Below please find the Manifesto of Change in Azerbaijan, brought forward by OL!'s good friend Emin Milli.
Manifesto for CHANGE in AZERBAIJAN
It is our "higher" responsibility to make a difference and to bring change to Azerbaijan. Change has still not come to Azerbaijan. But the more you stop the change, the stronger is the will of change to come to you and to get you. Change is marching towards Azerbaijan from inside and from outside, from the left and from the right, from the heaven and from the hell. And it is important for our generation to shape now strong vision, which would clearly define what kind of change we need in the value structure of our society and state not to end up in the hell, but to make our way to the heaven.
It will bring us nothing if we talk about turning black gold into human gold while we are ignoring and wasting human gold we already have. Rustam Ibrahimbeyov, the only Azerbaijani who got the "Oscar" award for his script, alarmed our society and the leadership of the country that the current "script" which is written for our country fails today to produce and to promote human gold. "The script" fails to stop and to change the mentality of corruption, authoritarian thinking and attitudes in our families, in our organizations, in our society and in our state. It is turning our potential human gold into black stones without hope, dream and belief. There were also some people who dared to throw their "stones" at the man who has written one of the best scripts in the history of the world cinema.
I believe that it is time to make fundamental changes and to re-write "the script" of our future. We need new "script" for our FUTURE deeply rooted in our ADR heritage and its spirit. The leaders of ADR, the leaders of the first recognized democratic republic in the Moslem world, started our long way to freedom from the belief in the power of ideas, in the power of dreams and in the power of education.
Our education system must become the factory of change producing human gold of high quality meeting the highest standards of XXI century. I want to see your children and my children learning together in OUR schools and universities why is it important to respect our ADR heritage, why is it important to listen to radio "Liberty" and not to close it down, why is it important to have free and fair elections, why is it important to have a system where you can not have a president serving more than two terms, why is it important to eliminate monopolism and corruption from our economy, education and politics.
I want my children and your children to believe that it is possible to create society and state where laws are really applied and not used merely as papers in the household. I want my children and your children to believe that they can create networks, movements, organizations to unite and to stand up together against any evil and any wrongs. I want you to believe that human capital of tomorrow can not be created just by decrees, but first of all by the fundamental belief of our generation that YES WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, YES WE CAN MAKE ANY CHANGE we believe our children truly deserve.
November 13, 2008. London
P.S. This Manifesto for CHANGE in AZERBAIJAN was shared with the public at the "MAKE A DIFFERENCE" Forum of the new generation of Azerbaijanis in the House of Lords.