Photo: UNDP Azerbaijan/ Dilara Umudova

Shamakhi, 27 September 2019 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Youth and Sport convened the 3rd Model United Nations Summer School today in Shamakhi, the 2019 youth capital of Azerbaijan.

Model UN is an internationally renowned educational simulation programme that offers young men and women a unique opportunity to expand their worldview and learn more about the United Nations, its values, standard procedures and rules through a competitive game play. This year in Shamakhi, around 100 eager participants are gathered together to improve their public speaking, networking, communications and decision-making skills while also deepening their understanding into the current state of international affair.

The official opening of the 3rd Model UN Summer School in Shamakhi this year was attended by UNDP Resident Representative for Azerbaijan Mr. Alessandro Fracassetti, Head of the Shamakhi District Executive Authority Mr. Tahir Mammadov and Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Intigam Babayev. 

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Fracassetti said: “We at UNDP put youth engagement at the forefront of our development work. When the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its accompanying 17 Sustainable Development Goals -or simply SDGs were brought to the table in 2015, right from day one, our vision was to work with youth in this journey. Young people, in fact, played a key role in shaping this new global Agenda 2030.” Mr. Fracassetti then added that “young people are our great allies in achieving the SDGs and our greatest hope in tackling our shared global challenges.”  

Over the course of the next four days, participants will be assigned different roles within the mock UN General Assembly Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN) measuring the impact of trade on global economy, the UN World Tourism Organization tackling tourism in non-recognised and disputed territories, and finally a futuristic UN committee to bring peace and security in a turbulent world on the verge of the World War III.

Following the official part of the opening ceremony, young participants of the 3rd Modern UN Summer School had an opportunity to discuss issues of interest in an informal questions-and-answers session with the UNDP Resident Representative Alessandro Fracassetti.

In Azerbaijan, young people between the age of 14-29 make up close to one third of the population. Half of them live in rural areas. Since the inception of the first ever Model UN (MUN) Conference in Azerbaijan back in 2013, these platforms served to advance youth participation, dialogue and volunteerism in the country. Over years, the UNDP and the Government of Azerbaijan have organized two national Model UN Conferences, a MUN Conference in Nakhchivan, two Model UN Summer Schools in Ismayilli and Dashkesan, and supported an impressive array of university-level MUN conferences organized by young enthusiasts at various MUN Clubs that operate at universities. UNDP’s joint projects with the Ministry of Youth and Sport provided critical support to many aspiring young diplomats in Azerbaijan to participate in various international Model UN Conferences, including platforms like RomeMUN, ViennaMUN, ParisMUN and EurasiaMUN.

This year’s summer school in Shamakhi was organized as part of the UNDP’s project on creating new platforms to support active youth engagement in global policy debates funded by the Ministry of Youth and Sport since 2018. Since last year, this project also supported the launch of the first in Azerbaijan cohort of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Youth Ambassadors, each representing one global goal. The SDGs Youth Ambassadors will support the work of the state institutions involved with the SDGs, assist in spreading information about actions taken at the local, national, and international levels and will contribute to the preparations of national reports on SDG implementation. 

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Contact information:

For media inquiries, please contact Arzu Jafarli, Communications and External Relations Analyst for UNDP in Azerbaijan at arzu.jafarli@undp.org

Highlighs from the opening day of the 3rd Model UN Summer School in Shamakhi

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Photos: UNDP Azerbaijan/Dilara Umudova
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