On his second day of the World Conference on Youth (#wcy2014) in Sri Lanka, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, had a busy day which encompassed a string of bilateral meetings, as well as a highlight referencing his last visit to the country.
Meeting with Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs, H.E. Mr. Taimoor Shah Eshaqzay, Alhendawi and the Minister discussed the cooperation between the UN and the Government of Afghanistan in the formulation and implementation of their national youth policy. The Envoy was particularly pleased to learn that the national youth policy had been approved earlier the same day by the Government. In a meeting with Nepal’s Minister of Youth and Sports, H.E. Purushottam Paudel, the Minister expressed his gratitude to the UN for supporting peace and development in Nepal. The Envoy and the Minister agreed to continue the coordination in evaluating the current national youth policy, and supporting future programmes.
In a meeting with Serbia’s Assistant Minister for Youth, H.E. Snezna Klasnja, Alhendawi and the Assistant Minister discussed recent developments in youth policy since the Envoy’s last visit to Belgrade in October 2013.
Meeting with Somalia’s Minister of Youth and Sports H.E. Khalid Omar Ali, Alhendawi’s and the Minister’s discussion focused on how they could assist the capacity of the newly established Ministry of Youth and Sport, as well as how the international community could support youth development in Somalia more broadly.
The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth also took the opportunity to visit the UN information booth, as well as the exhibit onsite the World Conference on Youth.
Later in the day, he met with the Minister for Youth and Sports of Fiji, H.E. Viliame Naupoto. The two interlocutors discussed the current support provided by the United Nations to the Ministry.
Alhendawi also met with the Minister of Youth and Civic Instruction of the Government of Congo-Brazzaville, H.E. Anatole Collinet Makosso, who is also President of the Conference of Youth Ministers of the African Union (COMY). Immediately following this, the Envoy met with the State Minister of Youth and Sports of Bangladesh H.E. Shri Biren Sikder, who briefed him on the country’s youth service programme. They also discussed the preparations for the upcoming Global Forum on Youth Policies.
At the end of the day, the Envoy saw the highlight of his day: Last July, he visited Sri Lanka and asked the UN Country Team to establish a Youth Advisory Panel. Over the past few months, the UN Country Team launched a call for members and received hundreds of applications from young people in Sri Lanka. After a thorough and inclusive selection process, 15 young Sri Lankans were chosen as members of the first Youth Advisory Panel. Today, Alhendawi met with them — and felt their energy and enthusiasm!
Finally, in the evening, Alhendawi participated in two side events: one on “Young people affected by HIV, Speak up in post-2015 development” with UNAIDS, and the other a discussion on the state of youth policy in 2014 organised by Youth Policy.