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.