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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Azerbaijani Youth Discuss Actions Against Tobacco Use

30 May 2014

At the event

 

Raising awareness about the dangers of tobacco use, the UNO Baku team visited ADA University on 30 May to hold an information session with ADA’s No Smoking Club and representatives of Common Sense Youth Organization (CSYO) on the effects of tobacco use and the various methods of fighting tobacco consumption. The event was attended by students from various universities and challenged currently smoking participants to give up the habit.

The UNO Baku team opened the meeting with a presentation prepared by the WHO office in Azerbaijan on the negative effects of tobacco use on personal and societal health. The presentation also included facts and figures concerning the most dangerous diseases linked to tobacco use, such as cancer, heart disease, depression and diabetes. During the course of the presentation, Malahat Ibrahimova, a member of the UNO Baku team, discussed the WHO framework: a set of guidelines for governments and other agencies interested in limiting tobacco use and avoiding its negative side effects, saying “raising taxes on tobacco sales - which is this year’s theme for No Tobacco Day - and prohibiting tobacco consumption in public places are probably the most effective regulations, as they take immediate effect on public life”.

Later, the ADA University No Tobacco Club shared their own experiences with fighting tobacco use on campus. One of their activities included offering smokers Raffaello chocolates in exchange for extinguishing and discarding their cigarettes. Group leader, Turana Gasimova, stated that, “Though we later saw some of the same students smoking on campus, we felt confident that we had made our message clear. We could tell from the guilt on these students’ faces that they understood the harm they were doing to themselves and to others around them.”

“Smoking was exciting in the beginning, but when I smoked at least one pack a day, it began to take serious effects on my health”, said a student of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Academy, who described his own experience with quitting smoking and how he managed to succeed. When asked about the largest obstacle he encountered while quitting, he claimed that, “my friends that smoke and the other smokers around me were the biggest part of the problem. In the beginning, I had to distance myself from them and learn to control myself before I was able to be around them again.”He later stated that the initial phase of quitting smoking is, in itself, not very difficult, rather - it is the ability to resist temptation throughout the later stages that is a more trying. 

At the end of the session, students and representatives of CSYO thanked the UNDPI team for visiting and organizing the event. Ramiz Aliyev, chairman of CSYO, said, “It is precisely events such as these, and organizations such as the United Nations, that allows us to carry our mission forward. I’d also like to extend my gratitude to ADA University for hosting this event, as we look forward to further cooperation in the future.”

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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.