Baku, 14 March 2019 – During her three-day visit to Azerbaijan, Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, the UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States met with the newly appointed first 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Youth Ambassadors in the country.
Graduates in a variety of fields such as medicine, economics, business administration journalism, international relations and environmental sciences, in October 2018, these young women and men have been selected from 222 applicants to serve as the first SDGs Youth Ambassadors in Azerbaijan for the next two years.
Ms. Spoljaric Egger highlighted the role of UNDP and the organization’s vision and strategy to contribute to the Sustainable Development Agenda and discussed the main plans ideas of the youth ambassadors for their 2-year term.
‘This is an exciting joint initiative with the Ministry of Youth and Sports that will support the engagement of young people in important policy debates,’ said Ms. Spoljaric Egger. ‘The talented new Youth Ambassadors will encourage wider participation in reaching SDGs, especially amongst youth. They will work on a voluntary basis to support the work of the state institutions involved with SDGs, assist in spreading information about actions taken at local, national, and international level, and contribute to the preparations of national reports. More generally, the Ambassadors will participate actively in a wide range of initiatives related to SDGs in the country. This is a major contribution to Azerbaijan’s Sustainable Development Agenda.
The Youth Ambassadors for SDGs is part of a wider joint project of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNDP, entitled ‘Creating new platforms to support active youth engagement in global policy debates’.
UNDP Azerbaijan’s close cooperation with and the Ministry of Youth and Sports started in 2012 and since then a number of youth camps, international Model UN Conferences and forums have been held to ensure that the voices of young people are heard and incorporated into policies.
Currently the major project activities are focused around further promoting the SDGs, expanding youth volunteering opportunities and strengthening the Model UN movement in Azerbaijan.
As the Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS, since October 2018, Mirjana Spoljaric Egger leads UNDP’s work and teams in 17 countries and one territory, spanning Central Asia, the Western CIS and South Caucasus, and Western Balkans.
Ms. Spoljaric Egger previously served as Head of United Nations and International Organisations Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, where she has been instrumental in shaping Swiss UN policies and priorities in support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
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