The XIV Forum of Artistic and Scientific Intelligentsia of the CIS countries kicked off in Ashgabat as part of Turkmenistan's chairmanship in the CIS. The forum brought together about 200 delegates from the CIS countries, including prominent public figures, renowned artists, scientists, heads of cultural institutions, scientific and educational centers and the mass media representatives. Among them are people who are well-known in the CIS countries, such as Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy; Chairman of the Board of the CIS Interstate Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation Polad Bulbul-Ogly; Cultural Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Tolstoy, who is a great-great-grandson of Lev Tolstoy; Russian writer Sergey Shargunov; Executive Director of the CIS Interstate Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation Anatoly Iksanov and many others.
The forum is held under the theme Common humanitarian space of the CIS: dialogue in the sphere of culture, science, education. The forum aims to discuss plans for cooperation in the humanitarian sphere and identify priority areas for partnership in the CIS space.
The welcoming messages to the forum participants from President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of Russia Vladimir Putin were red out at the beginning of the forum.
In his message, the Turkmen leader emphasized that the current international forum has an important role to play in enhancing friendly relations and sharing experiences, further developing the traditionally positive cooperation and learning of the successes achieved in the humanitarian sphere.
In his greetings, the President of Russia noted that the forum of representatives of artistic and scientific intelligentsia of the CIS countries is held in hospitable Ashgabat in the year of Turkmenistan's chairmanship in the CIS. Humanitarian cooperation is traditionally one of the most important areas of partnership in the CIS. It is no coincidence that the annual forums that provide a platform for a face-to-face dialogue between representatives of the scientific and expert circles, youth and student organizations, workers of education, culture and art, play such a prominent role in the public life of our countries, the Russian leader's message reads.
Speaking at the plenary session, the forum participants noted that friendly and trusting relations between the CIS countries are the treasure of not only the CIS countries but the whole of Eurasia. In particular, they stressed that development of humanitarian partnership in the CIS is an important factor of stability and security in the continent, influencing the global agenda.
According to the Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, CIS Executive Secretary Sergey Lebedev, the forum steadily strengthens its role and authority year after year, being a key event in the humanitarian life of the CIS, while face-to-face contacts between the workers of science, art and education contributes to the development of the cultural dialogue.
In his turn, Special Representative of the Russian President for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy expressed his gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for his caring attitude to the Forum of Artistic and Scientific Intelligentsia of the CIS countries and for the great organization of work ensured by the Government of Turkmenistan.
Speaking about the upcoming panel discussion on the topic Turkmenistan - the Heart of the Great Silk Road, Mikhail Shvydkoy noted that nations that were once linked by this path geographically have a common future now.
Then, there was held a ceremony to award winners of the interstate prize Stars of the CIS for their achievements in science and education, culture and art. The 2018 prize winners included People's Artist of Azerbaijan, artistic director and chief conductor of U.Hajibeyli State Symphony Orchestra of Azerbaijan Rauf Abdullayev; People's Artist of Armenia Robert Elibekyan; Belarusian scientists Peter Vityaz, Alexander Ilyuschenko and Mikhail Andreyev; Kazakhstan's poet Yesengali Raushanov; Kyrgyzstan's writer Mar Baidzhiev; Rector of the Moldavian State Medical and Pharmaceutical University Ion Ababiy; Associate Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, President of the Russian National Research Center Kurchatov Institute Mikhail Kovalchuk; Chief Research Officer of the Agency for Nuclear and Radiation Safety of the Tajik Academy of Sciences Ulmas Mirsaidov; as well as a representative of Turkmenistan, People's Artist, professor at the Turkmen National Conservatoire Atageldy Garyagdyev.
Then, the plenary session continued with the statements by the heads of delegations of the CIS countries, followed by the briefing for press by members of the Forum Presidium and winners of the 2018 interstate prize Stars of the CIS.
In the afternoon, the International University for the Humanities and Development hosted a panel discussion on the topic Turkmenistan - the Heart of the Great Silk Road as part of the XIV Forum of Artistic and Scientific Intelligentsia of the CIS. The forum participants discussed the significance of the Great Silk Road phenomenon as a factor of connecting the peoples and cultures of the Eurasian continent, as well as Turkmenistan's contribution to this process.
As part of this panel, there was held a presentation of the city of Shymkent (Republic of Kazakhstan) as the cultural capital of the CIS in 2020. In the evening, the forum participants watched the play Melody of Dutar staged by the Main Drama Theater of Turkmenistan on the book Music of the World, Music of Friendship and Brotherhood by President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov.
On the second day, the forum participants continue working in the thematic sections.