Confab Highlights Role of Caspian Youth as Cultural Envoys

Confab Highlights Role of Caspian Youth as Cultural EnvoysConfab Highlights Role of Caspian Youth as Cultural Envoys

Promoting the role of youth as cultural ambassadors and encouraging peaceful dialogue among nations in line with the objectives of President Hassan Rouhani’s government, is the focus of the 2nd Caspian Neighbors Youth Conference, underway in Chalus, Mazandaran Province.

Youth affairs representatives from the Caspian littoral states Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran are attending the conference, which is concurrent with the Youth Week in Iran. The meet concludes on June 1.

“Delegations from Caspian states have come together to focus on various issues concerning youth, help address their challenges and problems, and resolve them,” said political security deputy at Mazandaran Governorate Alireza Younesi, on the sidelines of the conference, reported.

“Caspian Sea, Sea of Peace and Development” is the slogan of the meet, which seeks to harness youth potential and develop violence-free strategies.

Noting that Mazandaran Province has large untapped potentials, Younesi said the conference is significant in terms of general diplomacy, and helps gain national advantage, particularly to the host province. “The confab is important as it helps promote cultural diplomacy, he added.

The convention will hold environmental sessions with youth participants and related non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Mazandaran. Investigating strategies and challenges to the youth living in the Caspian Sea coastal states, and exchanging ideas for better regulation of the maritime domain are other topics to be discussed. “A resolution will be issued on the last day,” Younesi noted.

Symbolic activities on the environment in cooperation with the Department of Environment, and “heralding peace initiatives among the youth,” are among the programs.

“Plans to facilitate NGOs to optimally harvest capacities in countries with common backgrounds and interests with Iran are on the agenda,” said Habib Hossein Zadegan, director-general of Mazandaran Sports and Youth Organization.

He noted that the province is one of the successful ones in social arenas, and “due to the existing infrastructure and its intelligent and industrious human resources, Mazandaran was selected to be the first province to host the meeting.”

Hossein-Zadegan sought NGOs assistance to involve the youth living in the Caspian Sea littoral states in cultural, tourism and sport affairs.

 Common Interests

The five Caspian Sea neighbors share common culture and interests and “due to suitable infrastructure in the province, including tourist attractions and creative manpower, Mazandaran was a proper choice to host the summit,” he said.

Calling youth the most important assets of a country, Hossein-Zadegan stressed the necessity to found more NGOs so that “effective steps can be taken towards strategic issues in sports, tourism, and developmental fields.”

 Permanent Secretariat

“Due to its high potentials, it has been suggested to name Chalus for establishment of a permanent secretariat for development of peace and friendship among youth of the Caspian Sea littoral states,” said Rouhollah Moddaber, national planning consultant at the ministry of youth affairs and sports. He pointed to the government’s prudent approach with focus on national interests and noted that  on September 25, 2013, President Rouhani had proposed ‘the World Against Violence and Extremism’ (WAVE) initiative before the UN General Assembly.

Moddaber designated the current year as “the year of youth diplomacy” on behalf of the ministry of youth affairs and sports and said, “We started the first initiative with a message of peace, philanthropy and charity.” A student exchange program is also on the agenda.