After Azerbaijan gained independence, one of the main tasks facing the state was the organization of Azerbaijanis living in foreign countries and involving them in protecting the common interests of our country. In 1993, with the return to power of national leader Heydar Aliyev, fundamental changes took place in diaspora building. National leader Heydar Aliyev met with representatives of the Azerbaijani diaspora in all his foreign trips, took interest in their problems and concerns, called on our compatriots to actively participate in the process of realizing the national interests of our new independent republic.
Over time, the diaspora building has become one of the priorities of the state policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The purpose of this policy, laid down by the national leader Heydar Aliyev, is to develop relations between the Azerbaijanis of the world and their historical Motherland, preserve the national identity of our compatriots, use the potential of the diaspora towards a more reliable protection of our national interests, to expand inter-diaspora ties, to protect our cultural and political rights.
On May 23, 2001, national leader Heydar Aliyev signed a Decree on holding the 1st Congress of World Azerbaijanis taking into account the need to further strengthen the ties of our compatriots living in different countries of the world with the independent Republic of Azerbaijan, ensure unity and solidarity between them, as well as strengthen and coordinate the activities of Azerbaijani communities, societies and associations
The 1st Congress of World Azerbaijanis, held in Baku from 9 to10 November 2001, entered in the country's history as the beginning of an important process. 406 participants and 63 guests from 36 foreign countries attended the 1st Congress. 702 delegates from 25 political parties and 844 guests from more than 130 state and public bodies, as well as from scientific, educational, cultural and other organizations represented Azerbaijan at the Congress.
The 1st Congress of World Azerbaijanis was a big step towards uniting our compatriots abroad around a common goal and a common idea, and at the same time one of the most important future-oriented events. The congress laid the foundations for the unity and solidarity of our compatriots around the idea of Azerbaijanism, which is our national ideology. At the congress, the idea of establishing a special state institution was put forward in order to organize systematic work with our compatriots abroad, to ensure the strengthening of national unity among our compatriots. This idea, which belonged to national leader Heydar Aliyev, served to accelerate the formation of the Azerbaijani diaspora.
On July 5, 2002, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev signed the Decree On the establishment of the State Committee on Affairs of Azerbaijanis Living Abroad. The decree was an important historical document of exceptional importance from the point of view of the organized coordination of the activities of the Azerbaijani diaspora, ensuring the political and ideological unity of the Azerbaijanis of the world. The establishment of the State Committee on Affairs of Azerbaijanis Living Abroad allowed us to take significant steps towards eliminating problems in this area and centralize the activities of the Azerbaijani diaspora in the direction of realizing our national interests.
One of the most important events of the past period was the establishment of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora on the basis of the State Committee on Affairs of Azerbaijanis Living Abroad, by Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev, No. 54 dated November 19, 2008. In our modern era, the concept of diaspora has become an important element of international relations. The realities of our globalized world pose new challenges for Azerbaijan in the field of diaspora building. The rapid integration processes between peoples, the growing role of the diaspora and lobbying organizations in international politics have necessitated the development of this direction. This need led to the establishment of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora.
The establishment of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora expanded the possibilities for creating direct cooperation with diaspora institutions of other peoples and state agencies directly responsible for this field. In this sense, the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the establishment of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora should be considered as another clear manifestation of the importance that the Republic of Azerbaijan attaches to the work of diaspora building.