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Youth Envoy hopes to make United Nations a place for all young people

Youth Envoy hopes to make United Nations a place for all young people”

On December 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendations made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth and declared August 12, as the International Youth Day.

"Today, on International Youth Day, we celebrate the limitless potential of young people".

"[Young people] are the most valuable force we have to shape a better future", Ms. Wickramanayake said, and added, in a message directed to the young people of Iraq: "The United Nations is with you and I, as your Envoy, will do everything within my power to ensure that your voices are heard".

"I served as Youth Delegate during the formulation process of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)".

He introduced 26-year old Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as the youngest and "one of the most important" members of his team.

"Today, thousands of young women and men work tirelessly, often under very unsafe conditions and with very little support or recognition, to build peace and promote security for all", Ms. Wickramanayake, told the event, which was hosted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Iraq.

"My goal would be to ensure that young people have a voice in all of these processes at the United Nations, with a special focus on the participation of girls and young women", she said, noting that young people comprise over half of the world's population, the largest youth population in history.

Organised by the UN Division for Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with the Inter-agency Network on Youth Development, Friday's event drew together experts from youth organisations, government and the UN to explore the various ways in which young people are contributing to building and sustaining peace.

"The theme of this year's International Youth Day - Youth Building Peace - emphasizes how young leaders can help move societies beyond conflict and violence by promoting gender equality, inclusion, and education".



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