Family values are deep-rooted in Azerbaijan, and have been passed down from generation to generation since time immemorial. Care of youngsters, and respect for the elderly are cherished traditions in our country.
On May 3rd, the second plenary session on the topic “The youth for peace: formation of counter force against violent extremism” took place in the framework of the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue.
Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva attended the session.
At the session, moderated by High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Miguel Angel Moratinos, Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva delivered a speech:
- Dear Friends.
Ladies and gentlemen.
First of all, I would like to express my delight in welcoming you all to the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue being held in beautiful Baku. This platform has always advocated living in a peaceful environment. It is very pleasing to see people from around the world seeking to make the world a better place. Rich diversities, cultural diversities, universal values and mutual understanding are what has brought us today together here.
I would like to emphasize the role of the youth in advocating peace and diversity. The youth have such nice skills as building numerous networks and walking beyond all possible borders. In most cases, the youth are seen as hopeless romantics in the struggle for peace and harmony. But I would say this was a wrong approach. I am confident openness of the youth to dialogue would lead to peace and prosperity.
Dear friends, education is not only mastering knowledge and professional development skills. Spiritual education is important as much. From this point of view, families and schools are two significant institutions. A family instilling in children such ideas as cooperation, understanding and respect for the whole world is playing an active role in educating children for a peaceful world. In the absence of this, the empty space would be filled by hatred and intolerance. At the same time, giving a true education to the youth is a very important factor in the realization of their potential, as the youth has such skills as quick learning, follow processes, and obtain numerous information. Moreover, they are greatly informed of environment issues, necessity of its protection, and the boons the nature has bestowed upon us.
Nevertheless, the youth should not be kept under extreme pressure. Sometimes, young people with best intellect are not truly happy. Therefore, supporting the youth, we have to create a better world so that they could enjoy living on a beautiful planet in a harmonic environment. Thanks to the development of high technology, we can express our ideas in a faster way. Our ideas are the strongest energy, even faster than the speed of light. The world needs to invest in this potential and be sure that there are all necessary possibilities for the young generation’s development. Today, the number of young generation is higher. Ideas and advancement may change the future of the planet. However, unfortunately, some 617 million young people are deprived of mathematical and literary knowledge, which means we are losing a very valuable potential. The youth are an embodiment of progress. Each new generation is more advanced, humanist, sensitive, tolerant and open-minded than the previous one. This is natural evolution of the history. Let us help the youth direct their energy to solving global problems, and support them jointly. Time is the best resource of our life. Let’s not waste it. Deeds should always follow words. Let’s not forget our intuition, a sacred gift given to a human being. Everyone may make a change in peoples’ formation of a peaceful and sustainable society. Thus, by changing themselves, they would change their view of the world in a positive way.
Dear friends, as told by Jesus Christ, let us learn from children. Children strive to say openly, and do good deeds. Material richness does not mean a success. Love, health, happiness, unity, mutual understanding and supporting each other disinterestedly are what is the most important in life. I wish all these to all of you. Thank you very much.
High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Miguel Angel Moratinos said a new approach would be implemented towards the issues brought up for discussion at this plenary session. Calling the session a good opportunity for changing negative thoughts, the UN representative underscored the importance of protecting the youth from such factors as extremism and hatred.
Issues brought up for discussion at the session covered such issues as the role of the youth in the society, education, building a peace, and dialogue between religions.
Questions of the session participants were answered at the end.