YOUNG DIPLOMATS’ Africa Regional Director Idriss Zackaria delivered this keynote address Tuesday, November 28, 2017 during an inaugural event in N’Djamena-Chad. These are his remarks, as prepared for delivery for our Africa Bureau:
Excellencies, distinguished delegates, members of media, members of the diplomatic corps, members of educational institutions, traditional leaders, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to extend to you all a very warm welcome on behalf of Young Diplomats. I would like to express my gratitude to all of you, who so generously helped us make this event come together smoothly. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Today, by opening our first regional bureau in Africa; we celebrate the potential and power of young people around the world; to shape the future of our increasingly interconnected world. With Young Diplomats; young generations will find the solutions to some of our most difficult global challenges.
YOUNG DIPLOMATS is a unique magazine and association headquartered in France bringing together young people from all over the world. An African representation is created in Chad to cover the Africa region.
Young Diplomats is committed to providing opportunity for young people to ensure they are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but also change agents of today. We also want to make sure that boys and girls have equal access to education, building skills to strengthen youth leadership in: diplomacy, civil society, business and academia.
Today; our world is more connected, more developed. However, young people are facing more challenges; the young generations have been left behind with many unanswered questions…. Diseases challenges, security and peace challenges, high level of unemployment, War and terror, to the independence of Kurdistan, Catalonia independence, Brexit, or the Rohingya crisis, Civil war in Syria and Central African Republic. Imagine a world where people are being sold in “slave markets” in Libya. We have problems; and now is the time to start developing our responses.
Young Diplomats exists to tackle these kinds of challenges and beyond.
We exist to:
- Support programs that represent the interests of young people and professionals in the world in general and Africa in particular.
- Provide a direct channel of communication between students and businessmen. Through: training, conferences, research and publications, analyzes and reports at different levels.
- To find partnerships for students and actors in different fields: culture, commerce, education, energy and environment.
- We improve an in-depth understanding of the different scenarios of global business issues in order to understand enhance and appreciate diplomatic channels in conflict resolution.
- We also increase engagement in international relations issues and encourage sharing of research and analyses on different aspects of global affairs and diplomacy-related issues.
In today’s gathering; I would like to focus on our magazine and association Young Diplomats. Since its founding in 2014, Young Diplomats has been the leading forum for serious discussion of global affairs. It is now a multiplatform media association with a mobile site, a website, various apps and social media feeds and more.
Young Diplomats is non-profit membership association dedicated to improving the understanding of foreign policy and international affairs through the free exchange of ideas.
This is the place to remember that the articles in Young Diplomats Magazine will deal with questions of international interest today. They will cover a broad range of subjects, not only political; but historical and economic. We insist on tolerance and reject all forms of discrimination of religion, nationality, gender and race.
The articles in Young Diplomats Magazine will deal with question of international interest today. They will cover a broad range of subjects, not only political, but historical and economic, and they will be accompanied when it is desirable, by maps and diagrams. Technical articles will be left to more special magazines.
As Young Diplomats; we are big today, we exist everywhere in the world. We have five regional offices around the world (in Asia, Europe, India, Latin America and Africa). We also have 26 ambassadors in different African states for the moment, and we are working to increase the number, to be 52 ambassadors in Africa, by next June 2018.
Even though we exist everywhere; there are still people asking us frequently questions, one of the interesting messages that I have received just last night on Facebook – actually it’s a question that has been asked over and over and over.
A young lady in Kazakhstan sent me an email saying “My name is Milana Baha. I love Young Diplomats’ programs on the website. I want to join Young Diplomats and want to change the world, but the problem is that I am not African and I didn’t study diplomacy or political sciences. I am a student of economy”
The answer is pretty easy young lady; as I am sure that you would be watching this video on our website – If you are in Astana, or Canberra, Sofia, Bujumbura, Havana, Jakarta, Vienna, Tirana, Bangui, Paris, Bamako, Cairo, Ohio or in any corner of the world; and you’re interested in making change, make sure that there is always a place for you at Young Diplomats, even if you didn’t study diplomacy or IR.
I am telling you this, because my mother has never been to school, but when I first told her about Young Diplomats as a project; she said; I would join you too! So I asked her: what’re you going to do? She answered: I will help you preparing your stuff, or at least I’ll be praying for you.
And one day when I told her that I wanted to leave Young Diplomats for some reasons; you know what she told me? She said “Son! Please don’t die before your death!”
So Ms Milana Baha; if you see me standing before you here today, that’s because of the woman that has never been to school, and I believe you could do better too.
I know a lot of you will have your own stories just like this. A change in the world that seems so clear you’re sure someone else will do it. But they won’t. You will.
But it’s not enough to have purpose yourself. You have to create a sense of purpose for others. And that’s why Young Diplomats exists for you and others.
Ladies and gentlemen, I do hope you enjoy our event – we are very grateful to you for taking time from your busy schedule to help us celebrate our first meeting in Africa.
Thank you. God bless you and God bless Africa.