UNRC Speaking Points 5th Edition of the World Youth Forum
04 February 2023
Delivered at the press conference held at National Museum of Egyptian Civil to announce the 5th Edition of the World Youth Forum.
Dr. Rascha Ragheb,
Heads of UN organizations, dear colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen, partners,
And last but certainly not least, dear young representatives,
On behalf of the United Nations (UN) in Egypt, it is my pleasure to join you today, along with my colleagues, the leaders of the UN family in Egypt, at the 5th edition of the World Youth Forum.
Firstly, I would like to thank and commend Dr. Rascha Ragheb for her leadership in this important event and celebrate her efforts and those of her team in bringing this platform to life.
I would like to address our young representatives. The engagement of youth is at the very heart of UN sustainable development efforts.
You are our hope for a better tomorrow. You inspire us to do better, to strive beyond the limitations of our present and leave you a better world.
At the same time, you provide us with a mirror when we fall short of this ambition. And let me acknowledge frankly, our generation is coming short, especially where it concerns climate action. And this is where we need you to be strong, firm and honest with us, to keep us on our toes. Because you deserve better, you deserve a better, cleaner and greener planet.
You should not have to remind us of this duty, but it is important that you do. The mobilization of young people worldwide is full of potential. It is something I witnessed ahead of COP27 at the CoY, the global and local Conference of Youth, organized by young Egyptians.
At the global level, I look forward to seeing this continued engagement by Egyptian youth, as we prepare for the Summit of the Future in 2024, an initiative called for by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reinvigorate global action. Relatedly, I would like to commend the contributions of Egypt towards the creation of a UN Youth Office, facilitating the negotiations on this issue, as well as launching the National Youth Strategy last year.
I come back to Egypt. In line with the global direction of travel, and the focus of COP27 on implementation, this World Youth Forum, as Dr. Rascha mentioned, is also focused on implementation.
This year marks the first year of the new cooperation framework between the UN and the Government. The cooperation framework mainstreams the needs of young people throughout its outcomes and prioritizes investment in human capital. It forms a strategic umbrella for our action towards youth empowerment.
In this context, we have a dedicated Youth Thematic group consisting of all the UN agencies, which convenes regularly to ensure a system wide approach to this.
Moving forward, the World Youth Forum and the UN Youth Thematic Group in Egypt will collectively engage in a dialogue to identify the initiatives for implementation that address the needs of the World Youth Forum in the areas highlighted by Dr. Rascha.
Let us also recall that at the World Youth Forum last year, the UN in partnership with the Government launched its global Generation Unlimited platform in Egypt, Shabab Balad. Shabab Balad is the first public-private-youth partnership in Egypt.
Shabab Balad aspires to be the national multi-stakeholder platform that ensures all youth in Egypt aged 10-24 are enrolled in education, employed or with entrepreneurship opportunities, or positively engaged in their society.
We want to continue building on our achievements. This year we will launch the Shabab Balad flagship programme, the Shabab Balad Academy. This Academy will focus on the Learning to Earning concept. It brings together youth with relevant national partners, private sector, civil society and UN entities, and its success will fully rely on multi-stakeholder partnerships.
I conclude with a quote by the Secretary General on International Youth Day last year: “My message to you is to keep pushing; to keep mobilizing; and to keep bringing your ideas to the table. Meaningful, diverse, and effective youth participation – inside the United Nations and far beyond – is essential to advancing human rights, addressing the climate crisis and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”