Baku hosts Int’l Student Forum on Youth, Peace and Security dedicated to “Year of Shusha” (PHOTO)

On November 23-28, an international student forum dedicated to the "Year of Shusha" was held with the support of the Youth Fund and the Education Development Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the organization of the "One Voluntary" Students' Cooperation Public Union, reports.

The opening ceremony of the forum was held at ADA University. The guest speakers of the event were Elnur Nasibov, Chair of the Board of the Education Development Fund, Vladanka Andreeva, the resident coordinator of the UN in Azerbaijan, Farid Jafarov, the executive director of the Youth Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Gulshan Pashayeva, a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for the Analysis of International Relations.

The speakers greeted the local and foreign guests and informed about the proper information of foreign students about the damage done to the material and cultural heritage of Shusha city during the occupation, as well as conducting fundamental research in the direction of researching future development prospects in the post-occupation phase.

On November 26, the students had a 1-day visit to the city of Shusha. During the visit, the students got acquainted with the severe consequences of the occupation in our liberated territories, the destroyed settlements, and cultural-historical examples as a result of the genocide committed against the material, cultural and historical heritage of the Azerbaijani people. Halima Taghiyeva, the leading specialist of the Department of Public Relations and Information Assurance of the Shusha City State Reserve Department, informed the participants about historical buildings, mosques, and monuments being vandalized by Armenians, our freed territories, including the role played by the city of Shusha in the socio-political life of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus.

The forum consisted of 5 panel discussions and covered special topics: “Post-conflict recovery: Economic Reconstruction, peacebuilding and Reconciliation”, “The Post-conflict justice and accountability: The Return and reintegration of displaced populations”, “The challenges to post-war security in the South Caucasus region and beyond”, “Peace and sustainable development nexus” and “Reporting from conflict zones: The role of media in establishing peace”.

The closing ceremony of the forum ended with Khazar University teacher Elmar Mustafayev's group work with students, the participants' visit to Shush, and their thoughts about the 5-day forum. A trip was organized for the participants to familiarize themselves with Icherisheher, Baku Boulevard, Carpet Museum, and Mountain Park.

Note that the composition of the 50-person student body studying international relations, international law, diplomacy, etc., selected by a special commission at the forum, was composed of 40 foreign students and 10 local students representing 30 different countries and studying at the world's top universities.

The 5-day forum was successfully held against the background of international students studying in our country and abroad to discuss the importance of Shusha's role in the history and culture of Azerbaijan and to discuss and propose solutions to peacebuilding and security issues.

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