5 September 2013 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Envoy on Youth launched today an online platform to bring the Organization’s initiatives closer to young people and engage with them, regardless of their location.
The website http://www.un.org/youthenvoy will not just provide news about UN agencies’ work for and with youth, but it will also be a platform for youth-led organizations and youth activists to learn about opportunities to work with the Organization’s various entities.
“In the digital age we have young people accessing social media and using the Internet, yet sometimes it is still confusing for them to get the most relevant piece of information and news for them,” the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, said in an interview.
“What we are trying to do is make sure that we are making the UN accessible to young people by bringing all the youth-related news and opportunities in the UN system to one place.”
From climate change to poverty, the website will give information on various topics relevant to youth, Mr. Alhendawi said, adding that it will not just be about giving information but also about receiving feedback and questions from young people.
“We are linking the page fully with our social media,” he said. “Young people can use it to interact with us, send us their questions and we will get back to them.”
He added that the platform marks a new phase greater UN engagement with youth, with more international, national and local initiatives being announced in the future on the website.
“This is just the beginning. Once you have the tool, you can have more interaction with young people” he said. “We hope this will facilitate the communication between our work and that of young people around […] we will try to make it as interactive as possible.”
During his second term, the UN chief identified working with and for young people as one of his top priorities. In January, he appointed Mr. Alhendawi of Jordan as his Envoy on Youth, with the aim of addressing the needs of the largest generation of youth the world has ever known. He is also tasked with advocating for addressing the development needs and rights of young people, and bringing the work of the UN closer to them.
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