DECLARATION of the 4th Baku International Humanitarian Forum

We, politicians, scholars and representatives of culture, international organizations, civil society and the mass media from a variety of countries, assembled in Baku on 2–3 October 2014 at the IV Baku International Humanitarian Forum,
welcoming the creation of the Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism;
taking into account the growing significance of international humanitarian cooperation and effective partnership in this sphere in ensuring harmonious, sustainable development and the elimination and prevention of political and military conflicts proliferating throughout the world;
guided by the United Nations Millennium Declaration and the agenda for the post-2015 period aimed at eliminating inequality in the world in regional, economic, social and gender development;
drawing attention to the fact that stimulating the economy by constantly increasing demand contradicts the principles of sustainable development and is already coming up against serious resource, ethical and humanitarian restrictions and leading to irreversible global ecological consequences;
seeking to make our contribution to ensuring long-term sustainable development, founded on contemporary knowledge, human potential and the principles of ecological civilization;
recognizing that in conditions of globalization our common future can be shaped through the effective, scientifically based mobilization, in accordance with humanitarian ethical principles, of the whole intellectual, cultural, social human potential and natural diversity existing on our planet;
taking into account that effective responses to the challenges of the 21st century require the broad integration of contemporary scientific and traditional knowledge with information technology and for them to be made universally accessible on the global and national level;
underlining the special role of civil society and the mass media in raising the information level in society and expanding participation in the planning and achievement of objectives in the sphere of humanitarian development;
calling upon political, cultural and academic elites, international organizations and representatives of civil society and the mass media to strengthen further humanitarian cooperation in order to ensure the sustainability of development;
realizing that under conditions of limited resources, their best use on the principles of sustainable development and humanitarian ethics should be built on achievements already made;
considering, as part of a broad exchange of opinions, such problems as:
● Comparative research into multiculturalism: from theory to humanitarian practice
● Media transformation in the digital age: new development trends
● The role of interdisciplinary integration in innovative development
● Sustainable development and ecological civilization
● Challenges of globalization: between tradition and transformation
● Molecular biology and biotechnology in the 21st century: theory, practice, prospects
● Converging technologies and outlines of the future: landmark challenges of the 21st century
● Humanism as a basic value in the postmodern era
we note that the expansion and further development of international humanitarian cooperation is the key factor in an effective response to contemporary challenges and threats and enables the accessibility and expanded application of contemporary management and production technologies, ensuring the well-being of present and future generations;
we recognize that the Baku Humanitarian Forum, traditionally held on the initiative of the Republic of Azerbaijan, constitutes an important contribution to the development of multiculturalism, based on humanitarian practice as the basic value of the post-modern era;
we bear witness that a range of countries, including the Republic of Azerbaijan, have achieved significant progress in recent years in the planning and management of sustainable development which has been reflected in the figures and reports of international organizations;
we pay special attention to the need for further development of international cooperation to transform society from a society of consumption into a humanitarian society of consumption on the basis of sensible sufficiency, as well as to achieve a way of life that meets the demands of ecological civilization;
we recognize the importance of the application of nano- and bio-technologies, based on the latest scientific achievements, and the convergence of contemporary and traditional technologies to ensure food and medicinal security, raise the quality of life and achieve the human potential for longevity;
we acknowledge that the development of human potential through the integration of the latest knowledge and skills, including interdisciplinary, in a programme of continuing education, as well as the expansion of cooperation in this sphere, are the key humanitarian components of sustainable development;
we note the ever growing role of the mass media and civil society in achieving the goals of humanitarian development through increased awareness and expanded participation in the humanization of development;
we call on the various international and national structures specializing in humanitarian development systematically to hold forums, conferences and round tables aimed at creating an atmosphere of tolerance, mutual respect and resolving contemporary global and local challenges;
we note the need for such forums to be held annually and express our profound gratitude to the President and government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and all the organizers of the Baku International Humanitarian Forum for holding this major, productive event;
we consider it necessary to pass this declaration and to make use of it to strengthen cooperation in humanitarian development.