Arab Youth Media Forum Commemorated International Youth Day
Honorary Member of Arab Youth Media Forum and External Relations Advisor for the Arab Non- Violence Society Dr. Naseer Homoud’s statement on International Youth Day. He maintained that successful models of youth participation should be adapted and replicated to specific political and socio-economic realities.
Delivering his speech on the occasion Dr. Homoud said, “I fully subscribe to the philosophy of youth empowerment through mainstreaming-a process for meaningful engagement and broad interrogation of young people into structures and activities of social development on a daily basis. Dialogue and mutual understanding requires consistent, committed youth-adult co-operation at every level, where the young people are recognized as equal and valuable partners. Mainstreaming as an approach, aims to support young people to fulfill their roles effectively in their societies.” He further went on to say “youth issues should be mainstreamed across various sectors and line ministries such as health, finance, economic development, housing, justice, foreign affairs and Agriculture.”
Marinating that participation of youth is a must prerequisite for development Dr. Homoud said, “participation of young people in decision making at local and national level is a must to be implemented. It is a cause for worry to note that youths have not been fully represented in government and other structures. It should be acknowledged by those in power that the youth of today is not tomorrow’s leader but that of today.”
Addressing youths assembled to mark this day Dr. Homoud said, “my message to young people this year is a direct one. This is your day, so let your voice be heard. Have your say on the issues and challenges that define our times: democracy, development, human rights, peace building, climate change, employment, and health. Our world today cries out for young people who are committed to shaping better societies. These are the youth who need to stand up and be counted, and who are not afraid to get involved and work for a better future. My message applies equally to adults: embrace and empower young people – they are not just the future; they are the present. And my message is not just for 2011: it is for always.”
Dr. Homoud said that youth employment can serve as the dominant means of community participation, active citizenship, autonomy, and independence. Finding the means, the will and the know-how to create a billion jobs over the next ten to fifteen years that not only deliver economic benefits to young people, but also maintain and even build the environmental and social wealth, is indeed a great and significant challenge. “It is perhaps one of the most important targets in achieving the MDGs and in maintaining our achievements throughout the next century and beyond,” said Dr. Homoud.