June 30, 2012

A special meeting on the subject of “New leaders of the future” within the framework of the Crans Montana Forum

A special meeting on the subject of “New leaders of the future” was held within the framework of the Crans Montana Forum in Baku, June 30.

First Lady of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva and Vice-president of the Foundation Leyla Aliyeva participated in the meeting.

Leyla Aliyeva addressed the meeting.

Speech by Leyla Aliyeva:

- Your Excellency, dear guests, ladies and gentlemen!

I would like to welcome you to our nice city of Baku. I’m hopeful you have been enjoying your stay here.

I would like to talk about a very important subject – the role of Azerbaijani and, in general, world youths in protection of the environment. I would like to talk about the roles of leaders of the future ensuring sustainable development.

As you know, a sustainable development in the world has made protection of the environment a pressing issue. Taking many actions is extremely important in order to solve this issue. Today’s environmental problems both separate nations and prevent from ensuring  all their interests. Therefore, proper management of every country’s natural resources is of paramount importance. This is an important issue also in terms of climate changes. These problems may affect our lives both positively and negatively. This is why we should be able to correctly manage these changes. Changes in the environment make the role of the young generation especially important.

Very good programs and campaigns have been launched in Azerbaijan for the protection of the environment. We invite youths and all people to take part in these campaigns. This job, of course, is being carried out serve the whole nation based on the principles of dialogue, leadership and education. This is, at the same time, a very important issue for the protection of the environment and ensuring sustainable development. Regional and international relations are essential in order to ensure cooperation in the whole world in this direction.

As you know, the Republic of Azerbaijan has nine of eleven existing climate conditions. And this make the nature of Azerbaijan very rich. There are very important tasks ahead of us in order to protect the rich environment of Azerbaijan. These include protection of the environment, prevention of contamination of water and soil, and preservation thereof. In order to solve all the issues we are concerned of, we have ensured active involvemet of youth in this process.

In my meetings in Geneva a week ago, I had raised all these issues. I had told that these issues were very important both in Azerbaijan and in the whole Caucasian region.

Issues concerning the environment are very important for us. Therefore, we should start teaching these issues from classrooms. To my mind, thereby children would be provided with information concerning the protection of environment in the country they live in. I think this will be of great importance in terms of answering ecological calls.

A clean environment starts with clean and pure society. Therefore, I think such thoughts should be implanted in people. Technological processes not damaging the environment should be used, energy resources saved etc. Solution of these issues would ensure the future of our planet. Solution of these issues is also very much dependent on our lifestyle. Therefore, we should be responsible for our acts, using all existing possibilities.

As a result of long lasting production of oil and gas during the Soviet time, contamination has occurred both at sea and also on land. And this was left to our independent country as a problem. Solving these problems is one of the primary tasks for an independent Azerbaijan. Taking all these into account, we have started our action.

Mobilisation of all the youth was very important for the solution of these issues. Solution of these issues for a country, which has just regained its state independence, has been made more complicated with occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia. This has created great difficulties in the region of the Southern Caucasus too. As you know, these territories have very rich ecosystem, flora and fauna. We declared 2010 “The Year of  Ecology” in Azerbaijan. Within this campaign we have planted hundreds of thousands of trees. This campaign was agitated among the youth.

As you know, the Azerbaijani population is one of the youngest population in the world. Therefore, we try to implant all these issues in our young people. Various events are held and exhibitions organized to this end. Through all these, we inform our youth of the issues existing both in our country and in the world.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Millennium’s Development Targets have been adopted to protect the world environment and ensure sustainable development. The primary objective was to give people the opportunity to make decisions in this sphere, and attract them to this process. I think all countries have an obligation in connection with ensuring the “green economy”. If these obligations are met, sustainable economic development will also become the reality. I’m confident sustainable economic development and the process of sustainable protection of environment will be ensured with active participation of youth.

Moreover, I think efficient education is needed to implement efficient actions plan. Therefore, we are ready both to learn and to teach. We invite you to join these initiatives.

I’m hopeful you will indeed enjoy your stay in Baku and will have only good memories about Baku.

Thank you for your attention.

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