"Safe Spaces" for the Youth of Central Asia: UNODC Supports Tashkent International MUN

Mr. Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, stated in his message on International Youth Day that "the world's young people need safe spaces -- public, civic, physical and digital spaces where they can freely express their views and pursue their dreams" and suggested that the theme for International Youth Day 2018 be "Safe Spaces for Youth".

Within the Programme for Central Asia 2015-2019, UNODC have been implementing various initiatives facilitating the creation of safe spaces for youth at schools, in the communities and even on the Internet.

These initiatives of UNODC, along with the activities of other UN agencies in health, education and participation of youth in Uzbekistan, were presented during the joint observance of the International Youth Day in Tashkent on 9 August 2018.

Ms. Gulnar Kudaybergenova from the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia familiarized the representatives of the national government, international community and pro-active youth of Uzbekistan with the achievements of initiatives such as, "Families and Schools Together" for children aged 7-9 years in all Central Asia states, "Strengthening Families Programme" for youth aged 10-14 years in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, and #Line Up! Live Up!" programme on crime prevention through sport for teenagers in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. 

The launching of the UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, a component of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration" in Uzbekistan was presented on separate slides. Several pilot trials of the E4J products for the primary level of education such as the Online Zoo Book and "The Zorbs" movie were conducted by UNODC in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Education. These successful trials laid the foundation for the further pilot of the E4J products for secondary education level as well.

The UNODC presentation culminated with the announcement to support a key MUN Conference in the CA region to be held in March 2019 - Tashkent International MUN (Tashkent IMUN). Having provided background information on what MUN is and the history of MUN in Uzbekistan, Ms. Kudaybergenova explained that the Model UN can also be considered as a safe space for the youth. The place where young people can express their opinion, learn leadership and teamwork, as well bringing positive changes to the world. She noted that the Tashkent International Model United Nations plans to host about 250 local and 200 international students with eight committees related to UNODC mandates. The new international MUN will focus on crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law aspects. Students will have opportunity to use the Model UN Guide, which was created with the aim to help them to select conference topics and themes based on @UNODC mandate areas.

Following the conference, on 12 August, at the UN House in Uzbekistan, Mr. Tolibjon Mustafoev, Head of Student Union of Westminster International University in Tashkent explained more about the upcoming Model United Nations in the capacity of the student leader, an organizer of the Tashkent International Model UN. "This conference is supported by UNODC and dedicated to the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration and is unique in its nature. We hold this conference based on the forth component of the Doha Declaration called Education for Justice. A lot of young people know that Doha Declaration is one of very important documents of UNODC. We believe that about 500 participants of the MUN conference will have the opportunity to study the document and gain knowledge they are looking for, as well as will understand the major goal that we set forward," said Mr. Tolibjon at the Social Media Zone.

The International Youth Day is celebrated on 12 August each year to recognize efforts of the world's youth in enhancing global society. It also aims to promote ways to engage them in becoming more actively involved in making positive contributions to their communities.

The worldwide celebration of this day is aimed at drawing public attention to youth-related issues, particularly greater involvement of young people in the development process. This observance, celebrated by thousands of young people, activists, and youth organizations worldwide, brings public attention to important issues related to youth, in particular, the need for better addressing youth concerns in international development efforts.

For more information:

Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration

Education for Justice

The Online Zoo Book

UNODC Central Asia on Twitter

UNODC in Central Asia on Facebook