Government's youth policy undoubtedly plays an important role in the formation of Azerbaijani youth as a modern, developed and highly intelligent driving force, Head of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Public and Political Issues Department, Ali Hasanov said.
Hasanov made the remarks at the 4th selective and reporting conference of the Ireli Public Union on June 27.
He said this policy was founded by Azerbaijan's national leader Heydar Aliyev.
"The national leader Heydar Aliyev always had high hopes for the country's youth, called them the future of Azerbaijan and repeatedly noted that Azerbaijan's future is in good hands," Hasanov stressed.
"The great leader Heydar Aliyev considered the education of young generation with a healthy thinking as an important task of the state and society," Hasanov said.
He said the Ministry of Youth and Sports was established on July 26, 1994 in order to implement the youth policy in the independent Azerbaijan.
Hasanov added that following the ministry's creation important measures have been taken in moral education and physical development of young generation, protection of their rights, participation in international organizations and coordination of youth organizations' activities.
He added that a number of government programs have been developed. Hasanov said the first forum of Azerbaijani youth held on February 2, 1996 was an event of exceptional importance for the country.
"The forum, attended by the great leader Heydar Aliyev, showed that the young people are ready to actively participate in realization of the country's tasks, and also contributed to a significant revival of the work with youth," Hasanov said.
He went on to add that Heydar Aliyev, who received a group of active youth representatives on February 1, 1997, on the anniversary of the forum, declared February 2 the Day of Azerbaijani Youth, and since that day, February 2 is traditionally celebrated annually as a holiday of Azerbaijani youth.
Hasanov said that today the youth policy, which was founded by the great leader Heydar Aliyev, successfully continues under President Ilham Aliyev.
"Today, the youth policy has entered a new stage. Today, the Azerbaijani state is enjoying a period of rapid development, and this development, naturally, opens up new opportunities for the youth," Hasanov stressed.
"With the growth of Azerbaijan's financial and economic potential, investments are being made in the development of all spheres. This gives positive results. Naturally, the younger generation has not been left out of this process, and very important projects are being realized to educate highly intelligent and patriotic youth."
Hasanov went on to say that the growth in the state support for young people and rendering proper attention to them is one of the main directions of the policy pursued in Azerbaijan under President Ilham Aliyev's leadership.
"The measures taken in the country in recent years have accelerated the creation of political, social, economic, organizational and legal conditions and guarantees to ensure the youth's comprehensive development, and also have contributed to the growth of their social and political activity."
"The youth policy in the country has turned into an important part of public policy. Azerbaijani youth is distinguishable for their vigorous activities in all spheres of the public life, and it plays an important role in realization of political, economic, humanitarian and social measures."
The high-ranking official also noted that Ilham Aliyev approved the "State Program on education of Azerbaijan youth abroad in the years 2007-2015" and the state program "Azerbaijani youth in 2011-2015".
Hasanov added that realization of these programs resulted in positive changes and major success in the priority areas of the state youth policy.
Great work has been carried out for the patriotic education of youth, and the state care for the talented and creative young people has been expanded, according to Hasanov.
He stressed that the necessary conditions have been created for active involvement of young people in Azerbaijan's social and political life.
"Thanks to the state care, the rights ensuring the youth organizations' participation in the youth policy have been extended, and a systematic support was provided for their projects and programs," Hasanov said.
He also stressed that the declaration of the year 2007 as the "Year of Youth", the creation of the Youth Foundation under the President of Azerbaijan in 2011, the construction of youth centers in over 20 cities and districts of Azerbaijan, the establishment of the 2013 Presidential Award for Youth, are all the practical results of the attention and care rendered by the president to the youth.
"The Youth Foundation under the President of Azerbaijan actively assists in providing social, physical, intellectual and moral development of the younger generation, their education in the spirit of patriotism, increasing social activity, and the realization of innovative ideas and creative initiatives."
Hasanov said the foundation, which has to date organized five grant competitions, has financed 1,457 projects in general.
He stressed that under corresponding orders of the Azerbaijani president, 5 million AZN were allocated for the foundation twice from the President's Reserve Fund and once from the State Budget.
"President Ilham Aliyev has always underscored in his speeches that Azerbaijani youth must be educated, literate, tied to the motherland, and should contribute to the country's further development," he said.
Hasanov said that the sense of statehood and patriotism are the Azerbaijani state's main expectation from the youth.
He said the duty of each youth representative is active involvement in protection of Azerbaijan from internal and external threats and pressure, and to become the owners of their country.
"Each youth representative, regardless of nationality, religion, race, must feel the idea of Azerbaijanism," he added.
