Cooperation Agreement on ‘Mobilizing Azerbaijani Youth for Action for the Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development’ was signed between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and United Nations Development Programme at Hilton Baku Hotel, 21 October.
First Lady of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva attended the ceremony.
UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan Fikrat Akcura thanked Mehriban Aliyeva, the First Lady of Azerbaijan, Goodwill Ambassador, and Vice-President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva for supporting the process. Noting that the event was a great opportunity to announce national position, Mr Akcura emphasized the importance of International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA) announced by representative of the Azerbaijani youth Leyla Aliyeva.
Expressing confidence that the cooperation will expand even more till the Summit to be held in Rio de Janeiro next year, the UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan said the idea of creating an international camp for youth in November this year is also of great interest.
Stressing that Azerbaijan has always made initiatives in environment-related matters, F.Akcura noted that this country, which faced big environmental challenges in the Soviet period, currently spends a lot of money to maintain ecological balance. He also stated that Azerbaijan demonstrates a special position on sustainable development in the world.
Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mrs Leyla Aliyeva addressed the ceremony.
Stressing importance of the Cooperation Agreement on Mobilizing Azerbaijani Youth for Action for the Rio+20 Summit in 2012, which will be signed as part of the event, Leyla Aliyeva said cooperation with UNDP in this field was crucial:
'Rio+20 Summit will be organized to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the historic United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in 1992. We will discuss pressing issues of our time, in particular, environmental issues, sustainable development and poverty reduction at this important summit to be held in Rio de Janeiro. Of course, we will also discuss appropriate responses to hardships that we face. We will try so that UN member states demonstrate a political will.’
Leyla Aliyeva also spoke about the measures taken in the country to protect environment and settle environmental issues. Stressing that Azerbaijan pays special attention to environmental protection and the many accomplishments have been made in this direction, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation VP said:
'One of the challenges facing us is a camp that will be created in Gabala. We can achieve a better level of preparation for Rio+20 Summit this way.
As for Azerbaijan, we have announced November a Month of Ecology and therefore we have a number of related initiatives. They include a friendly attitude towards the environment. We want to organize volunteer clean-ups, mass tree planting, renovate parks, build houses for birds in the city, return endangered animals to the nature and clean contaminated areas and supply drinking water to the regions.
We also have a great initiative. It was launched jointly with the Federation of Mountaineering of Azerbaijan. We will encourage mountaineers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Iran and Russia to conquer unnamed peak as an expedition. The height of this peak is about 3,600 meters. During the expedition they will clean territories while passing through mountains, gorges and villages. Collecting garbage and other wastes from these areas, they will install trash cans here and report to people living nearby about it.'
Later Mrs Leyla Aliyeva and Fikrat Akcura signed the Cooperation Agreement on ‘Mobilizing Azerbaijani Youth for Action for the Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development’ between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and United Nations Development Programme.
Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources informed of reforms carried out in the past years in Azerbaijan in frame of the ecologic policy, noting the country successfully fulfills international obligations in the sphere. According to him, Heydar Aliyev Foundation renders special support to the works done by President Ilham Aliyev to improve environment. As result, Azerbaijan gets rid of problems it has been facing for long. The need of population for drinking water is met, endangered animals returned to historical places.
Expressing confidence for the continuation of achievements in this global project, the Minister mentioned special contributions Mrs Leyla Aliyeva makes to assure participation of youth in this issue.
The website of the International Dialogue for Environmental Action (www.ideacampaign.org) was also presented in the ceremony.
The one-year project to be implemented in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2012 aims to encourage youth to participate in actions for the UN Summit on Sustainable Development and provide conditions in which views to eliminate shortcomings in achieving sustainable development goals in the country are taken into consideration.
The initiative on International Dialogue for Environmental Action, IDEA, announced by Vice President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva on 12 July 2011 serves as a platform for active involvement of the youth in the global movement on sustainable development.
The signing ceremony was attended by state and government officials of Azerbaijan, MPs, ambassadors of foreign countries in Baku, representatives of international organizations and the public.