Mr President of the Republic of Bashkortostan,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors,
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the 183 ethnic groups and 83 subjects of the Russian Federation, it gives me great pleasure to welcome our distinguished guests and the organizers of this large exhibition on Bashkortostan at UNESCO, which we are honoured to be part of today.
For many years, the Republic of Bashkortostan has firmly occupied an important place among those subjects of the Russian Federation that serve as the true drivers of cooperation with this world humanitarian organization.
Suffice to say that, since 1998, the Bashkir Committee for UNESCO Affairs has gained significant experience of working with international organizations. It brings together more than 50 prominent state and public figures from the fields of education, science and culture, and information and communications, along with youth organizations and representatives of leading enterprises, organizations and businesses. We take this opportunity to express our sincere congratulations to our Bashkir colleagues on the anniversary of their collaboration with UNESCO and to applaud all those in the Republic who have been involved in this work of great humanitarian importance.
A very important thing to note about Bashkortostan is that projects carried out jointly with UNESCO receive particular attention from its leadership and enjoy wide popular support. The list of areas in which projects have been undertaken is certainly impressive:
- the Republic takes part in UNESCO events and programmes in the fields of education, science and culture, information and communications, youth programmes, sport and tourism;
- it works with national and regional Committees of UNESCO Member States.
The activities of the Bashkir National Committee focus in particular on strengthening peace, friendship and cooperation among peoples and promoting the principles of agreement, mutual understanding and tolerance among ethnic and faith groups.
Bashkortostan has had particular experience of developing education, science and culture and of preserving and developing not only its national language and other languages, but also the culture and traditions of the Bashkirs and other peoples of this multi-ethnic Republic.
Significant efforts are made in Bashkortostan to organize events on the study, promotion and preservation of historical, cultural and architectural monuments and natural heritage.
Work is carried out by genuine enthusiasts prepared to devote all their energies and knowledge to seeing Bashkortostan’s cultural monuments and natural features included on heritage lists at Russian, European and world level. To this end, a whole range of regional, interregional, national and international conferences, symposiums and forums have been organized, with the participation of international experts.
As part of the exhibition we are opening here at UNESCO today, you will see eye-opening displays that combine traditional and technological means of expression. Like the deep Agidel river, they reflect the rich colours of this unique region of Russia – Bashkortostan – and the peerless spiritual, material and intangible culture of the peoples who live there.
In the words of the Bashkir epic poem Ural-batyr: “The world is a garden. Everything that lives in the garden grows from one generation to the next.” We invite you to visit one of the garden’s most beautiful corners.
 Major river in Bashkiria (Belaya in Russian)