The third OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM) on the topic of National Minorities, Bridge Building and Integration has started its work in Vienna, Austria on 10 November 2016. Representatives of OSCE participating States, OSCE institutions, and OSCE executive structures, representatives of inter-governmental organizations, legal professionals, representatives of civil society and researchers from 57 participating States discussed the rights of ethnic minorities and their integration into society in OSCE geography.
Participating in the discussion, Head of Azerbaijan Institute for Democracy and Human Rights Dr. Ahmad Shahidov informed about the various peoples living in Azerbaijan and spoke about the values of multiculturalism and Azerbaijan ideology. Noting that Azerbaijan is homeland of multiculturalism, human rights defender said that Jews, Germans, Russians, Lezgins, Avars, Tats and even armenians freely live in the country.
Ahmad Shahidov stressed that more than 25 years, the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan has been violated, the Nagorno-Karabakh and other territories are still under occupation by Armenia, however, the armenians live freely in Azerbaijan, armenian church in the center of Baku city is protected by the state. Head of AIDHR regretted that Mosques existed in Nagorno-Karabakh, in particular, Shusha and Agdam mosques have been destroyed by the armenians.
Then, human rights defender spoke about the ethnic Azerbaijanis living in Iran and Georgia, informed the participants about the measures taken to protect the rights of them.