MDG Youth network in Uzbekistan
The involvement of Uzbekistan youth in the MDG campaign is strongly associated with the need to include youth in the life of their local communities. The young people of Uzbekistan are very active and have great potential to realise their ideas. The Millennium Development Goals are global indicators of development, making it important that young people are provided with the necessary tools to realise more effective educational and social projects through joint efforts.
The 3rd World Youth Congress, held in Stirling, Scotland in 2005, was a significant event for delegates from Uzbekistan. The congress objective was to stimulate a number of youth-led development projects amongst the world's most disadvantaged people, while informing young leaders about the challenging indicators of Millennium Development Goals.
Three Uzbekistan representatives participated at this event, exchanging ideas concerning how better to achieve MDGs in their home countries. After returning to Uzbekistan each participant made presentations regarding youth development, while promoting MDGs and the World Youth Congress. The congress motto ‘Be the change’ has inspired many young leaders of countries around the world.
The next step taken towards creating a MDGs Youth Network in Uzbekistan occurred at a national level.
The MDGs Youth Network in Uzbekistan was established during a student’s conference which occurred in November 2005, organised in coordination with the United Nations Country Team in Uzbekistan and the University of World Economy. The conference objective was to encourage and galvanise young people to participate in forums related to multiple issues of social importance. These include education, gender equality, child and maternal health, the restriction of communicable diseases and the improvement of living standards in communities. During the conference, UN agency experts analysed issues relating to MDGs on national and global levels. Participating students learnt about successful government achievements, along with the assistance provided by internationaldonor agencies regarding the promotion of MDGs in Uzbekistan. Another conference priority was to inform future politicians, economists and lawyers regarding the core context of MDGS and its value in an inter-related world. During the conference, issues concerning gender equality and the improvement of higher education for women received particular focus. The conference’s completion was marked with student contributions into future Action Plans, within the frameworks of Uzbekistan’s Millennium Development Goals.
After the student’s conference at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, the students themselves initiated a peer-to-peer presentation at the Westminster International University of Tashkent in December 2005. The presentation’s initial aim was to broaden the horizons of youth involvement within the context of MDGs, while allowing the exchange of knowledge garnered from previous conferences. Special assistance was also provided by national experts in the fields of education, health, HIV/AIDS, gender and environment. The first peer presentation at the Westminster University in Tashkent saw good results and feedbacks. The students themselves felt like professionals in their chosen fields, while the preparation period allowed them to expand their knowledge of MDGs on both global and national levels.
The idea of creating a Youth Network in order to better achieve MDGs was established during ‘Team Building’ training. Most students who participated in the MDGs presentations in Uzbekistan felt a need for the event to help develop their relationships with their peers. At this point there were many enthusiastic students who were ready to inform their peers about MDGs. During interactive exercises, the students got to know each other well while improving their cooperative abilities.
Since this period, which resulted in the creation of the initial student initiatives with the support of the United Nations Office in Uzbekistan, the MDGs Youth Network has been a tool which has helped young people to accelerate the achievement of MDGs in Uzbekistan.