Uhuru endorsed as global champion of the Young People’s Agenda in New York


Uhuru endorsed as global champion of the Young People’s Agenda in New York
President Uhuru Kenyatta at the at the Trusteeship Chambers, UN Headquarters, New York on September 24, 2018. PHOTO| PSCU

In Summary

  • The new initiative, a partnership between the United Nations Youth Strategy 2030 and General Unlimited , aims at catalyzing pro-youth actions to address dreams and, ambitions and hopes of young people globally.
  • The leaders said without urgent investment in education and skills training, the young people will continue  to be unprepared and unskilled for the future workforce.
  • The global leaders were in agreement that there can never be peace and stability in  respective countries if the interests of the youth were not urgently addressed.

President Uhuru Kenyatta joined other world leaders on Monday during the launch of an ambitious global partnership through which the UN seeks to get every young person into quality education training or employment by 2030.

The new initiative, a partnership between the United Nations Youth Strategy 2030 and Generation Unlimited, aims at catalyzing pro-youth actions to address the dreams, ambitions and hopes of 1.8 billion young people globally.

The new initiative under the aegis of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was launched at the Trusteeship Chambers, UN Headquarters, New York, on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.

President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta at the launch, was unanimously endorsed as the global Champion of the Young People’s Agenda — a position he accepted.

 

In his acceptance speech as the global champion of the youth agenda, President Kenyatta said progress for the youth means progress for the entire humanity.

“We do not champion the cause of youth opportunity and hope as a favor, but rather as the necessary, undeniable, embrace of our collective future,” he said.

President Kenyatta applauded the UNICEF leadership in defining an ambitious agenda which he said was equal to the urgency of the moment.

“We must give young people education, and employment opportunities if our societies are to live up to their full promise,” added the Head of State.

He promised the youth of his full support as he champions their cause but cautioned that the youth must also seize the occasion and shoulder responsibilities to move the world forward.

“On your part, embrace your chance to lead by seizing opportunity and turning it into tangible achievement. You must stand up, offer yourselves, dedicate yourselves, shoulder responsibility, and carry the world into the future,” he told the youth who were adequately represented at the launch.

Speakers at the launch who included the UN Secretary General Antonia Guterres were optimistic that the new partnership will tackle the global education and training crisis currently holding back millions of young people and threatening progress and stability.

The leaders said without urgent investment in education and skills training, the rapidly growing global population  of adolescents and young people, expected to reach two billion by 2030, will continue to be unprepared and unskilled for the future workforce.

The global leaders were in agreement that there can never be peace and stability in respective countries if the interests of the youth were not urgently addressed.

Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana, which were represented by their respective Heads of State, were the first countries in Africa to embrace the new partnership.

President Kenyatta enumerated the various pro-active interventions Kenya has put in place for youth  empowerment  including the policy that targets 30% of all government procurement that is awarded to the youth, women and the disabled, access to concessional loans, technical and vocational skills training, volunteer programs, government internships and apprenticeship programmes.

Under the new initiative, Generation Unlimited will complement and build on existing programmes  that support adolescents and young people.

The partnership platform will focus on three key areas: secondary education; skills for learning , employability and decent work; and empowerment.

Other speakers included President Paul Kagame (Rwanda), His Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo Addio, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, UNICEF Executive Director  Henrietta Fore and United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake.

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Story By Wendy Abdallah
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