Jerusalem,12 August 2015
“It is time to showcase inspiring ways in which young people engage in civic, political and social spheres and demonstrate how the issue of youth civic engagement enables greater and inclusive participation of young women and men in decision-making and public life” stated Mr. Robert Piper, UN Resident Coordinator.
According to the 2014 UNFPA Youth Situation Analysis Report, there is a lack of civic participation among young Palestinians and especially among young women. Organizations are not aware of the importance of youth participation in decision-making and youth themselves are not aware of their right to participate in civic life. Further, youth lack awareness on the principals of citizenship and effective government. Civic engagement provides young people with opportunities to learn about values of responsibility and accountability as well as acquire new skills relevant for joining the workforce.
Youth comprise one third of the population in Palestine. If Palestinian youth are empowered, educated, supported, employed and protected from violence, conflict-recovery and economic and social development can be accelerated. “They have the right to be at the tables where decisions and peace are made”, said Mr. Anders Thomsen, UNFPA Representative in the State of Palestine.
“Young people should never be seen as a burden on any society, but instead as our most precious asset. On this International Youth Day, let us ensure that young people in Palestine are given the opportunity to contribute to the development and the progress of their communities.” Mr. Piper concluded.