August 13, 2023

Baku 2023 – a Journey into the Future of Education

The 99th International Session of the European Youth Parliament (EYP) took place from August 5th to 13th in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The event

This event ignited a spark of curiosity, collaboration, and cultural exchange among more than 250 young participants from 35 countries. This vibrant conference, hosted under the theme of reimagining education, set the stage for an immersive experience that celebrated diversity, sustainability, and youth empowerment.

From left to right: Guldana Dadashova, Rufat Mir Feyzullazade, Realdo Silaj, Aylin Alakbarli

The team

The driving force behind Baku 2023 was the dedicated team of organisers and visionaries who worked tirelessly to bring this event to life. Spearheading this remarkable session were the following individuals:

  • Realdo Silaj – President: As the President of Baku 2023, Realdo Silaj led with passion and commitment, setting the stage for an unforgettable experience.
  • Rufat Mir Feyzullazade and Guldana Dadashova – Head-Organisers: These individuals played pivotal roles in the planning and execution of the session, collaborating with a diverse team of organisers. Together, they transformed a vision into reality.
  • Aylin Alakbarli – Editress: Aylin Alakbarli ensured that the spirit of Baku 2023 was captured and documented for posterity, preserving the memories of this transformative event.

Their combined efforts laid the foundation for an event that celebrated diversity, reimagined education, and empowered youth voices to be heard on a global stage. From complex academic topics to the vibrant cultural exchange, Baku 2023 was a testament to their dedication and vision.

The programme

The program started with a lively welcome – the conference kicked off with a party, igniting the spirit of unity and anticipation for the days ahead. Participants from diverse backgrounds came together to embark on a journey of education, culture, and connection.

Later the participants engaged in team-building activities that fostered connections and formed lasting bonds. Additionally, Eurovillage offered a delightful celebration of European cultures, fostering a deeper appreciation for rich diversity.

Committee Work began with participants delving into complex issues and brainstorming innovative solutions revolving around the theme of the event: the crucial role of education in shaping a sustainable future for the continent and beyond. The day culminated in an inspiring Opening Ceremony, where the Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Azerbaijan Farid Gayibov, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan Farid Jafarov, the Executive Director (a.i.) of the Youth Foundation of the Republic of Azerbaijan Gadir Khalilov, Professor at the Hertie School of Governance Marina Henke, and Chief Executive Officer of Veyseloglu Group of Companies Burak Deniz gave speeches about the importance of education for shaping the future.

Committee Work continued with expert talks, deepening participants’ understanding of their respective topics. Baku 2023 – the 99th International Session of the EYP aimed to provide a unique platform for young people to voice their perspectives, propose innovative solutions, and build bridges of understanding on the pressing issues surrounding education today. The event’s agenda encompassed a wide range of topics, including equitable access to education, non-discrimination, and media disinformation. Additionally, an event with the United Nations explored the vital role of education in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The day added excitement with a thrilling scavenger hunt and a committee dinner filled with camaraderie.

As a part of the program, participants also enjoyed a free day exploring the vibrant city of Baku and its surroundings, immersing themselves in Azerbaijani culture. The evening brought the Euroconcert, showcasing the artistic talents of the participants.

The final part of the program, which is the General Assembly, saw passionate debates on resolutions crafted by participants, demonstrating their dedication to finding solutions to pressing issues. The day concluded with a spirited Swing Dance event, uniting participants in joyous celebration.

The last day featured the closing ceremony, a time to celebrate participants’ achievements and the bonds formed during the event. A grand dinner and a farewell party at Yanar Dag, a mesmerizing natural wonder, marked the conclusion of this unforgettable journey.

After the farewell party, it was time for everyone to go home, enriched by their experience in Baku. See below some quotes from participants about the impact this event had on them!

  • “Baku 2023 was an unforgettable experience which gave me the chance to learn and enrich my personal knowledge in a friendly environment with participants eager to learn, just like me.”

  • “A culturally vibrant session that simultaneously showcased the importance of education as well as allowed us to learn more about the diverse country of Azerbaijan.”

  • “The session was enriching, enlightening and also so fun, I got the opportunity to meet amazing people and experience this wonderful culture!”

You can check out EYP Azerbaijan’s Instagram, Facebook, and website to have a look at the media output and get more information on the event.

EYP International Session in Baku would not have been possible without the support from our partners. We would like to thank our sponsors, among them the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Culture, Youth Foundation, and the State Tourism Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan,  Veyseloglu, Visegrad, Hertie Stiftung, NATO, UNFPA, UN Azerbaijan, Sparkasse & ESBG, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and many others. Special thanks to Univerium, Baku Modern High School, Landau school, and ADA University for their provision of the venues for the event.