A total of 130 youth from over 80 countries around the world gathered in Baku, Azerbaijan to work together on the Global Youth Movement for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. This initiative aims to highlight and recognize the strong track-record of young people in advancing peace and understanding in times where tensions and conflicts often threaten intercultural co-existence. In addition, it seeks to strengthen and support the mainstreaming of their voices and participation in UNAOC initiatives and messages. For more information, see the Youth Website of the UNAOC at www.unaocyouth.org
The energy and dedication of young people toward this global initiative were on show during the First Convention of the Global Youth Movement for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations last week. Lively discussions about various aspects of the movement led to the development and adoption of a charter for the initiative as well as the identification of priorities for this year’s action plan.
In a video message during the Opening Ceremony, President Sampaio, High Representative for the UNAOC, underlined the unique role youth around the world play in advocating for the values of diversity, solidarity and civic participation. This is possible thanks to “young people’s extraordinary power to interconnect, explore common interests, spark collaborations and lock the benefits of cultural and religious diversity”, according to President Sampaio. The Council of Europe, which was present at the event, also offered its support to the Global Youth Movement for the Alliance of Civilizations.
In the next months, the UNAOC will work with leaders of the Global Youth Movement for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations to implement the decisions made in Baku. This includes welcoming applications from youth organizations aiming to become official members, developing promotional material, enhancing communications, coordinating the implementation of activities, and putting in place evaluation processes.
Outside of the working sessions, networking was on everyone’s minds and several potential bilateral partnerships were developed. In addition, the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan, which hosted the event, prepared an impressive cultural program for attendees, which allowed participants to discover various aspects of the local culture and the warmth of its people.
The young people present also attended the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, co-organized by the Government of Azerbaijan in collaboration with the UNAOC and other multilateral organizations. During this event, Sara Reef from Intersections International and Muhammad Shahzad from Chanan Development Association in Pakistan offered presentations about their projects funded by the UNAOC Youth Solidarity Fund.
For more information about the Global Youth Movement for the Alliance of Civilizations, please contact Isabelle Legare, UNAOC Youth Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photo: Marta Milkowska/UNAOC)