New York/ Baku, April 24, 2016. The Youth Event at the 7th UNAOC Global Forum will kick off tomorrow, April 25th, in Baku, Azerbaijan. During the Event, 150 young leaders, aged 18-35, from all around the world will convene and work together on their visions and solutions for the world to live together in inclusive societies.
“UNAOC strongly believes in the strength of young people and their ability to transform our world for the better”, says the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations. “The Youth Event is just one of many youth-focused UNAOC activities and programming which are all built on the principle that young people are the primary agents of change; not just in the future but in our present as well.”
The participants were selected from over 6,000 applications received from young people working in more than 160 countries. All of the 150 international young leaders are committed and engaged in fostering peaceful and inclusive societies through their work in youth-led organizations.
“We trick ourselves into believing a solution is too far out of our reach”, says Iesha Moustafa selected participant from Ireland, who works for Sport against Racism, an NGO that drives positive integration and social inclusion through sport. “If we have the right intentions and are serious and genuine in our attempts to communicate with people, the possibilities are endless and the outcomes are beyond rewarding.”
During a 2-month long online engagement phase prior to the Event, the participants had already closely worked on the Youth Event’s primary outcome, the creation of joint “Narratives of Tomorrow” which will reflect the youth’s vision and solutions to challenges and opportunities related to social inclusion.
After a series of group work and opportunities to network and discuss during the daylong Youth Event, the young leaders will present their Narratives of Tomorrow to high-level representatives of the United Nations and the Government of Azerbaijan.
The Youth Event is conceived as a preparatory event of the 7th UNAOC Global Forum and as such supports the selected young leaders to meaningfully participate in the Forum and to bring youth voices to the Forum discussions. During the Event participants will be able to engage with UNAOC on the relevance of its activities for young people, and to support youth participants’ access to and knowledge of the global youth movement for peace and its network.
“I think that this Forum is a wonderful platform to see how we are all connected, and how we can together act for a better world”, says Najeeb Ahmad Fokeerbux, youth participant from Mauritius, who works for the Young Queer Alliance in his home country.
The Opening and the Closing Ceremonies of the Youth Event will be broadcasted live on the Forum’s website baku.unaoc.org and at webtv.un.org
Follow the Youth Event on Twitter: #UNAOCYouth #ChangetheStory
Follow the 7th UNAOC Global Forum on Twitter: #UNAOCBaku2016
Watch the 7th Global Forum on webtv.un.org.