The 71st International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2020) on the theme The CyberSpace Edition has been held in a virtual format, APA reports.
The opening ceremony of the congress featured a video message of President Ilham Aliyev.
President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Pascale Ehrenfreund: Looking into the future, let's connect to Azerbaijan, Baku, which will host the International Astronautical Congress in 2023. I am honored to give the floor to His Excellency, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev:
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
I sincerely greet you from Baku – the capital of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan will be hosting the International Astronautical Congress in 2023.
First of all, I would like to express gratitude to the members of International Astronautical Federation, its Bureau and its Committees for support of our candidacy.
Azerbaijan hosted once International Astronautical Congress in 1973. So it will be symbolic that after 50 years, in 2023, we will host the second Congress in our capital. But at that time Azerbaijan was not independent. Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union, was one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union. And the selection in 1973 of Azerbaijan as a host city for the Congress demonstrated the high intellectual and technical potential of our people and Azerbaijan.
In three years-time, we will see you in Baku. It will be very symbolic that after 50 years the Congress will come back to our city. But now to the capital of independent Azerbaijan.
During the times of independence Azerbaijan achieved tremendous progress. Our country is one of the countries which is active in international arena. Today Azerbaijan is chairing the second after United Nations international body – the Non-Aligned Movement. Our economic performance is reflected in statistics. During the last 17 years our GDP tripled, level of poverty dropped from almost 50 percent to 5 percent, our foreign debt is something around 20 percent of our GDP, and our reserves six times exceed the foreign debt.
Now our natural resources serve the cause of development and transformation of natural resources into human capital is one of our main priorities.
Azerbaijan today is a member of the space club and with 3 satellites Azerbaijan is planning to continue its activity in this direction. And I’m sure that the Congress to be held in our capital in 2023 will give additional impetus to the development of space industry in our country.
I wish you all the best and see you in Baku in 2023. Thank you.
Pascale Ehrenfreund: Mr. President, thank you very much for this inspiring speech. We are looking forward to coming to Baku in 2023.
Since its first edition in 1950, the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) has been the place for all space people to come together and discuss about the latest developments in space. In these challenging times, when physical meetings are near-impossible, the Federation, more than ever, is determined to play its unifying role for the space community. And this is why it has decided to organize the 71st International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2020, as a Cyberspace Edition and to offer it without registration fee, free of charge. New communities and stakeholders that would normally not have the means to physically travel to an IAC will be offered the unique opportunity to be part of this world’s premier space gathering.