The EU’s Youth Action Plan inspired a meeting of the Central Asian Youth during the Samarkand Connectivity Conference
17 November, Samarkand – In an unprecedented feat, The European Union, together with its partners UNICEF and European Training Foundation (ETF) has hosted a youth dialogue for young people from Central Asia, on the sidelines of the EU-Central Asia Connectivity Conference.
The youth dialogue created the platform to amplify the voices of young people from five Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to discuss on the key conference themes.
Young people expressed their opinions and suggestions to advance opportunities and actions of young people in the spheres digitalisation, climate change, gender participation and access to education across the region.
The event gathered high-level speakers, namely the EU Ambassador to Uzbekistan Her Excellency Mrs Charlotte Adriaen, chairman of Yuksalish Mr Bobur Bekmurodov MP, Deputy Director General for International Partnerships Mrs Marjeta Jager, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Mrs Afshan Khan, and the UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan Mr Munir Mammadzade who connected with the youth to seek policy-relevant solutions on the regional level.
We stand firmly for promoting of a culture of diversified participation of youth in the policy-formulating processes. We have to assure Youth has an equal access to opportunities. Only then, Central Asia will be able to maximise its full potential, - Charlotte Ardiaen, EU Ambassador to Uzbekistan.
Commenting on the Youth Dialogue UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Mrs Afshan Khan said,
“young people are key partners in accelerating socio-economic development in the region. Platforms for their advocacy such as these are not only necessary but essential,” he said. “Young people have firm ideas and solutions to the challenges of the day. They clearly demonstrate that they are not the future leaders, they are the leaders of today. It is important that these ideas are part of the resolutions emanating from this conference.”
There was a ceremony to mark the start of the EU-funded DARYA project being implemented by the ETF in partnership with stakeholders in Central Asia and EU member states. During their meeting last month, Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council “underscored the importance of deepening cooperation in the field of education” and “welcomed the implementation of the first regional project of vocational education DARYA”.
This promising initiative is set to strengthen the regional ties between the countries, and address issues of cross-national importance. The meeting was inspired by core UNICEF and EU priorities working with young people including the EU’s Youth Action Plan, which aims to connect the global youth with policymakers, launched by Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen earlier this year.