Young population of the planet is currently estimated at 1.8 billion people, making it the largest generation of youth the world has ever known. Growing number and size of the youth brings the necessity of creating new paradigms at local, regional and international levels on working with and for the young people. Youth is a key element playing in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Young people need to have the space and recognition to participate in translation of the agenda into local, national and regional policy, in implementation, in monitoring and review, in holding governments accountable.
Despite its relatively short history of independence, Azerbaijan is one of the most advanced country when it comes to the investments into the youth sector. Currently, approximately 27% of the total population (~3 million people) falls into the category of youth (aged 14-29), making the youth one of the top priorities in the political agenda. The country quickly established a legislative basis in this direction by adopting the Law on Youth Policy (2002), which was further supplemented with 3 State Programs on Youth enhancing youth engagement in socio-economic, political and cultural life of the country. Incrementally, the “Strategy on Development of Azerbaijani Youth in 2015-2025” was adopted in 2015. Young people take an active part as volunteers in different national and international scale events organized in Azerbaijan. In 2009 Azerbaijan was the first among CIS countries to adopt the Law on volunteerism.
In cooperation with the Government of Azerbaijan, the project encourages the formation and development of new directions and opportunities that will strengthen youth participation. In line with the goals the Government of Azerbaijan fixed in "Development Strategy of Azerbaijani Youth in 2015-2025" and "State Program on Azerbaijani Youth 2017-2021", the project intends to help youth of Azerbaijan to develop their professional and personal skills, get international experience and get the opportunity to take more active part in social, economic and political life of local and global community.
The overall objective of the action is to support the personal and professional development of youth, present their skills and experience to international arena and to enhance the sustainable development ideas. The specific objectives of this action are :
- To expand and strengthen Model UN movement in Azerbaijan.
- To support the selection of SDG Youth Ambassadors and youth participation in development of Voluntary National Reports.
- To contribute to expansion of volunteer activities in Azerbaijan and its adaptation to international experience.
Support to the expansion and strengthening of Model UN movement in Azerbaijan
- Annual National Model UN Conferences.
- Annual Model UN Summer Schools.
- Organisation of Model UN Conferences in 3 different regions of Azerbaijan.
- Support the participation of Azerbaijani youth in esteemed international Model UN Conferences.
- Periodic organisation of presentations and trainings on Model UN and rules and procedures of international organizations that form part of UN.
Selection of SDG Youth Ambassadors and support to youth participation in development of Voluntary National Reports
- Selection of the requirements for selection and procedures of nomination, evaluation and selection are confirmed and SDG Youth Ambassadors.
- Trainings and presentations on SDGs, role of youth in achieving them and youth participation in development of VNRs are periodically held Database of volunteers in Azerbaijan is formed.
Estimated Result 3. Expansion of volunteer activities in Azerbaijan and its adaptation to international experience
- Database of volunteers in Azerbaijan is formed.
- Amount of Azerbaijani citizens in UN Volunteers’ database increased.
- The principles of online volunteering are promoted and presentations on UN Volunteerism are held.
- The selection of first SDG Youth Ambassadors in Azerbaijan took place:
o Terms of Reference and application form were developed and disseminated among youth of Azerbaijan via various channels. As a result, 17 young people were selected as Youth Ambassadors for Sustainable Development Goals.
o They were introduced to public on 25 October 2018, in the framework of Opening Ceremony of Baku Forum on Sustainable Development.
- SDG Summer School was organized on 4-6 September at Binagadi Youth House, where 50 participants had a chance to learn more about SDGs, be a part of HLPF simulation, as well as receive information on UNVs and work of National Coordination Council on Sustainable Development;
- Project staff has actively participated in International Youth Volunteerism Forum organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sport on 30-31 October 2018;
- Project has been represented at National Exhibition of Youth Organizations on 13 November;
- On 13 December, with the support of the project, the Memorandum of Understanding in regards to establishment of Sustainable Development Research and Training center for Youth was signed between the Ministry of Youth and Sport and Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
- Trainings and presentations about Model UN were held in various universities and educational institutions of Azerbaijan;
- Various conferences were organized by university MUN Clubs.
- 3rd MilliMUN – National Model UN Conference was organized with the participation of more than 250 young people;
- Meetings of SDG Youth Ambassadors with relevant governmental institutions were organized;
- Series of presentations and trainings on Sustainable Development were held by Youth Ambassadors in regions such as Shabran, Xachmaz, Ağsu, Shamaxı, Qabala, Oghuz, Agdash, Barda, Calilabad and Neftchala;
- SDG Youth Ambassadors also took part as trainers or presenters in the events organized by institutions such as ASAN Service, ASAN Volunteers, Youth Foundation, etc.;
- Tree-planting action at Baku Engineering University was held as an initiative of Youth Ambassadors;
- Various conferences were organized by university MUN Clubs.