On September 9th, we summed up the results of the initiative "Young Diplomats" in Osh that was held in the framework of the Intercultural Online youth Forum under the project " Promoting Kyrgyzstan's Youth Cohesion and Interaction towards Uzbekistan" funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund.
Within the project, UNDP supports youth innovative solutions at the community level to address border and cross-border issues and to promote regional cooperation between communities. This component is aimed to have a greater impact on the dynamics of youth cohesiveness in the border areas and is designed to develop youth critical thinking skills, active listening, negotiating, presenting ideas and communicating through video, creative content targeted at youth.
While addressing to the young leaders, UNDP specialist Tairov Sharabidin, expressed his confidence that this event will make a significant contribution not only to the development of friendly relations of border youth but will also improve the democratic and legal consciousness of young people.
The initiative "Young Diplomats" was aimed at creating an online dialogue platform to strengthen youth cooperation, which was attended by young activists from border areas of Kyrgyzstan, as well as students from Uzbekistan, living and studying in Kyrgyzstan. Webinars and online meetings with speakers from the two countries were organized during the event. The webinars were held on topics such as youth participation in diplomacy and intercultural dialogue, strengthening friendly relations through music, art and sports. In addition, participants were able to discuss the role and participation of youth in solving social problems in their villages.
Samara Karimova, an Honored Artist of Kyrgyzstan, and Ilkhom Boltabayev, an artist and laureate of the Republican Sakharov Prize after Beyshenaliev, shared with youth about intercultural cooperation and their participation in strengthening peace and friendship through music. Bloggers Mayerim Osmonova (Kyrgyzstan) and Madina Ruzmatova (Uzbekistan) held a webinar on blogging in the development of diplomacy and civic activism.
The role of sport as a platform for creating friendly relations was also touched upon during the forum. The participants discussed the theme of sport and its role in the friendship of nations with the captain of the "Alai" soccer club Odiljon Abdurakhmanov (Kyrgyzstan).
Online marathons through Instagram aimed at promoting the idea of cultural exchange of the brotherly nations were also held within the forum. The marathon gave an impulse to the youth in a deeper awareness of the idea of holding the forum and their participation in strengthening friendship between nations. Young guys from all over Kyrgyzstan took part in the online marathons. During two weeks schoolchildren and students shared in social networks their vision of friendship through creativity, music and video.
As noted by the forum participants, the most important thing they have found is friends. "Friendship has no concept of nationality, friendship has no limits, thanks to the forum we have made friends, and this is the most valuable thing! - shared one of the participants of the initiative Emina Ibragimova (15 years).
The platform of the Youth Forum and the initiative "Young Diplomats" gave an excellent start to unite the border youth of both countries and promote youth diplomacy in the region. During the events, young people exchanged knowledge, ideas not only in the field of diplomacy but in areas such as conscious attitude towards nature. For example, eco-activists from Uzbekistan offered to share their experience and organize joint activities after the pandemic ends.
Young people from border areas learned that today young people play a huge role in promoting sustainable peace. Forum participants learned and learned to use such skills as active listening, negotiating and promoting cultural ties.