UNDP RR's Speech at the 1st National Congress of Youth Organizations

Sep 14, 2013

Dear Youth of Azerbaijan!
Dear Mr. Minister Rahimov!
Your Excellencies, Representatives of the Corps Diplomatique!
Colleagues of the UN!
Friends of the media!
Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am pleased to address you today at the First National Congress of the Youth Organizations of Azerbaijan. As UN, we applaud the initiative of the Government of Azerbaijan to respond to the call of the youth and actively engage young people of the country and youth organizations in socio-economic, cultural and political development of Azerbaijan. Young people are the future and becoming a major driving force behind development and their active participation in all aspects of the country’s growth is evident. Of course this comes naturally as it is their right and almost one third of the population in Azerbaijan is constituted by young people aged between 15-29. Today youth are main advocates behind change, protection of environment and rights of all citizens and transformation in the society. Their representation in civil service, industry, private sector and other spheres is increasing at a tremendous pace.

Adults and parents and thus also the Government of Azerbaijan understand and react to the needs of young people. Two state programs on youth have already been adopted and the amount of resources allocated to the youth policy has increased by 100 times over the past ten years. The Government of Azerbaijan today on average allocates 30 million USD per year in support of youth development in the country and has created innovative mechanisms to motivate youth participation.

As UNDP, we see the support to youth and their increasing participation in policy setting and decision taken as an important and necessary investment in the future of the country and its sustainable development.

We have been partnering with the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the past two years. Last year in December in partnership with NAYORA we organized a simulation of Youth Government, where young people got to discuss the country’s Vision 2020 representing different state institutions. We now look forward to taking an even bolder, global initiative.

Dear Youth,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Many of you present in this room may already know, but let me use this opportunity and announce that next month in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sport we will organize a Model UN Security Council with the participation of youth from current permanent and non-permanent member states of the Security Council. The topic of the conference is cyber security. This will coincide with Azerbaijan’s second and last year non-permanent membership in the Security Council and will be attended by high level guests from UN HQs, including UN SG’s Envoy on Youth Affairs Mr. Ahmad Alhendawy, former diplomats and cyber security experts. I invite the representatives of youth organizations present in the room today to take active part in the event.

We will also be arranging meetings of young people from Azerbaijan with the UN Youth Envoy so that he can meet with you and get acquainted with the great potential, ideas, proposals and concerns of the young people of this beautiful country and discuss future activities and this within the spirit of the Post 2015 development framework and new set of SDGs.

Finally, I would like to thank the Ministry for the excellent partnership which we hope will continue to grow in the future. I wish everyone present a very fruitful conference today. And I wish all young people of Azerbaijan a bright and peaceful future ahead.

Thank you for your attention!

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