The top official said the process of building an independent state was launched in Azerbaijan in early 90's under the leadership of national leader Heydar Aliyev in a complicated social and political situation, and amid rapid economic regression and social tensions.
"Serious attempts were taken at that time to impose pressure from the outside to the country's domestic and foreign policy, and to control Azerbaijan. And only thanks to the foresight, patriotism and determination of the great leader, it was possible to neutralize the anti-national forces, to retain national statehood and bring the country to the path of dynamic development," Hasanov said.
"It is no secret that those forces today do not want to accept the independent political course of our state, and use various means to force Azerbaijan to turn from the path of progress and rapid development, try to subdue the country to their influence. But today Azerbaijan is a strong, dynamically developing country, having great international influence, with its own place and role in world politics," he underscored.
Hasanov added that providing opportunities by independent Azerbaijan to the youth has resulted in the young people's capability to have their say and be represented on the world stage with independent projects.
He said the youth has its place and merits in bringing the values and socio-political developments in Azerbaijan to the world community.
Azerbaijani youth attaches importance to strengthening friendship, trust and understanding between peoples, protects the high values of the people, and does the best for their propaganda, Hasanov stressed.
Hasanov said that the Vice President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Chairman of the Azerbaijani Youth Organization of Russia (AYOR), Head of the International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA), Leyla Aliyeva has a special place and role in promoting Azerbaijan's stance as a representative of the youth.
"AYOR, led by Leyla Aliyeva, has turned into one of the most important youth structures, covering all regions of Russia and having very great importance for the future of our countries," Hasanov added.
"The international propaganda campaign 'Justice for Khojaly', initiated in 2008 by Leyla Aliyeva is carrying out a fruitful activity in delivering the truth about the Khojaly genocide and Karabakh conflict to world community."
Hasanov also said that along with this, Leyla Aliyeva laid the foundation of IDEA - the International Dialogue for Environmental Action.
"The organization's main aim is to protect the environment, to inform young people about environmental threats that our planet is facing. IDEA is a response initiative to the modern challenges," Hasanov said.
"Based on the above mentioned, we can conclude that Leyla Aliyeva's multifaceted activities, and task-oriented activities serve as example for today's Azerbaijani youth."
He added that the young people should support this work.
"The result of the task-oriented youth policy carried out today is the fact that Azerbaijan is forming highly intelligent young people with a sense of patriotism and national thinking. Today there are over 300 youth organizations. These structures play a fundamental role in terms of organizing the youth in a national-moral, cultural, social and political spheres."
"With full responsibility we can say that the resources of the youth organizations, the ongoing projects and programs, the activities carried out by them, have significantly improved and developed. Along with active participation in public life, they render voluntary support to the state policies implemented in various areas. From this point of view, I appreciate the activities of Azerbaijan's youth organizations," Hasanov said.
The head of the presidential administration's department also said the "Ireli" public union is one of the youth organization structures.
He said the union started working on August 26, 2005 as a republic-wide youth movement.
"The movement, which aims to closely unite around and support the policies of President Ilham Aliyev, who cares about Azerbaijan's bright future and leads the country forward, suspended its work after three years of activity, and became the Ireli Public Union on December 24, 2008.
Hasanov said that Ireli, setting the support for human capital development in Azerbaijan as its primary mission, has brought together hundreds of young people and made interesting initiatives since its establishment.
"Today, the Ireli Public Union is holding the next selective and reporting conference," Hasanov said.
"This means that the union, summing up and evaluating the biennial activities, also updates its governing structures. Retaining this tradition in the public union and the constant updates are positive developments. Taking this opportunity, I would like to wish success to the union's future management," he said.
During his speech, Hasanov also made some remarks about the management of the Ireli Public Union. He recommended them not to break off ties with the people.
"When the ties with the people are broken, other powers will seek to use you," Hasanov stressed.
He also said the managers and members of the Ireli did not mention the founder of the Azerbaijani state, Heydar Aliyev in their speeches.
"The foundations of the Azerbaijani state were laid by the national leader Heydar Aliyev. His ideas correspond to that of Azerbaijan, and have laid the foundation of our future achievements," Hasanov said. "On the other hand, the Youth Foundation, and the Youth and Sports Ministry, which play major roles in implementation of youth policy in Azerbaijan, should have been mentioned here today."
Ali Hasanov expressed confidence that the new management of Ireli will take these recommendations into account, as well as the new managing staff will strengthen ties with the state bodies, the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, and will play a special role in the lives of thousands of young people who are the members of this organization.
Ireli Public Union's Chairman, Rauf Mardiev agreed with Ali Hasanov's remarks.