UNICEF and NINETY ONE urge Kazakhstanis to listen to youth
23 September 2023
UNICEF Talks youth conference held in the capital city
ASTANA, September 23, 2023 - Today, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) held the UNICEF Talks Youth Conference in the Kazakh capital city in public talk format. The slogan for the annual event dedicated to youth and organized for young people was “Jastar Üni,” Voice of Youth. It aimed to provide children and young people with an open platform where they could freely express their opinions on all issues concerning their rights and interests.
"At UNICEF, we believe in the voice of young people and strive to make that voice heard. For nearly thirty years, UNICEF has been working in Kazakhstan to ensure that all children’s rights are fulfilled. In addition to the fundamental rights to education, health care, and life in a loving family, there is a lesser-known right – the right to freely express one’s own opinion on all issues concerning children. Here, at UNICEF Talks, this right becomes a reality,” Laetitia Bazzi-Veil, OIC Representative of UNICEF in Kazakhstan, said in her speech.
National UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors in Kazakhstan, members of the band NINETY ONE, headlined the event. They shared their personal stories and experiences dealing with bullying and discussed how youth can successfully overcome this challenge.
“We know from our own experience how difficult and painful it is to face and deal with bullying. Dealing with bullying at a young age without support can be extremely difficult. That’s why it was important for us to participate in UNICEF Talks and support all the young speakers. Many of them spoke publicly for the first time and were not afraid to share their concerns. I am sure that their stories and experiences will help other young people overcome similar challenges. I also believe that their words will be heard by adults who have the power to change the situation for the better so that every child in Kazakhstan has a happy future and equal opportunities,” said Zaq, NINETY ONE’s lead singer.
Together with NINETY ONE, the conference featured 16 speakers, ranging in age from 11 to 23, representing schools and universities from different regions of Kazakhstan. Their inspiring stories and experiences in overcoming current challenges were valuable motivational sources for everyone present.
More than 200 people attended the event, including representatives from Kazakhstan’s central government agencies, diplomats, the media, and the general public.