President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin presents the “Pushkin” Medal to Leyla Aliyeva
A Youth Forum took place, April 25, at the Baku Congress Centre, within the 7th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, under the slogan of “Living Together in Inclusive Societies: A Challenge and A Goal”.
Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Leyla Aliyeva attended the Forum’s opening ceremony.
Baku has been hosting the 7th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), one of the most influential entities of the world. Holding of a Youth Forum within the framework of the event is of special importance. This Forum is of significance in terms of intercultural dialogue, developing international cooperation, supporting youth initiatives, finding new sources, and discussing other issues.
The Youth Forum was attended by representatives of international organizations, young leaders, heads and representatives of local and foreign youth organizations.
A presentation took place first at the event on the topic “Not a youth event”. It was noted at the presentation that issues such as meeting the targets set, strengthening of the youth’s international cooperation, and possibilities of turning our planet into a better place etc. would be discussed at the Forum. It was informed that 100 young people chosen through a two-month selection process among the youth who had applied to the UN are participating in the Forum.
Then opening of the Forum took place.
High representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Nasir Abdulaziz Al-Nasir and minister of youth and sports of Azerbaijan Azad Rahimov delivered an opening speech.
Addressing the Forum, Leyla Aliyeva welcomed young people coming from various countries, and expressed confidence the Baku Forum would play a significant part in promotion of mutual understanding and cooperation on an international scale:
- I’m sure the Baku Forum will contribute to our joint efforts associated with mutual understanding and cooperation throughout the world. Azerbaijan is a country with ancient traditions and rich history, located at the crossroads of the East and West - a place where the Eastern wisdom meets the Western progress. At old times, Azerbaijan had been the main hub on the historical Silk Way. This has had a great impact on our culture, having turned Azerbaijan into a country believing in tolerance, new ideas and dialogue.
Azerbaijan’s unique geographical position has also had an impact on its landscape. Our country is a land of magnificent snow-top mountains, steep rocks, dense forests, meadows, and plains. Azerbaijan has been enjoying nine out of eleven climate zones. This gives us a very rich natural environment and biodiversity. We are lucky to have been enjoying an unbelievable history, diverse culture and rich biodiversity. I am sure you would enjoy visiting our country.
Let me express my thoughts as a goodwill ambassador of UN Food and Agriculture Organization. I know that the statistics is awful. Today, every four seconds, one person dies of hunger or for reasons associated with hunger. The most saddening fact is that children die more often. Putting an end to poverty in the whole world is a matter of priority entered on the list of priority issues of 2030. Putting forward an initiative to reduce poverty to zero, FAO has been playing an important part in this job. Nevertheless, in order to secure a world in which no child dies of hunger or due to insufficient nourishment, we all have to work hard and together. Food is an integral part of our cultural identity and roots. It opens a way to promotion of mutual understanding and respect. Food may act as a strong tool in securing mutual understanding and tolerance between cultures.
Emphasizing IDEA’s launching an international campaign in 2011 for the protection of the environment, Leyla Aliyeva said that our main goal is to seek solution of the challenges facing the environment, turning our energy and knowledge into a strong tool. We have been trying to build a green, safe and secure society for our future generations. Our slogan is “one word, one future”. The youth have been working voluntarily, with diligence and in an organized fashion, towards protecting the planet.
Talking about the works carried out for the last five years in Azerbaijan within the framework of the campaign launched by IDEA, of which she is a founder, Leyla Aliyeva said over five million trees have been planted over the course of this time. It was also brought to attention that a joint work has started recently with local communities, measures are taken to prevent cutting down of trees, well-known people representing various areas of art are involved in this process, and cooperation is built with influential international organizations.
Significant actions taken recent years by IDEA towards protecting endangered animal species were also underscored. Leyla Aliyeva emphasized that she was hopeful a Caspian Taiga project would be implemented in this sphere:
- Dear Friends.
Today, the mankind is facing the test of remaining alive. Currently, our losses are calculated not in years, but in minutes. While we are talking here, every 15 minutes one elephant dies on account of poachers, and every hour, some 11 thousand sharks are killed by humans. We gradually approach a time when all species will have died out. Now it’s time to act. There is no time to wait. I would like to once more thank you for being here and attending the Forum. I know each of us is capable of having a positive effect on protection of the environment, and not only our future, but also the present day.
I know that such events are very significant and are of importance in terms of meeting each other, sharing ideas and talking. However, the most important one is what is going on at this very moment. Thus, I think it is time to act. I wish all of you to enjoy your time in our country, much love, sound health and happiness, and to believe that everything is possible, the future will only be green, more brilliant and better. Thank you.
After the opening speeches, young attendees of the event were photographed.
The Youth Forum continued its work in cooperation meetings and a business symposium.