In Washington, DC, the World Bank today is hosting its Youth Summit, gathering over 700 young participants.

In a morning expert panel on “Working towards the post-2015 agenda: addressing the challenge of youth exclusion,” Alhendawi outlined some of the many initiatives taken by the UN system to elevate youth issues during the last couple of years:

Making “working with and for young people” one of the top-five priorities for his second term, the Secretary-General for the first time ever earlier this year appointed an Envoy on Youth. Also a first, there is now a UN strategy on youth — the System-Wide Action Plan — in addition to the UN’s Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development, encompassing 40 UN entities working on youth issues.

In his remarks, the Envoy on Youth questioned the perception that young people would not be interested in politics.
“Look at their engagement using social media; they are interested in political issues, but not necessarily in political institutions. Young people live in the digital age, but politics remain in the analogue era. Politics urgently need to be upgraded,” said Alhendawi.