Youth from Central Asia countries, Afghanistan take part in debate tournament

BISHKEK (TCA) — Youth from Central Asian countries and Afghanistan participated in the Network Cup 2018 debate tournament at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, organized by the C5+1 Youth Council with support of the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, on February 10–11.

Network Cup 2018 debate teams debated themes such as: Global Counterterrorism and Security; Central Asia Business Competitiveness; Transport Corridor Development; and Environmental Issues and Climate Change.

Just under 64 participants from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan who formed 32 teams participated in the debate tournament. Almost 120 applicants sent in online applications to the C5+1 Youth Council, who selected participants for the debates, which took place in the English language. Debaters improved their critical thinking abilities and English language-debating skills. They studied topical issues of the modern world and networked with young debaters and leaders of Central Asian countries and Afghanistan.

The U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic invited Fulbright Specialist Dr. Joseph Zompetti to serve as Chief Adjudicator of the Network Cup 2018 debate tournament. As Professor of Communications at Illinois State University (USA), Dr. Zompetti teaches courses in communications and social issues, classical rhetoric, and political communication. He is an experienced debate specialist, with over 30 years of experience. He has also written eight books on debate strategies, critical speech and rhetoric techniques. Dr. Zompetti has significantly contributed to debate communities in Europe, Asia, and the United States — giving workshops and trainings on civic engagement, argumentation, public speaking, and critical and logical thinking.

The American University of Central Asia, in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic, has created a dynamic C5+1 Youth Council that brings together youth from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan who bring diverse backgrounds, leadership skills, and mindsets together for positive change. The C5+1 Youth Council reinforces the joint goals of U.S. – Central Asia (C5+1) projects, including: Global Counterterrorism Forum Regional Dialogue; Central Asia Business Competitiveness; Transport Corridor Development; Power the Future; and Supporting National and Regional Adaptation Planning that tackles issues of common concern. The C5+1 Youth Council selects new participants from students every year, based on applications, interviews, gender balance, diversity, and genuine interest in Youth Council objectives.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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