Compliments day at city hall: Shaimiev thanks Audrey Azoulay for support of UNESCO
Six multilingual schools to be opened in Tatarstan under the UN auspices within the framework of intercultural dialogue development
The achievements of Russian UNITWIN Network (University Twinning and Networking — intergovernmental programme for world interuniversity cooperation and academic mobility) and the first steps of the Republic of Tatarstan on implementation of the resolution of the UN General Assembly, which proclaimed the year 2019 as International Year of Indigenous Languages, were discussed on 7 March during IV All-Russian Congress of UNESCO Chairs in Kazan. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
''Women always help out''
The opening of the plenary session began with a little problem — the microphones worked unstable. The sound suddenly erupted just when first President of the Republic of Tatarstan, UNESCO Special Envoy for Intercultural Dialogue Mintimer Shaimiev noticed that he had never been embarrassed by such obstacles.
When after a brief introductory speech Chairman of the Coordination Committee of UNESCO Chairs of the Russian Federation Vladimir Egorov gave Shaimiev the floor to greet the Congress, he tried to give the microphone to the lady — Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay, but the sound went down again. What the State Councilor talked with Azoulay remained a secret, but in the end it was she who forced the capricious technique to obey, and the first thing that Mintimer Shaimiev said into the microphone was words of gratitude:
''Women always help out! Thank you, thank you so much!''
The mission of the chairs
''I think it is appropriate to emphasize that the dialogue on education, science and culture between UNESCO and the Republic of Tatarstan is developing successfully, new ties are appearing, areas of cooperation, joint educational and cultural events are held,'' said Mintimer Shaimiev.
As key milestones on this path, the special envoy of UNESCO mentioned successfully held Days of Tatarstan in Paris, as well as the help and support that was rendered to Tatarstan by the missions of the advisory bodies ICOMOS and ICCROM in the restoration of objects of cultural heritage of Bolgar and the city-island of Sviyazhsk:
''Their recommendations and expert opinions contributed to the recognition of our monuments of history and culture as an outstanding universal value and their inclusion in the World Heritage List.''
Mintimer Shaimiev also stressed the importance of UNESCO chairs working in Russia since 1992 and highlighted the role of acting since 1998 on the basis of the University of Management TISBI under the leadership of the national coordinator of the network of UNESCO Associated schools in Russia Nella Pruss:
''They [UNESCO chairs] play an increasingly important role in the exchange of experience, knowledge and information related to higher education and the development of science… In higher education institutions of the Russian Federation today there are more than 60 departments with more than 200 branches and offices in various cities. We are pleased that the chairs of our republic conduct the important work.''
Languages will lead to agreement
The UNESCO special envoy for intercultural dialogue paid special attention to the development of indigenous languages on the example of Tatarstan:
''This year the republic is starting the construction of general educational multilingual complexes, which are designed to provide competitive education in two state, Russian and Tatar, and international English languages, to become a new school that uses effective educational practices, whose students appreciate their own, understand other cultures and make a significant contribution to the development of the society.''
According to Mintimer Shaimiev, the first multilingual educational complex — the school 'Adymnar — the path to knowledge and consent' — to be opened in Kazan on 1 September 2020:
''Here, in the capital, a clot of many nationalities, including indigenous, Tatar, is concentrated. And many supported this idea!''
In total, it is planned to open six such schools in Tatarstan, the Tatarstan state adviser said. This initiative, he stressed, comes from Vozrozhdenie Republican Fund headed by him and corresponds to the idea of preserving national languages, about which not only Tatarstan, but also other Russian regions and countries of the world are concerned.
Hospitality as an indicator of successful participation
''When you, Mrs. Azoulay, the other day, on March 5, was asked during an interview with TASS, what problem of our time, in your opinion, is the main one, you replied: 'If you choose only one priority, it should be education and education again,'' Mintimer Shaimiev concluded his speech with the compliment to the high-ranking guest. ''You can be sure that from the first minutes of your stay in Tatarstan you have many supporters and fans, and I am among them.''
The head of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, reacted no less enthusiastically to these words, mentioning in the response speech not only the achievements of Tatarstan in terms of active participation in UNESCO activities, but also the peculiarities of national hospitality, noting that Tatarstan is a kind of crossroads of civilizations and the wealth of cultural traditions and treasures is embodied not only in the language, art and historical monuments, but ''also in the reception you give us here in Kazan''.
''The basis of this [participation of Tatarstan in UNESCO activities] is that Tatarstan is at the centre of different religions, cultures, stories and has a unique experience of successful intercultural communication, it is a unique wealth for the whole world, which is looking for ways to live together,'' said Audrey Azoulay. ''This philosophy fits into the dialogue, which is very professionally conducted by the Republic of Tatarstan and UNESCO World Heritage Committee.''