Utah students discuss sustainable mountain development with Kyrgyz ambassador


On 15–17 February 2023, faculty and students of Utah Valley University (UVU) – a member of the Mountain Partnership – discussed their joint partnership to promote sustainable mountain development (SMD), both locally and internationally, with Baktybek A. Amanbaev, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United States and Canada. In his lecture at UVU titled "Kyrgyzstan in the global community", Ambassador Amanbaev emphasized the importance of SMD and the leading role Kyrgyzstan played in having the United Nations declare 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development.

Under the umbrella of the Utah International Mountain Forum, a coalition of student clubs at UVU, the UVU Office for Global Engagement invited UVU students and members of the Foreign Affairs Club to contribute to the Ambassador's visit by hosting several activities within the framework of UVU's student-engaged learning (SEL) model. The SEL model encourages students to work together inclusively to solve real-world issues, with faculty serving as mentors.

The Foreign Affairs Club hosted a special meeting with Ambassador Amanbaev to discuss bilateral ties between UVU and academic institutions in the Kyrgyz Republic with a focus on SMD. They also held a meeting between UVU faculty and Ambassador Amanbaev about potential bilateral education projects with a focus on SMD, with the involvement of Rotary International. As a highlight of the visit, a special reception in honour of Ambassador Amanbaev was organized. Students invited UVU faculty and students, local community leaders including Utah Rotary Clubs, and the local Kyrgyz community in Utah to join the celebration.

Members of the Utah International Mountain Forum and Foreign Affairs Club will report the results of this visit during the upcoming sixty-seventh session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women on 6 March 2023.

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News by Stephan Atkinson and Rachel Welker, Co-presidents of the UVU Foreign Affairs Club

Photo: ©Jokudu Winnie Jada, UVU Rotaractor

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