Image: UNDP Uzbekistan

The 17 goals and 169 targets of the 2030 Agenda are interconnected, aiming to integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. Far from being mere beneficiaries of the 2030 Agenda or merely the “leaders of tomorrow,” young men and women worldwide are today active architects and participants in the frameworks and processes that support the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sustainable Development Goals.  

With this in mind, a United Nations joint programme in Uzbekistan, held in cooperation with the Government’s Youth Affairs Agency and with the financial support of the PBF, engaged a dynamic group of 80 youth from across the Fergana Valley to further develop and refine the necessary skills to be leaders in their communities.  The training took place from 20 to 27 June 2021 at the Youth Camp of the Youth Union of Uzbekistan.

Young women from Andijan, Namangan and Fergana regions of Uzbekistan advance their skills in critical thinking, legal awareness, leadership, communication and mediation.  Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Anora Zoxidova, one of the participants from Andijan, said the group exchanged shared new ideas, knowledge and initiatives during each day of the programme. “Most importantly,” she said, “I learned how I can both add value to and benefit from my peers. In the future, I plan to use all the knowledge and skills I acquired to contribute to the development of my country.”

Through the programme, young women and men from Andijan, Namangan and Fergana regions aged 18 to 30 advanced their skills in critical thinking, legal awareness, leadership, communication and mediation. As part of their training, the young leaders developed community action plans to address specific challenges they helped identify during an analysis of districts, cities, regions and the country as a whole.

Elizaveta Adoneva from Fergana said the camp was a place to gain experience and enthusiasm, build capacity and make new acquaintances. “I hope that such projects will develop and leave a lot of positive impressions on the participants and contribute to their personal growth,” she said.

The Summer School of Leadership revealed how young people are interested in joining decision-making tables in the social, economic and political spheres.  Those that joined this year’s session were enthusiastic about promoting new initiatives and eager to contribute their ideas for the country. On the last day of the summer school, the participants, as representatives of their respective regions, presented their projects to address current challenges. All were awarded with certificates on completion.

We hope that through programmes like these, young leaders will impact and inspire other young people to be role models and active representatives in their the communities,” said Dimovska. “The youth can no longer be considered just the future – they are the now, and they want to be a part of the decision and policy-making processes that are building this country.”

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