Youth Forum in Tbilisi Explores the Vital Role of Young People in Inclusion and Empowerment of Ethnic Minorities

UNDP and Norway empower Georgian youth to actively engage in public life

July 13, 2023
Youth Forum in Tbilisi
Photo: UNDP Georgia/Vladimir Valishvili

A youth forum titled "The Role of Young People in Inclusion and Empowerment of Ethnic Minorities" was successfully held in Tbilisi on 13 July, bringing together more than 100 passionate young people from across Georgia. Organized by UNDP, Norway, and the European Union, in collaboration with two civil society organizations, "Red Bridge" and "New Thought Institute," the forum aimed to foster dialogue and empower youth in combating societal stereotypes while promoting positive change.

The forum commenced with a welcome address delivered by Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia. Beresford highlighted the importance of creating an inclusive society that values the active participation of young people from ethnic minority backgrounds. His opening remarks set the tone for the engaging discussions that followed.

Speakers at the event included Jeyhun Muhammadali, head of the "Red Bridge" organization, and Kamran Afandiyev, head of the "New Thought Institute" organization. Both speakers shared their insights and experiences, emphasizing the need to remove barriers faced by young people from ethnic minority groups when seeking active engagement in public life.

The forum participants actively contributed to the dialogue, presenting their ideas and strategies to combat societal stereotypes and promote inclusivity. Many shared personal success stories, demonstrating the transformative power of youth in driving change within their communities. A highlight of the event was the distribution of certificates to successful graduates of the Public Development School organized by the "Red Bridge" organization, acknowledging their commitment and dedication.

The impact of the youth forum is set to reverberate into the future. With the support of Norway and UNDP, the organizing partners have committed to hosting four forums by the end of 2023. These events will continue to provide a platform for young voices, empowering them to address key challenges faced by ethnic minority communities in Georgia and fostering an inclusive society that embraces diversity.

Youth Forums are part of the “Leadership, Equality, Advocacy, Democracy” (LEAD) programme that supports institutional, legislative, and societal changes in Georgia to safeguard minority rights, combat discrimination, and create a collaboration platform for public agencies, civil society organizations and international partners. UNDP is implementing the LEAD programme with US$4 million in funding from Norway.

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