Azeri NGOs Set To Closely Familiarize Young People With EU Via Study Trips

Fuad Muxtarlı 5 February 2019
Azeri NGOs Set To Closely Familiarize Young People With EU Via Study Trips

A round-table “Career at the EU? Why?” at the Baku Convention Centre on February 4 with a group of experts in presence discussed a number of topical for the youth issues.

Kicking off the panel discussion, Fuad Muxtar-Aqbabali of the Baku-based think tank Strati, one of the co-hosts of the event along with Brussels-based Association of Young Azerbaijani Professionals in Europe (AYAPE) NGO, credited initiatives designed to contribute to the growth and advancement of young men and women in Azerbaijan and for being the drivers of projects to familiarize them with pan-European organizations run by universal values shared by all sober-human-beings.

“Azerbaijan is a member of several leading pan-European organizations and one of the multi-faceted directions is to familiarize young people with the way these institutions function, and projects of various actors are to open up these institutions for the Azerbaijani youth wherever possible,” the moderator underscored, addressing young participants in the round-table, most of whom were back from Brussels after doing a three-week-long internship.

In 2019, the moderator added, the Youth Foundation of Azerbaijan is planning to send over 50 students to Brussels for internships and study trip programs with the aim of providing young people with opportunities to learn more about international institutions.

Addressing the round-table, Denis Naets, deputy head of the mission of the Kingdom of Belgium to Azerbaijan, spoke about the way and hard-fought battle of the founding fathers of the European Union right after the WWII to establish ruined nations and cities and set up an organization that would end enmity among European countries in the post-war period and be conducive to restoration and the establishment of durable peace.

Tarana Hasanova, career advisor of Baku-based leading ADA University, shared her experience with young people on how to realize their ideals and dreams. She urged young people to aim high and challenge.

Parviz Bagirov of the Erasmus+ national office in Baku encouraged young people to benefit from opportunities of the various “multi-billion worth” programs promise for young people who are thirst for knowledge at top universities across Europe.

Ahmad Alili, a former alumnus of the program, who runs a Baku-based independent think tank and is active in EU’s Nagorno-Karabakh program, stressed the importance of first-hand information about functioning of the EU and how should Azerbaijani participants in projects of similar nature approach deep and at first sight complicated mechanisms applied in advancing motions. He also focused on the pivotal role lobby groups play under the roof of this pan-European institution and gave tips to streamline efforts for taking forward and protecting Azerbaijan’s interests through its corridors.

The Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has been underway since 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims on Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding district

Afaq Nadirli, another alumnus of the program, sharing her experience with young men and woman around the round-table, urged them to arm with knowledge much required now and in years to come to be useful for society and realization of their ambitious targets. “Set your hearts on doing what you have decided. Once you are clear about your targets, think of ways and methods to realize them,” she said in sharing her experience with the attendees.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Araz Aslanli of the State Economic University hailed efforts of various actors to promote education at leading foreign universities. Going back to early stages when Azerbaijanis went to Russian and European universities back in XIX centuries, the speaker added that most of them later played a crucial role in introducing novelties in Azerbaijan late in XIX-XX centuries. Even most of the founding fathers of the first democratic in the east republic – the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic – were graduates from foreign universities.

To recap, Vusala Niftaliyeva, head of international relations department of the Azerbaijani Youth Foundation, handed over internship certificates to the trainees.

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