Mr Jeyhun Bayramov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
Dear students and professors,
This year, we mark two major milestones: the 30th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s membership to the UN and the 30 years of UN’s presence in Azerbaijan.
We have kicked of the year of celebration of these important millstones, on 2 March, the day when Azerbaijan joined the United Nations Family, with a photo exhibition in the heart of Baku, and a number of conferences and meetings.
Today’s Model United Nations conference is the continuation of this celebration.
I would like to thank all our partners – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ADA University, ADAMUN – for working closely with my team in order to organize this event dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the UN-Azerbaijan partnership.
The United Nations has long recognized that the imagination, ideals, and energy of young people are vital for the continuing development of the societies in which they live.
And I am thrilled to see today an enthusiastic group of young people,80 students from 15 universities and high schools, who believe in the power of global cooperation to solve global problems.
You are powerful agents for change and your voices must be fully heard.
We need to ensure that young people have a seat at the table and help design solutions for greener, healthier and safer world.
As the first woman, UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan, I am very happy to welcome Madame Secretary General of today’s Model United Nations conference – Leyla Mammadzadah.
Any discussion about sustainable development is underpinned by gender inequality and its wide-reaching effects. Only when gender equity is achieved can we hope to be on a secure footing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
During this three-day event a number of global problems will be tackled – from cybersecurity to climate change, food security, and forced displacement of people –issues that require inclusive and networked multilateralism in order to find transformative solutions.
For the first time in a generation, poverty and hunger are on the rise.
Inequalities are increasing.
A surge of mistrust and misinformation is polarizing people and paralyzing societies. Geopolitical divisions disrupt international cooperation.
Human rights are under assault.
Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise.
Climate change is moving faster than we are.
These challenges affect young people in particular.
There are 1.8 billion young people – the largest generation of youth the world has ever seen. And more than half of them live in conflict zones – every day facing violence firsthand, struggling to access food, water and medicine.
More than a quarter of all youth still lack basic literacy skills and 73 million young people are unemployed.
This is not the present young people deserve, and not the future we want.
This is what should inspire all of us to take action.
And we can turn things around.
We have the blueprints: the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Promoting international peace and security are among the core components of the 2030 Agenda.
We cannot achieve any of the 17 SDGs if bombs are falling from the sky.
People cannot achieve social or economic progress, if they are fleeing their homes in terror.
And, development cannot take root on battlegrounds.
Development, itself, can be a valuable prevention tool.
Because, at the heart of every SDG lies a chance to eradicate a root cause of conflict.
It is your future we are building in implementing the Agenda 2030 .
This is why we need you to take part in shaping the world you will be living in.
By the time many of us retire, you will still continue making choices and decisions that will either make it easier or harder to achieve these goals.
This MUN conference is a great training ground for you.
It will help you to be open-minded and flexible.
To make critical analysis, build scenarios, understand different point of views, even those that you oppose, and to facilitate constructive solutions that will benefit all parties. Developing these skills will prepare you not just for leadership roles, but for life too.
I hope the next three days will offer great deliberations, will challenge the status quo and call for transformative change.
The United Nations remains your ally as we collective strive to build a sustainable, inclusive and resilient world for everyone.