The truth is, I was shaking internally the whole time. After all, you can never see so many of them casually walking around. Former President of Finland, Madame Tarja Halonen approached us and asked us how we made our speech.
I was thrilled by how close I can be -- elated by how I'm only one step for telling them what we truly think. I mentioned super typhoon Haiyan being the 24th storm to rip the archipelago carrying sustained wind speeds of 235 kilometers an hour (Source: WSJ). We lightly touched the pressing issues in the region such as the armed clash at the West Philippine Sea and even our controversial Presidential candidate, Rodrigo Duterte.
As an impulse for someone who kept talking about the negative effects of fossil fuels, irresponsible mining and industrialization. I thought about asking what they think was left for a sustainable future and then I thought that question really depends on us. Expressing what we believe about climate change to the heads of state is never enough. It is about us, the youth, to truly define and fight for what kind of life we want to have after 10 years or so.
Nizami Ganjavi International Center is firmly convinced that in a very unsafe and unstable world that we now live in, every conference like the Baku Forum which seeks ways to remedy the current problems, to promote religious, ideological and other tolerance, human rights and freedoms is not just necessary but indispensable as that precious platform from which divergent views are heard and discussed, for the betterment of us all. (http://www.nizamiganjavi-ic.org/)
Our meeting was deep yet subtle and so it was really difficult to bring our full concerns. We can always create a platform ourselves -- small steps at a time.
While at the formal dinner, I introduced myself to Madame Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former President of Latvia. "And what are your aspirations, young man?" She asked. Without a doubt I said, "A diplomat. I want to serve my country as a diplomat, Madam." She looked at me, smiled and said "good for those who love their country."
"70+ Presidents, prime ministers, heads of state and government"
The "Young Leaders" with Madame Tarja Kaarina Halonen, President of the Republic of Finland.
Courtesy call with His Excellency Rosen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria
Dinner with Madame Rosalía Arteaga, former President of the Republic of Ecuador
His Excellency Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Republic of Macedonia
|Adam with Her Excellency Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga - President of the Republic of Latvia|
Photos from IV Global Baku Forum Nizami Ganjavi International Center @ Sandy Alhomsi & Muhammad Ahmad.