Dhaka, 13 August 2018: In celebration of International Youth Day, a panel discussion on “Promoting Volunteerism and Safe Spaces for Youth” was organized by UNIC Dhaka, UNV Bangladesh and VSO Bangladesh with the cooperation of Dhaka University Model United Nations Association (DUMUNA) at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka, on 13 August 2018. In inaugural session, Dr. Kazi Anowarul Haque, UN Wing Chief and Additional Secretary, Economic Relation Department spoke as chief guest while Mr. Shahed Bin Aziz, Sr. Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke as a Guest. In his speech, the chief guest said that youth have emotions and they have full of energy and we engage them with extra strength to contribute to make a better world. He mentioned that volunteerism is a social responsibility for the society and community. Mr. Shahed praised the UNIC initiatives to reach the local people with UN messages in local language, he also emphasized on safe spaces for youth for their own choice, activities, interest and participation in decision making process.
In the panel discussion, Mr. Aminul Islam Khan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of LGRD & Cooperatives, Dr. Delwar Hossain, Professor of Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, Ms. Nishat Majumder, First female winner of Mount Everest, M. Moniruzzaman, National Information Officer, UNIC Dhaka, Ms. Tazeen Hossain, Programme Manager-Youth, VSO Bangladesh, Mr. Korvi Rakshand, Founder of, Jaago Foundation and Md. Aktar Uddin, National Programme Analyst, UNV Bangladesh have took part. They discussed about safe space for youth and volunteerism. Beyond family, friend and institutional space, government is playing a proactive role to create safe space for youth by giving opportunity to raise youth’s voice, self-development; many organizations are also working in this area as well, said Mr. Aminul Islam Khan. Volunteerism remain in human mind by nature.
Prof Dr. Delwar Hossain highlighted on two types of spaces – physical and functional, functional space is more important than physical space, he said. Because functional spaces are knowledge creation, thought, legality, connectivity that could change the society.
Panelist Nishat Majumder said, we all are responsible to reduce the gap between urban and rural young people. She also added, young people addicted with drug for their curiosity, frustration and depression. UN has been working to empower the youth by providing right direction. In 2015, UN Security Council declared a resolution for youth, peace and security to solve youth’s problem, issues and anxieties.
UNSG and UN Youth Envoys joint video message was screened before the audiences. The Young participant took part in Q/A session and share of their opinions and experiences. Few volunteers shared their experiences in their respective spaces. The panel discussion was moderated by UNV Programme Analyst Md. Aktar Uddin. The event was designed in line with UN Communication group and UN Youth Envoy’s visit to Bangladesh.