International conference on role of ICT in Youth Development KICKS off in Baku

The first international conference “Digital Age and New Generation: Strengthening Capabilities and Capacities of Youth in ICT” organized by the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC) and Azerbaijan Ministry of Communication and Information Technology commenced here on Monday. 

General Coordinator of ICYF-DC for Inter-cultural Dialogue, Head of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation`s office in Russia Leyla Aliyeva participated in the event. The conference was also attended by young experts from OIC and European countries as well as representatives of ICT companies and NGOs.

The event started with opening remarks of Secretary General of Islamic Conference Youth Forum Elshad Iskandarov who said the main aim of the conference is to increase youth`s interest in the ICT. He noted the event will discuss the role of youth in development of ICT sector.

ICT Minister Ali Abbasov said President Ilham Aliyev declared ICT sector as the priority area, adding important steps had been taken to develop this sector. He pointed out Azerbaijan has grown into the great center in terms of development of cross-cultural dialogue. He highlighted the importance to particularly stress globally important actions taken in this direction at the initiative of President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva.

The minister noted Azerbaijan is preparing to embark on the transnational super information highway project.

Azerbaijani Minister of Youth and Sport Azad Rahimov briefed the event participants on the ongoing youth programs and projects in the country. He underlined the necessity of efficiently using ICT in the youth policy.

Official of Qatar`s Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population Mahammad Abdul Rahman al-Thani stressed the importance of helping Muslim youth in the ICT sector.

General Coordinator of the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC), head of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation`s office in Russia Leyla Aliyeva said “I strongly believe that youth in our countries should both mobilize its own potential and unite our efforts with counterparts in the West not only learn and apply, but contribute to the development of humanity and together have to pave new and broad avenues in the virtual world, together overcoming existing differences and gaps”. She expressed hope that “our Conference which brought together for the first time leading youth in ICT from OIC as well as Western countries will be a new milestone in accomplishing this very task”.

“I am excited that we have today, here in Baku, a unique atmosphere, where young entrepreneurs as well as big name businesses also partake. This is a bold action by business to approach young minds and by supporting their free minds and ideas, turn these brilliant ideas into effective and successful business-cases”.

She pointed out “I strongly encourage all of you, to use this opportunity for networking, creating new partnerships and new projects. By doing so, we will show that, we not only talk but also walk in the direction of our vision”.

“We should use all possible frames and possibilities given to us by IT technologies of today, but also make our humble contribution to the development. We should strive to support young brains and ideas find their supporters”.

Mrs. Aliyeva said “ICT creates fastest tracks for tracing and facing social, political challenges youth are facing with nowadays”, adding “as a bright sample of utilizing synergy created by ICT, I can indicate Justice For Khojaly Campaign”. “It unites voices from all over the world, which stand united against injustice caused by wars. I strongly encourage you to find new ways in promoting this and similar campaign through partnership to be established and raise our voice not only on daily issues but those which can make our world more just and humane”.

“I hope our endeavor today will lead to a brand new beginning in the era of overcoming consequences of global digital devised”, she underlined.

Following the opening ceremony of the event, Leyla Aliyeva was presented OIC`s high award for the contribution of ICYF-DC to development of youth programs and establishment of dialogue among the youth representing OIC member states and various cultures.

The conference also saw a presentation on “Youth and Role of ICT in advancing International Campaigns”.

Speakers stressed the role of OIC in organizing international campaigns.

During the event, “Justice to Khojaly” campaign initiated by Leyla Aliyeva was presented, as well.

The two-day conference will culminate in the adoption of the Baku declaration entitled “The development of the youth in ICT sector” which will be sent to a gathering of Black Sea basin and OIC states` ministers.