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“2015-2025 Azerbaijani Youth Development Strategy” is a vivid evidence of the government`s attention to youth

Interview with  Chairman of the Youth Wing of the New Azerbaijan Party, member of YAP Political Council Seymur Orujov

Q: February 2 marks Youth Day in Azerbaijan. We would like you to highlight the youth policy conducted in Azerbaijan.

A: Laid by national leader Heydar Aliyev, Azerbaijan`s youth policy is today successfully continued by President Ilham Aliyev. This policy is today entering a qualitatively new stage. Major priorities of this policy include strengthening the government support of youth. Over the last few years considerable job has been done in the country to create opportunities for development of youth. The Azerbaijani youth are actively participating in all spheres of life in the country. Thanks to efforts of President Ilham Aliyev Azerbaijani youth are playing a key role in the country.

The head of state adopts state program on the development of Azerbaijani youth. These programs are aimed at ensuring social security of the youth, encouraging their employment, stimulating creative their search, preserving national and moral values, strengthening patriotic moods in them, and promoting healthy lifestyle.

President Ilham Aliyev declared 2007 as the Year of Youth in Azerbaijan. The President approved the 2007-2015 State Program for the education of the Azerbaijani youth abroad, and 2001-2015 State Program for the Azerbaijani Youth.

In 2011, the head of state signed an Executive Order setting up the Youth Foundation under the Ministry of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

In 1994 the Ministry of Youth and Sport was founded. I would like to emphasize the role of the first Forum of youth which was held at the initiative of national leader Heydar Aliyev. Held on February 2, 1996 this forum is considered a triumph of national leader Heydar Aliyev`s youth strategy. In accordance with an executive order of national leader Heydar Aliyev, February 2 was declared the Youth Day in our country.

Q: Various programs are being implemented aimed at developing youth. How important are these programs?

A: As I have already mentioned President Ilham Aliyev is successfully continuing the policy of national leader Heydar Aliyev. With the aim of ensuring the settlement of youth`s socio-economic problems and turning them into the driving force of society, the 2005-2009 Azerbaijani Youth State Program was State Program was executed. Other state programs, including on declaring 2007 the Year of Youth, education of Azerbaijani youth abroad, and Azerbaijani Youth state program for 2011-2015 once again proved that the government of Azerbaijan attaches great importance to youth and their problems.

I would like to single out 2011-2015 Azerbaijani Youth state program. One of its key priorities is ensuring the active involvement of youth in Azerbaijan`s socio-economic, scientific, cultural and other areas.

The founding of the Presidential Award for Youth is another remarkable step on this front. I believe that our youth will do their best to justify the hopes pinned on them.

Q: The President has recently approved “2015-2025 Azerbaijani Youth Development Strategy”. How will this document contribute to the development of youth?

A: Of course, this document is of profound significance. The significance of “2015-2025 Azerbaijani Youth Development Strategy” is a vivid evidence of the government`s attention to youth. As you know this strategy is aimed at improving the potential of youth to modern requirements. Azerbaijan has been included in the list of countries with high-level human development of the United Nations report on living standards. This was made possible thanks to the development of economic opportunities for youth, the expansion of their rights and the strengthening of their financial security. In the past few years, social security system has been considerably improved, active employment market has been formed, the fight against poverty has successfully continued. All this allowed to increase the flexibility of the country`s youth and sports policy, and improve the regulation of demography and migration related mechanisms, and development of human capital.

It is very important that the activity of youth is highly appreciated by the government. The strategy emphasizes that the Azerbaijani youth have always been active in the country`s public, socio-economic, political and cultural life. Thousands of youth are successfully representing Azerbaijan on the international scale, our sportsmen are making great achievements in international tournaments. All this plays a crucial role in promoting our country globally. Our youth are also active in building and maintaining intercultural dialogue and international cooperation.

I would also like to note the activity of young Azerbaijanis, students, graduates and experts in foreign countries. They make a significant contribution to developing the activity of the Azerbaijani diaspora organizations abroad.  As indicated in the document there are currently more than 250 youth organizations in the capital and regions of the country. 

Q: Could you please provide an insight into the youth policy of the New Azerbaijan Party?

A: The success of New Azerbaijan Party`s youth policy conditions the growing political activity of youth in the country. The youth`s involvement in the election process, the fact of their being represented in the parliament and municipalities clearly demonstrate this. We have highly-educate young parliamentarians. The municipal elections also saw the election of a large number of young people to municipalities.

The New Azerbaijan Party is the largest political organization not only in Azerbaijan, but in the whole South Caucasus region. At the same time the Party`s Youth Wing is the largest youth organization in Azerbaijan. In the last few years our Youth Wing has become more active, we are launching new projects and conducting an effective work with youth. We are also expanding our foreign relations.

Q: The Youth Wing has multifaceted activity. What did 2014 mark for your organization?

A: The Youth Wing of the New Azerbaijan Party has tirelessly worked, in 2014, to promote Azerbaijan worldwide. We implemented many projects related to international cooperation, patriotism. Our organization supports domestic and foreign policy of President Ilham Aliyev. Last year we put special emphasis on promotion of patriotism. We carried out extensive enlightenment work, visited shahid families. On January 20 employees of our organization paid respects to shahids at the Alley of Martyrs and visited shahid families. We also visited a monument to victims of the Khojaly tragedy in February, and also held a commemorative event. At the same time the Youth Wing organized a series of events to promote patriotism among youth.

The Youth Wing of the New Azerbaijan Party took an active part in the municipal elections last year. Our organization supported our young candidates both in the capital and in regions. Employees of our organization were actively involved in the municipal elections both as voters, observers and heads of election commissions. The majority of young candidates from the New Azerbaijan Party won the municipal elections.