As the rector of the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, I want to echo the words of Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov about our new biweekly, “Azerbaijan in the World” and take this opportunity to tell you something about our institution, its activities, and its goals.
Created by President Ilham Aliyev in March 2006, the ADA has already made enormous strides toward becoming a place for training the next generation of Azerbaijani and other foreign affairs practitioners, an international center for scholars to conduct research and share their knowledge with ADA’s students and each other, and a model for the transformation of higher education in Azerbaijan.
Our Academy consists of three components: an academic division offering certificates and a master of arts in diplomacy and international affairs, a training center for Azerbaijanis and others already working in foreign affairs, and a research council that will help us select staff from around the world and guide our research and publications effort.
Because our government has decided to nearly double the number of its missions abroad over the next several years, we are currently focusing on training young people to help staff and support our embassies and their important work. But as the launch of this publication shows, we have not forgotten our other goals.
ADA already has cooperation agreements with leading institutions in Europe and the United States. We have formed the nucleus of a faculty whose members have international reputations. We will soon announce our first research and training grants. We have begun our program of special training courses. And we will launch our full-scale MA program in the 2009/2010 academic year. And most visibly of all, we will soon break ground for the construction of what will become our permanent campus in a beautiful park near the center of Baku.
In recognition of its growing role internationally, we at ADA use English in all our courses and publications, a practice that we are confident will not only help prepare our students for their future work but also allow us to attract students and faculty from around the world and to involve an ever widening circle of scholars and practitioners in our activities.
I very much hope you will find “Azerbaijan and the World” useful, but even more I hope that you will join our dialogue about the future by sending us your comments about its content and your essays for inclusion in future issues.