NEW YORK – UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on Tuesday, said young people around the world must raise their voices to be heard loud and clear.
He made the remark at the first Global Forum on Youth Policies in Baku, Azerbaijan.
In a video message to the opening of the Forum, Ban said: “young people are the leaders of tomorrow but we need to listen to them carefully today.’’
Meanwhile, a UN statement issued in New York stated that the UN-backed Forum was the first of such gathering, bringing together large numbers of experts and officials to focus on youth policy.
The statement quoted the UN Secretary-General as saying that “when young people are
adequately empowered and engaged, everyone benefits from governments to the private sector to civil society.’’
He said young people must get involved early and often by participating in civic and public life, stressing that “they have got to speak, and not just at today’s forum.
“The message must go beyond the walls of this forum, to reach a mass audience.’’
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, told the forum that “young people are not asking for support, they are asking for investment.
“With a population of 1.8 billion worldwide and 90 per cent of them living in developing countries, young people are the world’s biggest and most promising asset for transformation,’’ he added.
Alhendawi said the first Global Forum on Youth Policies was a perfect opportunity to unveil an “invest in youth’’ logo commemorating that milestone.
According to him, the campaign to mark the 20th anniversary of the Programme of Action is meant to generate momentum and revive commitment to youth policy.
He told the participants to partake in all aspects from spreading the message on social media to getting involved in civic participation at grassroots.
“We are in the business of inspiring hope,’’ he said, stressing that the Forum offered an unprecedented opportunity for programmes and partners to address issues aching young people, including the currently unemployed worldwide.
According to the statement, the Forum focused on taking stock of youth policies since the adoption of the World Programme of Action on Youth by the UN General Assembly in 1995.
It would also delve into achievements and shortcomings of the World Programme of Action by engaging with different agencies and brainstorming on how to make youth policy a success,
while finding ways to bridge budget gaps. (PANA/NAN)