The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi is set to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan, to speak at the open ceremony of the first Model United Nations Security Council, as well as to meet with government officials and youth organizations.

The following is Alhendawi’s welcoming message to the participants of the  MUN conference:

Ministers of the Government of Azerbaijan, United Nations Country Team, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Participants in the Model United Nations Security Council Conference,

As the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, it is a great privilege and honour to add my voice to others’ in welcoming you to Azerbaijan’s first-ever Model UN Security Council Conference on Cyber Security, to be held in Baku 21-25 October 2013.

The UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, often repeats that “the United Nations is you.” This includes the currently 1.8 billion young people of this planet – the largest generation of youth the world has ever known – and those of you who will participate in the Model UN simulation. Over the coming days, you will not only embody the UN, but you will get a unique experience which very closely reflects the day-to-day realities of the inner workings of this global organization.

I am particularly happy that this Model UN will be focusing on cyber security, because today’s already heavy online presence will only

intensify in the future. And with increased access to web services and information and communications technology (ICTs), we unfortunately tend to see an increase also in cyber crime and related issues. Ensuring safe and secure access to broadband and basic ICTs for everybody, including marginalized youth, on the other hand, can boost their innovative potential on a massive scale and foster development.

The Secretary-General has made “working with and for young people” one of his five priorities for his second term. Since taking office earlier this year as the first-ever Envoy on Youth of the Secretary-General, I have been addressing the needs of youth around the world in several different ways, including as a global advocate for youth issues. In that spirit, I want you to know that you can count on me as one of your allies – now and in the future. I will personally participate in the Model UN conference in Baku, and am very much looking forward to engaging with you all.

See you soon!

 Ahmad Alhendawi

Envoy on Youth of the UN’s Secretary-General