Governments in the Arab world have a duty to promote youth action, initiatives and programmes to ensure young people help influence the policies that will shape their future, a top official of the Arab League has said.
Today, more importantly than ever, as we all face a global crisis and are striving hard to create a new normal, we must champion young people as active agents in creating a healthier, safer, secure and more sustainable world, said Dr Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Social Affairs Sector at the Arab League, who addressed youth and dignitaries at the inaugural Arab Meeting for Young Leaders on Monday.
Abu Ghazaleh said: “Sustainable development and peace around the world can only be achieved by showcasing and empowering the enormous efforts of the youth, and this requires strong and inclusive partnerships between youth and all public and private stakeholders. In the Arab region we should look forward to harnessing the potential of youth, where young people under 30, make up nearly 60 per cent of the population.”
“The UAE has set a great example to the world as it continues to believe in the transformative leadership of youth at national, regional and international levels to address the world’s major challenges,” she said during the meeting, which is organised by the Arab Youth Centre (AYC) and takes place alongside the World Government Summit (WGS2022).
Dr Abu Ghazaleh noted that the first of its kind meeting, aims to empower Arab youth action, initiatives, programmes and plans. She said that it helps to integrate Arab youth policies while empowering future leaders.
“I trust that the youth are the solution, not the problem. They are the opportunity and not the challenge, they are the innovators and not the consumers, they are the initiators and not the recipients, they are the awakening of hope and the renaissance of the Arab nation,” she said.
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The Arab Meeting for Young Leaders is held under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of AYC.
Speaking during the ‘Power of the Youth: The Multiplier Effect’ session of the inaugural Arab Meeting for Young Leaders, a UAE minister has said government institutions have a duty to provide youth with skills and opportunities to become drivers of sustainable human, economic and governmental development.
Shamma Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Vice-President of the Arab Youth Center (AYC), said: “When we are confident and driven by our belief in the youth, we can make a great impact.”
She added: “We want their voice to be heard, and we conduct several preparatory workshops for young Arabs in that regard. We also outline the prospects for Arab cooperation, the challenges that employees face in working with the youth, building and strengthening the reputation of Arab youth and their role in achieving environmental sustainability.
“Our mission today and every day is to always have their best interests in mind, to preserve the sparkle in their eyes, and invest for their benefit and the benefit of our countries.”
Al Mazrouei said that the energy, vision, and ambition of WGS is young in nature.
Supporting youth development and enabling young people to empower them for the transformation from academic life to work life is among the top priorities as well as the importance of designing, expanding and developing comprehensive policies focus on youth, according to experts assembled in the World Government Summit (WGS2022).
The event is led by Arab youth ministers, youth action leaders as well as regional and international organisations concerned about youth empowerment during the session.
The session discussed strategies, policies, and pioneering experiences in Arab youth work, focusing on best practices and mechanisms for developing and implementing youth policies that have a positive impact on young people lives.
At the start of the session, Dr Badr Al Bader explained that the world’s largest populations are mostly youth, who are rich in their potential, ideas and abilities waiting to be unleashed if the right policies.
Saeed Al Nazari stressed that youth empowerment in the UAE is based on flexible frameworks and standards that ensure continued expansion and growth believing from our government leaders that Youth can find answers and solutions to the world’s global challenges for the next generation. To achieve this goal, we have set a new direction and approach asset with a strong model to increase the participation of young people in sports, economics, energy, and the environment sectors as well as building global trends to ensure that youth play an active role in the development of our nation.
Dr Ragheb presented Egypt’s model of empowering youth by developing their skills and providing effective training programs that use strong academic results in finding solutions to current and future labour market challenges and enhance the principle of leadership between youth.
She added: “By working closely with public institutions and private entities, we can take many steps forward to address the challenge of increasing the numbers of youth employees in the public sector and their participation in critical functions. Through a multidisciplinary approach to education, training, and development, we are working to provide equal opportunities for everyone.”