WOSM Secretary General, Ahmad Alhendawi delivers rousing speech at the 41st World Scout Conference in Baku, Azerbaijan
On behalf of the Chairperson of the World Scout Committee and myself, I am pleased to welcome you to the 41st Conference of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement.
I thank the Association of Scouts of Azerbaijan for their invaluable work, and for hosting the leadership of World Scouting for this historic assembly.
I thank the 1800 leaders, supporters, donors, and partners of the Scout Movement, who joined us here in Baku at this largest-ever World Scout Conference.
In fact, I have a strong connection with this beautiful country. Through my previous visits I came to appreciate even more its rich culture and heritage.
One of my favourite poets is the great Nizami from Ganja, a place just a short drive from here.
In one of his poems he describes a wondrous place that is filled with people of different faiths and backgrounds feasting together.
I recall this beautiful poem as we seek to embrace its spirit and celebrate diversity and promote unity that lies at the heart of our Movement.
As we meet every three years to assess the state of our Movement, I can confidently say that the unity and diversity of World Scouting have never been stronger.
Thanks to the tireless effort of a hard-working World Scout Committee, and devoted staff of the World Scout Bureau, and really to all of you.
We are expanding and welcoming new members, reaching out to more young people, and showing to the world the power of investing in education and skills development for youth. And we do that while our compass is set straight on our mission of creating a better world.
Brothers and sisters,
We live at a time of grave challenges and threats to the planet and the rights and dignity of people. More and more young people feel they have been left behind.
Nurturing this largest generation of young people is the key to unlocking a massive potential for peace and prosperity in our world.
In Scouting, that is what we stand for. It is what we have done for over 110 years, and that is what we continue to aspire to achieve.
We meet here under the banner of creating positive change.
This is a major goal of the Scout Movement since its inception. And it’s in the heart of our vision, Vision 2023.
Scout leaders at all levels adopted this bold vision for Scouting with a pledge to accelerate the growth of the Movement, deepen its impact and unity, and increase its influence in the world by empowering 100 million young people.
As the world’s largest educational youth movement, Vision 2023 is our promise to our members and young people around the world– especially those who have been marginalized and they deserve to equally experience the transformative power of Scouting.
Here we discuss the mega-trends around us, such as educational trends, the Sustainable Development Goals, the movement of Refugee, the changing landscape in communication, and the rise and fall of negative narratives, we come together to take resolutions and set the direction on how to act.
And as we meet to review the progress of the past triennium, we renew our resolve to create a better and bigger change in our world.
Brothers and sisters,
Last week, together with the Chairperson of the WSC, we joined the biggest Youth Forum ever of the Scout Movement in the beautiful city of Qabala. The remarkable maturity and courage shown by our youth members was yet another confirmation that our movement is producing responsible and conscious young leaders.
They are here with us, and I have no doubt that they will participate in the Conference with the same dedication and constructive contributions. After all, the intergenerational and global solidarity nature of our Movement is also what makes our Movement unique.
Today, World Scouting celebrates its diversity and inclusion for all, in all ages, all backgrounds and all walks of life. All under one powerful tent.
Brothers and sisters,
Earlier this year I was honoured to be tasked to serve as the Secretary-General of our Movement. As a Scout since I was 12 years old in my home country Jordan, re-joining the Movement is a humbling responsibility.
WOSM today is set on a path of innovation and modernisation. We are transforming our operations to focus on offering the best services to our members.
Coming from the United Nations to serve our Movement, I draw wisdom from the words of our Founder Lord B-P. When the League of Nations when it was established after World War II, he wrote a letter describing the role of Scouts in supporting it as: “The Scouts should work to make the League of Nations a bond between people not only a pact between nations”.
We inherit a proud heritage that has been passed down to us for generations. Let’s create an even greater legacy to the future of our world. Each one of us can do that by pledging today, once again, that on my honour, I will do my best to create a better world.