The first-ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace celebrated in Azerbaijan

05 April 2014

Participants getting fit

In observance of the first-ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, UNO Baku, in partnership with Generations for Peace Azerbaijan, Hilton Baku and Sport for DevelopmentPublic Union, organized a round-table discussion to highlight the role of sport as a universal tool for peace. The event took place on 5 April at Hilton Baku Hotel and brought together representatives from various community organizations, the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Child Youth Football Federation, the Community Development Centre, the Refugee Women and Youth Centre, Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) Azerbaijan, and other members of civil society to discuss the benefits of sport and a healthy lifestyle in the context of broader social development and peace.

The UNO Baku team was given the privilege of officially opening the event by reading aloud the Secretary-Generals message on the occasion of the Day. Sport helps us in spreading messages of peace, driving social change and meeting the Millennium Development Goalsechoed UNO Baku's Information Assistant, Zaka Guluyev, while reading out the Secretary-Generals message.

Hilton Baku is delighted to host todays celebration as a part of our corporate social responsibility; we are very enthusiastic about being a part of this new and exciting UN international day, said Hilton Baku representative, Ms. Elmira Valiullova, while welcoming those in attendance. 

During the roundtable discussion, Mr. Musayev, a representative from Sport for DevelopmentPublic Union presented a number of thought-provoking case studies of sports projects implemented in Azerbaijan, and shared insight into the lessons learned through these projects, stressing the importance of sport for youth which, allows [youth] to develop themselves as active and productive members of society. The round-table discussion continued with a heated debate over the subject of sport as a potential platform for the advancement of human rights, the elimination of international barriers and the promotion of global solidarity. The days festivities ended on Bakus seaside boulevard, with a fun-run”––a friendly race in which participants took part for their own enjoyment rather than for the sake of competition.

Due to its vast reach and unparalleled popularity, sport is ideally positioned to contribute towards the United Nationsobjectives for development and peace. To raise awareness of this potential, the Sixth of April was declared as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) by the UN General Assembly in 2013.

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UNO Baku draws attention to children living with autism

02 April 2014

Some participants at the event

To spread understanding of autism and to empower people living with the condition, UNO Baku, in collaboration with Autism-Children Development Center (PRIM), organized an informative and enter-taining program on 2 April to mark World Autism Awareness Day. The event brought together children with autism and their parents, NGO and civil society members, and autism specialists from across the country, in what was hailed as a significant public awareness boost for the cause, by re-ceiving considerable media attention.  

“My son was born with autism and I have worked tirelessly to provide him with the necessary pro-fessional attention which has helped him to improve his communication skills”, said Almar Mali-kova, while sharing her success story with other parents. “We want to support people with autism to help them reach their full potential”, said Lamiya Malikova, a specialist from PRIM-Autism center, while highlighting the necessity of strengthened-support for people living with autism. 

While reading out the UN Secretary-General’s message for the Day, the UNO team especially em-phasized the necessity of integrating children with autism into society and treating them as respect-ed equals. 

Putting a smile on the children’s faces, the UNO Baku team put on a number of entertaining per-formances with presents and lots of surprises. The main theme of the event was the importance of recognizing the necessity of equal treatment for people struggling with autism, and to inspire and support parents of children with autism. The UNO team also organized an art exhibition with pieces completed by children with autism. 

“Thank you so much for coming and organizing all of this for the kids and for us parents, too” said Gulnara Mammedova, a mother of 6 year old Orkhan, who participated in the event. “It was great to connect and bond with the children and with the parents of other children living with autism as well. The support is truly invaluable”. 

UNO Baku Campaigns against Racial Discrimination through a Video Lens

27 March 2014

In observance of ‘Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination’ (21-27 March) and to support elimination of racial discrimination and promotion of equality for all, UNO Baku held a survey to find out more about people’s attitudes towards racial discrimination. Local and international students from different universities in Baku were filmed expressing their opinions on racism and discussed possible ways of fighting it.

A video of the survey was produced - which ends with the UN Secretary General’s message for the occasion, saying, “I call on all people, especially political, civic and religious leaders, to strongly condemn messages and ideas based on racism, racial superiority or hatred as well as those that incite racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. On this Day, let us acknowledge that racial discrimination remains a dangerous threat and resolve to tackle it through dialogue inspired by the proven ability of individuals to respect, protect and defend our rich diversity as one human family”. 

The video can be seen here:

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UNO Baku visits SOS Children’s Village in Sumgayit

14 March 2014

Aiming at strengthening public awareness about the UN’s work in the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, UNO Baku held an informative session at the SOS Children’s Village in Sumgayit, to the north of Baku, on 14 March. This session was geared towards rural women who lack the economic stability to adequately support their households and sought to encourage them by screening a video about successful women in developing countries who managed to launch their businesses, at domestic level, to provide for their families.  

Taking into consideration that the process of women’s empowerment gains momentum through the strengthening of equality and human rights in a society, the UNO Baku team screened a video introducing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to familiarize the attendees of the 30 fundamental human rights. Following the screening, the audience was encouraged to discuss some of the hardships and difficulties faced by the women in their respective families. 

As part of the UN’s ongoing campaign to raise awareness and promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a short video was screened on the subject of the third MDG, “promoting gender equality and empowering women”. The video depicted success stories of rural women’s empowerment, and encouraged women to go beyond their comfort zone and reach for better opportunities. 

After the video, several women in attendance began to speak about their own ambitions and ideas for improving their lives. Nazakat Mammadova offered her thoughts on the video saying, “I’ve always wanted to become a midwife, but the opportunity has never presented itself to me. After watching this video, I see that I myself have to go after it, and not the other way around”. 

In his closing remarks, Mr. Samir Huseynov, Project Director at SOS Children’s Villages, said: “Our organization is present in Azerbaijan since 2000. We support children, youth and families that have financial difficulties and suffer from a lack of healthcare and social services, by offering and conducting family-oriented programs that enable families to provide healthy and sound environments for their children”. He continued, “I am very happy and grateful for the UNO Baku team in their efforts in bringing the UN’s active spirit to our community.”