World Bulletin / News Desk
The Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC), an affiliated institution of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has launched its annual program, Model OIC-Turkey.
Part of the ICYF-DC's international Model OIC project that is currently being held in different countries of the OIC, the program will represent top universities from OIC member states, with 150 students as well as scholars. During the six weeks of the summit, participants will receive training in critical tools of understanding and in promoting a knowledge-based approach to international relations; participants will have the chance to practice their skills in two days of simulation games.
The ICYF-DC was established in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2004, in accordance with a resolution adopted by the 31st Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (ICFM) held in İstanbul on June 14-16, 2004.
“The resolution underlines the necessity of finding appropriate methods to educate and empower Muslim youth, with a view to achieve the best cooperation and coordination among Islamic countries, and recognizes the timelines and importance of conducting such an initiative in the face of the growing need for the youth of Islamic Ummah to meet the challenges of the globalizing world,” Elmaddin Mehdiyev, chief of cabinet of the ICYF-DC International Secretariat, told Sunday's Zaman.
The İstanbul-based ICYF-DC aims at coordinating youth activities in the OIC countries. The forum operates in five major fields: advocacy of youth interests, supporting sustainable development, promoting formal and non-formal education, strengthening moral values of youth and engaging in dialogue among cultures.
“The ICYF-DC successfully represents OIC youth in international forums, including all OIC ministerial conferences,” Mehdiyev said, adding that the ICYF-DC has always given voice to the thoughts and needs of youth, advocating for their rights and freedoms.
“In late 2008 during the international conference ‘Islamic World Youth: Present and Future Challenges,' held in Tunisia, the president of the forum, Mr. Ali Sarıkaya, in the presence of the former Tunisian President Zein Al Abidin Ben Ali, stressed in his speech the importance of democracy, good governance and transparent society for the normal development of youth as well as the need for political will for these changes. This was verified by the Arab Spring in the following years,” Mehdiyev stated.
The ICYF-DC was one of the first international institutions that clearly expressed its position during the first days of demonstrations in Tahrir Square. Issuing a statement condemning the violence committed by the authoritarian Hosni Mubarak regime towards the demonstrators, the youth organization called on the international community to stand by Egyptian youth.
“We are also very concerned about the violence and humanitarian crisis going on in war-torn Syria, of which the victims are mostly again young people and children. The violence must immediately be stopped,” Mehdiyev said, adding that it is the Syrians' right to express their views and make their choice independently. “The Syrian people should have the chance to decide about their future in a democratic and civil way.”
Talking about the youth forum projects, Mehdiyev said the Islamic Leadership Training Program is one of the most successful programs, with a highly qualified and strong network uniting youths from various OIC countries.
Mehdiyev believes the training programs enhancing the intellectual capacities of young people are important as a large proportion of the population in the OIC countries are young people.
Accordingly, the organization has developed a special platform titled the Islamic Countries Young Entrepreneurs Network (ICYEN), which aims to increase awareness on entrepreneurship in the Muslim world, promote partnerships between entrepreneurs and investors, and find and nurture young Muslim entrepreneurs in all Islamic countries and Muslim communities in non-Islamic countries.
Intercultural dialogue an ICYF-DC priority
As one of six regional youth platforms of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UN AoC) initiative, the ICYF-DC collaborates with regional partners such as the European Youth Forum, Asian Youth Council, Latin American Youth Forum and Pan-African Youth Forum.
Commenting on the importance of dialogue between different nations and cultures, Ambassador Elshad Iskandarov, the secretary-general of the ICYF-DC, was quoted as saying that young people -- who are a less politicized and more liberal part of society -- are critical for the intercultural dialogue.
“This dialogue is sincere and a guarantor of future mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence among people with different cultural and religious backgrounds,” Iskandarov was quoted as saying.
Being sensitive about Islamaphobic acts throughout the world and acting in the framework of partnership with other regional youth platforms, the ICYF-DC has initiated a joint statement condemning cartoonists who offend the religious feelings of Muslims. The organization also called on the international community, especially Europeans, to demonstrate a strong position against this kind of xenophobic action in their countries.Last Mod: 05 Mayıs 2013, 13:55