As this year’s theme highlights, solidarity across generations is key for sustainable development.
- Mr. Azar Aliyev, Chairperson of the National Assembly of Youth Organizations
- Mr. Gadir Khalilov, Executive Director of the Youth Foundation
- Mr. Ramin Habibzade, Secretary General of the National Assembly of Youth Organizations
- Representatives of the national and international youth organizations
- Distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen:
It is my great pleasure to celebrate this year’s International Youth Day with you. Today is a day to amplify the voices of youth and celebrate their contributions, agency, and leadership.
This year’s theme, “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for all Ages,” calls for action across all generations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind. It also aims to raise awareness on certain barriers to intergenerational solidarity, notably ageism, which impacts young and older persons, while having detrimental effects on society as a whole.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Over the past year in Azerbaijan, I have been inspired again and again by the energy, creativity, and sense of social justice of young women and men in this country. Take Aylin Akbarli, a 21-year-old engineering student, she developed an app that connect women survivors of violence with temporary shelters and other crucial services. And, Tabriz Gasimov, a young Muslim cleric who is engaging other young men in discussions about overcoming gender stereotypes and sharing household chores and childcare responsibilities with their partners.
There are thousands of “Aylin”s and “Tabriz”s in Azerbaijan and around the world. Some of you are in this room today. And you are certainly not waiting around to be seen, to be heard. You are claiming your space, as you rightly should.
And we must not – and will not - stand in your way.
In order to further leverage the full potential of young people – and older persons - in Azerbaijan, human capital development will be key. This is well recognized in the Government’s national strategies and plans, and we hope to see continued investment and allocation of public resources in the human development sectors, including health, education, and social protection. Designing policies and social services that adopt a life-course approach and support people of all ages is equally important.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
As this year’s theme highlights, solidarity across generations is key for sustainable development. Fostering intergenerational solidarity is more than ever necessary to ensure an inclusive and sustainable post pandemic and post- conflict recovery. It is especially important to recognize and address age-related barriers to “build back better” in a manner that leverages all generations’ strengths and knowledge.
As the United Nations in Azerbaijan, we look forward to continuing to partner and meaningfully engage with young people, to support their roles in Azerbaijan’s present and future as agents of change, agents of peace and agents of hope.
Happy International Youth Day!