this precedent. Today holding the international conference “Minorities in Europe: The South Tyrol model and its relevance for the Caucasus” we finalize the second phase of a large project implemented jointly with our Italian colleagues”, he underlined.
Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law, Faculty of Law, University of Trento, Italy Roberto Toniatti, who is well aware of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, spoke about the history of the conflict in South Tyrol and the process of its peaceful settlement. He said the time element was very important factor for every conflict. “The process of South Tyrol took long time, but was ended successfully and could be a successful example. German-speaking population of South Tyrol has trans-border cooperation with Austria today and the process is supported by the European Union”, said the professor.
SAM deputy director Gulshen Pashayeva spoke of the history of the situation in the South Tyrol, also provided with the detailed information about the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
Professor Mitja Žagar, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and others spoke about the protection of ethnic minorities in Europe.