In response to the request of the Western Azerbaijan Community, a dialogue between the Community and UNESCO began with UNESCO's confirmation that the protection of Azerbaijani cultural heritage in the territory of present-day Armenia is part of the organization's mandate.
The community has told reporters that the it raised several specific issues with UNESCO as a dialogue partner.
The Community once again tabled the issue of sending a fact-finding mission to Armenia to assess the state of Azerbaijani cultural heritage in the territory of Armenia, and said that this issue had become particularly relevant and urgent due to the destruction of the Tapabashi neighborhood of Yerevan by the Armenian government.
With its destruction, this neighborhood, which is one of the few surviving examples of Azerbaijani heritage in Armenia and a significant part of Azerbaijan’s history and culture, will be irreversibly erased from the face of the earth.
"Furthermore, our organization, which shares the approach of cultural heritage protection as a source of sustainable development and peace, has requested UNESCO's tangible assistance in the field of capacity building, as stipulated in the relevant international conventions that recognize a major role for communities in this field. As a Community that fully respects the norms and principles of international law, we believe that we can contribute more to the protection of cultural heritage by benefiting from UNESCO's capacity-building programs.
Finally, we have asked the UNESCO leadership to inform the member states about our cultural heritage and to include this issue in the relevant reports of UNESCO. We believe that raising international awareness of the situation of Azerbaijan's cultural heritage in Armenia by UNESCO will encourage member states to take effective steps to protect the said heritage and, most importantly, to prevent Armenia from taking destructive steps," the source said.