OSCE Central Asian Youth Network seminar focuses on Innovating Central Asia

ALMATY (TCA) — The 12th annual OSCE Central Asian Youth Network (CAYN) seminar began on June 26 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The three-day event, dedicated to the theme of “Innovating Central Asia” is organized by the OSCE Programme Office in Astana for some 40 top university students and CAYN alumni from Central Asia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. Other OSCE regional field missions provided support for the event. Nariman Mukushev, Deputy Minister for Labour and Social Protection of Population of Kazakhstan, representatives of the OSCE as well as experts from Georgia and Kazakhstan, and leading representatives of the private sector and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are taking part.

In addition to learning about innovation and new technologies in Central Asia, the participants will discuss key challenges to comprehensive security in Central Asia and beyond and explore ways to address them in their communities and together with neighbouring countries. They will also explore the role of digitalization in promoting transparency and opportunities for business in the region.

Award-winning writer Guzel Yakhina, author of “Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” and “My Children” will join to discuss the opportunities and challenges of being a published author and ways to motivate young people to create and innovate.

“Your youth and willingness to branch out to young leaders in Central Asia are key advantages in addressing the challenges faced by young people in the region, and indeed the rest of the world. These issues require fresh perspectives and new regional co-operative approaches – that is at the heart of the OSCE’s mission,” said Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana, Ambassador György Szabó.

The Deputy Head of the Italian Embassy in Astana, Matteo Petrini, spoke about the priorities of Italy’s 2018 OSCE Chairmanship, including the focus on youth. Riccardo Pozzi, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Youth and Security, discussed the value of new technologies in the modern era. Gustavo Araujo, Chief of Recruitment at the OSCE, discussed professional development and ways for individuals to engage in innovative thinking in the workplace and how international organizations can innovate.

The seminar will be followed by a two-day training workshop focused on finding solutions to challenges and conceptualizing design concepts.