10 May marks the centennial anniversary of the Great Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, who led the country twice. His first period of office lasted from 1969 to 1982 when Azerbaijan was part of the USSR. While Soviet Azerbaijan wasn’t independent then, Heydar Aliyev’s policies served the development of our country.The soviet era was a very sensitive time as it was nearly impossible to run Azerbaijan freely. However, Heydar Aliyev did his utmost and managed to effectively govern Azerbaijan by contributing to advancing the nation’s interests. He achieved establishment of many factories, and plants, and construction of significant infrastructure facilities including the metro, and others.
Illustratively, he was able to influence the then-head of the USSR and obtain his consent to establish an air conditioner factory in Azerbaijan despite the fact that it had been initially planned to open that factory in Russia. Furthermore, he opened a new military college, which was the first one in Azerbaijan. As he pushed for opening of this school, many accused him of trying to form Azerbaijan’s own military potential. With his return to power in independent Azerbaijan in 1993, he embarked on seeking solutions to the problems and challenges of broad range that the nation faced. Thanks to his efforts, Azerbaijan signed and developed the oil contracts known as the Contract of Century with foreign oil companies. That laid solid foundations for economic development of independent Azerbaijan. Yet the new oil and gas pipelines in particular the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan were constructed to serve the economic independence of the nation. Simultaneously, he worked hard to build a positive international reputation of Azerbaijan and pursue an effective foreign policy with wide range of actors under difficult geopolitical circumstances. Describing Azerbaijan as the country of youth, and the youth as the future of Azerbaijan, the Great Leader spared no effort for advancement of the younger generations. The Ministry of Youth and Sports was established by the Decree of Great Leader Heydar Aliyev dated July 26, 1994, with the aim of coordinating the activities of various state bodies in the field of youth work. Many documents signed by the Great Leader regarding the youth created conditions for more active participation of the youth in the social and political life of the republic, defined the goals, principles, and directions of the youth policy, as well as the organizational and legal bases.