UNO Baku Encouraging Youth to Get Involved in their Country’s Development

12 August 2014

Youth at the event

 

In observance of International Youth Day, UNO Baku in partnership with the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation and Educational Center for Youth, held a Model UN Workshop on 12 August. The event was held in Samukh, approximately 300 kilometers away from the capital Baku. The workshop attracted more than 30 determined young participants from various regions of Azerbaijan. The main aim of the event was to develop a better understanding of the UN’s work among youth and raise the awareness of the organization’s cause. In addition, UNO Baku’s team members along with other highly qualified experts, trained the participants in public speaking, debating, and writing skills. Moreover critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership skills elements were reflected during the Model UN simulation workshop. 

The event started with the screening of a video about the UN’s work and followed with the presentation, which provided the participants with in-depth information about working procedures and the conduct of Model United Nations. Later, the training expert Mr. Sabuhi Khalili engaged participants in discussions of the role of youth in the development of the country, and inspiring them to act in the best interest of the nation states that they were assigned to. Participants seemed to be very excited about the topic, especially since each of the attendees was involved into the heated discussions and was given an opportunity to express his or her view through the diplomatic simulation.   

During the event, Ramin Jafarov, representing Azerbaijan Youth Foundations said: “Today’s event opened up the opportunities for Azerbaijan regional youth to gain certain knowledge and new skills about diplomacy and international relations.” 

“Today’s event has inspired me to learn more about diplomacy and moreover acquaint myself with International Relations. Such simulation workshops are one of the most effective ways to begin the process of involving regional youth in the development issues of the country,” said Aygun Akhmedova, a participant.  “I want to call upon all participants in this simulation and say thank you for your hard work and enthusiasm,” said Zaka Guluyev, UNO Baku’s team member during his closing remarks. 

Remembering Nelson Mandela

18 July 2014

Students at the event

Marking the first Nelson Mandela International Day since Mandela’s death in December last year, UNO Baku, in partnership with the Baku Education Information Centre (BEIC), held an interactive session for youth and adolescents about the one of the world’s greatest public figures - Nelson Mandela.  The event took place at the BEIC’s on 18 July, inspiring Azerbaijani youth to volunteer and perform community service in order to honour Mandela's legacy.

The event started with the screening of UN Secretary-General’s video message in which Ban Ki-moon said: “Nelson Mandela Day is a call to action. Each of us can celebrate this Day by helping to address real problems in our communities. Together we can give great meaning to our celebration by paving the way for a better future.” Later, the event was followed by presentation, giving information about how Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity as he fought for justice, democracy and equality.

“You can also take action and inspire change,” said UNO Baku’s team member Zaka Guluyev while informing participants about the essence of the 67 minutes campaign, which encourages people to help others. He gave examples of how one could make a difference through activities such as preparing meals for the elderly, helping out in orphanages, cleaning up parks and delivering computer literacy workshops, etc.

At the end of the event, participants had an interactive discussion about Nelson Mandela asking the UNO Baku team members interesting questions about his life and political movements.

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Azerbaijan celebrates World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

21 May 2014

Cultural performance

On 21 May, UNO Baku joined Azerbaijan University of Languages (AUL) in holding an event to mark the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The event took place at AUL’s Folklore Center of the Information Resource Complex and brought together students, university professors, diplomats and local journalists to highlight the importance of cultural diversity for peace and sustainable development. 

“The United Nations recognizes the role of culture as a driver and enabler of sustainable development,” the UN’s Resident Coordinator, Antonius Broek, told those in attendance. He also stated that cultural diversity is a valuable asset for attaining the development goals of the UN, which include fighting poverty, promoting gender equality, instituting “quality education and human rights, and we try to fully integrate it (cultural diversity) into global strategies for sustainable development.”

Officially initiating the Day’s activities, Professor Samad Seyidov, rector of AUL and the deputy of Azerbaijan National Assembly, discussed the role of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue as a cornerstone of international development and cooperation. He also expressed his gratitude to Mr. Broek for participating in the event, as well as for the efforts of good-will across Azerbaijan. 

The event continued with performances prepared by members of Children's Brass Band, Jazz Trio, Drama Club and other groups within IRC AUL, who, donning the national dress of different countries including Serbia, Ukraine and India, displayed different cultural icons and enacted national dances and songs. 

The event concluded with students singing Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie’s “We are the World”, a song which calls nations to act together in solidarity to help fight problems around the world. 

Honors Students from Azerbaijan State Economic University visit the UN House in Azerbaijan

14 May 2014

Students at the event

On 14 May, a group of 2nd year honors students from Azerbaijan State Economic University, specializing in political economy and finance, visited for the first time the UN House in Baku. Co-organized by UNO Baku and the UN Resident Coordinator’s (UNRC) Office in Azerbaijan, the information session was opened by UNRC, Mr. Antonius Broek. “I am glad to see so many young people who are driven by their interest in the UN’s work globally and in Azerbaijan. Today’s introduction may eventually stimulate your interest in the unique role played by the UN in development. We will gladly meet you again to provide you the opportunity to receive more detailed information from UN specialized agencies about specific UN development activities.” Mr. Broek said.

An introductory video on the goals and responsibilities of the United Nations was followed by a presentation, ‘The UN at a Glance,’ made by Ms. Irada Ahmedova from the UNRC’s Office, who provided insight into the guiding principles of the UN and its work in international peace and security, economic and social development, human rights and humanitarian action. The students were also informed about the priorities of the UN system in Azerbaijan and were motivated to further broaden their knowledge and understanding of the UN’s ongoing global efforts, especially in shaping a new development framework beyond 2015, the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The interactive presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session.

UNDP/UN Communications Officer, Mr. Ruslan Ismayil-zada, briefed the students about MY World survey, a UN–backed global survey, the idea of which is to provide a route for people’s voices to reach directly into the heart of international decision making in choosing new global priorities to replace the MDGs by the Sustainable Development Goals and chart a course for global progress after 2015. He pointed out that some governments are using My World data to inform their national priorities, and advocacy groups are using it as a source of influence. A growing number of academic analyses use the data to explore how priorities vary between countries, groups and individuals. The survey has yielded intuitive responses – people want decent jobs, better health and a good education.

While concluding the information session, the students participated in the My World poll through paper ballots and were given hash-tag signs for ranking top 6 development priority issues of the 16 proposed to guide the UN policymakers and country governments in the formulation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda over the next two years

The session was well received by the participants. As described by Nihad Abbasov, the honors students were appreciative of ‘a very useful, enlightening and motivating discussion’. ‘We have learned so many new and interesting facts about the UN and its efforts to make a difference and real improvement in peoples’ lives,’ he said.