Azerbaijan will host 2014 Global Forum on Youth Policies
On 26 March, 2014 The United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi and the Minister of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Azad Rahimov, announced that the , an international gathering of over 700 Government-level Ministers, experts and youth organizations, is to be held in Baku from 28 to 30 October, 2014.
“With more than 150 Member States either implementing or reviewing their national youth policies, the Forum represents a timely initiative to advance youth development in the post-2015 development agenda. It also shows a renewed commitment to the 1995 UN World Programme of Action for Youth, which will help ensure that more countries strengthen their commitments to the development of national youth policies,” said Ahmad Alhendawi, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.
Mr. Rahimov also met with the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson, and handed over the official invitation of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the first-ever Global Forum on Youth Policies. In regards to the successful execution of the Forum, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Intigam Babayev, added that all necessary preconditions for the event were being met. The United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, and the representatives of the UN Department of Public Information and the Council of Europe, Maher Nasser and Rui Gomes, also expressed their optimism about Azerbaijan’s ongoing investments in youth and commended the government of Azerbaijan for hosting the Forum.
During Mr. Rahimov’s visit, a Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between the Ministry of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations, during a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York. At the ceremony the Ministry was represented by Mr. Azad Rahimov and the United Nations was represented by Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division and Officer in Charge of the Department of Public Information, and Ahmad Alhendawi. The Memorandum of Understanding aims to strengthen the cooperation between the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and the Ministry of Youth and Sport. According to this Memorandum, the Ministry of Youth and Sport will be providing support to the operations of the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Yout. Azerbaijan will allocate about USD 1.5m for activities of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmed Alhendawi.
While meeting with the Under-Secretary-General for Public Information, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, the minister highlighted his country’s successful youth policy. Mr. Azad Rahimov noted that Azerbaijan could serve as an exemplary model for other countries. The cooperation between Azerbaijan and the various UN agencies, including the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, was acclaimed by various UN representatives during the course of the meeting.
After the conference the minister met with the Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Ms. Cihan Sultanoğlu. In the meeting, the Director noted that she had paid a number of visits to Azerbaijan and observed a huge increase in development throughout the country. Consequently, she welcomed the Azerbaijan hosting the first-ever Global Forum on Youth Policies in Baku and noted that she would certainly take part in the Forum.
To compliment his official business at the UN, Mr. Azad Rahimov also made time for a special appearance at Columbia University where he made a speech on “Marginalization and Inequalities Facing Youth”, organized by the University and the Office of UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. The minister expressed his support in organizing such events and informed the audience about Azerbaijan’s youth policy model, its priorities and its achievements.
Mr. Azad Rahimov completed his visit, speaking on a panel that focused on the role of the UN in meeting the challenges of empowering youth at UN Headquater. The Minister noted the importance of the principle of ''working with and for young people'', declared by the UN Secretary General, and stressed that there were a number of achievements realized by Azerbaijan in this sphere. The initiative of hosting the Global Forum on Youth Policies in Baku has also been welcomed by the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, Babatunde Osotimehin. In speaking about the Forum he said, “I am happy to see that Azerbaijan’s youth are being invested in. It implies that you believe in not only your own future, but the future generations to follow”.
Ruslan Ismayil-zada, Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org