“SHAPE CIS, Central Asia and Caucasus: Vision 2020” forum opens in Baku

“SHAPE CIS, Central Asia and Caucasus: Vision 2020” forum of the Global Shapers Community, one of several multi-stakeholder communities at the World Economic Forum, has today officially opened in Azerbaijan`s capital.

Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva attended the event. Prior to the start of the forum at the JW Marriott Absheron hotel Leyla Aliyeva cut the ribbon to open a moveable library.

Leyla Aliyeva viewed the Moveable Library, the project which will cover 15 districts in Azerbaijan in a year. Access to the library, which has 10,000 books and 5,000 electronic publications, is free.

The forum was opened by Farhad Hajiev, executive director of the Youth Fund under the President of Azerbaijan and Curator of Global Shapers Hub Baku.

Azerbaijani Minister of Youth and Sport Azad Rahimov stressed the importance of the forum. He praised the strategic dialogue conducted by the Global Shapers Community. The Minister highlighted Azerbaijan`s economic achievements under President Ilham Aliyev.

Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva made a speech at the forum:

- Dear Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m proud to welcome you to Azerbaijan, my native city of Baku. I would like to thank the organizers of the World Economic Forum. Due to their endeavours, today’s event has been organized at the highest level.

The South Caucasus and Central Asia is one of the regions combining the world’s rich natural resources, as well as unusual rise of infrastructure and technical progress. Due to this and other factors, the world has witnessed one of the first oil booms in our region.

Due to the political thinking and statehood traditions, progress of art, culture and science, our region has turned into a part of the world history. At the same time, works by our poets and philosophers have won the souls and minds of millions of people all over the world.

Located at the crosspoint of the West and East from the geographical standpoint, the South Caucasus not only embraces values of two civilizations, but also is capable to represent the East to West and the West to East.

Dear Friends, there are challenges that need a global solution. But common values have to be developed for their solution.

The model, which could support successful solution of global challenges,  can not be developed without such values. I believe we need a policy of partnership to solve the challenges that go beyond borders. Just such a policy may coordinate the development of the national economy by appropriately considering interests of different regions and cultures.

Majority of economies currently enjoying development do not consider that natural resources are exhaustible. As a result, there is a great likelihood of ecological disaster in future. Just for this reason, now the matter of starting ecological education and enlightenment from secondary and higher schools is a pressing issue expecting its solution.

Today, young people have very significant intellectual, cultural and professional potential. Our state’s destiny is dependent on the quality of their life and development.

Esteemed Colleagues, Azerbaijan is a country with 9 of the 11 climate zones, with nice nature and rich biodiversity. We have set concrete tasks for ourselves to preserve these resources for the future generations.

Almost two years have passed since we started the IDEA International Campaign. Since its establishment, the IDEA Campaign has turned into a platform for testing various mechanisms for protection of the environment, as well as in the field of youth policy.

We have made certain achievements towards the execution of projects aimed at enlightenment of the youth in ecological issues and protection of the environment both in Azerbaijan and in the region as a whole. The IDEA campaign has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Russia’s WWF, and currently we have been working on signing a similar document with Turkey.

The IDEA has identified the “Great Five of the Great Caucasus” – leopard, wolf, gazelle, eagle and bear. We have been holding discussions with our Russian colleagues on protection of the Caucasian bison. I would like to note that Azerbaijan is the only country, where the Caucasian leopard was recorded last year. Now it is our duty to preserve this nice yet rare and endangered species, and achieve an increase in its number.

I can note with the feeling of pride that currently IDEA is holding trainings and seminars in Baku and other regions of the country on protection of the environment.

Last year, the IDEA for first time organized the “Green Week” campaign in association with UN Environment Program (UNEP).

We accomplished the “Green Azerbaijan” program. Within this program, over 8 thousand schoolchildren from various regions of the country have attended elective trainings related to the protection of the environment. Moreover, following the initiative of IDEA, lessons on protection of the environment will be included in the education programs of Azerbaijani schools since September 2013.

We are planning to build nests for migratory birds together with our colleagues from Lithuania, Russia, the Great Britain, Italy and Kyrgyzstan.

We are not satisfied with only education programs. To broaden our activity,  we are looking for different ways. For example, being the most active youth organization beyond the borders of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani Youth Organization of Russia (AYOR) has been implementing extensive humanitarian and cultural projects, as well as projects aimed at protection of the environment.

In general, the extent of AYOR’s activity covers all areas of the youth in Russia, which is a positive factor allowing to use this entity as a place to extend cooperation.

Dear Friends. The history of the world society is a history of extension of the scale of human’s influence on the nature by various means, and strengthening its use.

Human’s morality, cultural level, as well as his social responsibility before future generations may be judged  upon the results of his action towards the nature.

I would like to once more thank you for the chance to deliver our ideas and plans. I’m facing the future with optimism. I’m sure political, economic, ecological and cultural exchange will allow representatives of our generation to remove the perils of the future for common interests of the world, and to reserve the peace.

I would like to once more welcome you to my Homeland and I’m hopeful  you will have a chance to see Azerbaijan with its unique history – a secular state with dynamic and  colourful culture.

I’m convinced another factor will have an unforgettable impression on you. This is our hospitality, one of the bright sides of our culture.

Dear Guests, we would be pleased to repeatedly welcome you to Azerbaijan, as according to an old saying, “A home without a guest may not have abundance”.

Thank you for your attention.