First IPU Global Conference of Young ParliamentariansThe United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Mr. Alhendawi arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, on 13 October for a series of bilateral meetings, and forums including the First IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians and the 2014 World Investment Forum.

First IPU Global Conference of Young ParliamentariansHeld on the eve of the 131st Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Geneva, The 1st IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians brought together young members of parliaments, youth leaders, and young experts from around the world under the theme, “Taking Democracy to Task.” The conference sought to increase youth engagement and help define the youth agenda in the political process.

First IPU Global Conference of Young ParliamentariansGlobally, less than 1% of all parliamentarians are under the age of 30, underlining the importance of encouraging young parliamentarians and inspiring youth to become active in politics.

Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi speaks at the First IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians“The UN supports the new network of Young Members of Parliament and I personally look forward to work with the new board and engage the young Members of Parliament in supporting the youth priorities in the Post2015 Development Agenda,” pledged Alhendawi pledged at the conference.

Alhendawi next attended the World Investment Forum 2014, held by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva. The Forum is a high-level, biennial, multi-stakeholder gathering designed to facilitate dialogue and action on the world’s key and emerging investment-related challenges.  Alhendawi spoke at the World Leaders’ Investment Summit and took part in the High-Level Panel on “Making Value Chains work for the Poor”.

UNCTAD World Investment Forum conference hallThe Investment Summit focused on Investment Policies and Development Strategies, inviting discussion on channeling diverse policies towards a universal set of policies aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The “Making Value Chains work for the Poor” served as a platform to discuss how best to promote inclusive and sustainable value chains as a means of empowering small enterprises to link with all businesses. The focus of the panel was on facilitating transition from informal to formal businesses and the perspectives of different business sectors, particularly the integration of groups such as women and youth

In his remarks, Alhendawi emphasized that we are facing a global youth unemployment crisis and that the current level of investment is not sufficient to respond to the needs and rights of young people, especially in conflict zones and fragile situations. He proposed youth-related policy interventions to scale up investments in youth development and safeguard their human rights.

Next, Alhendawi travels to Jordan, where he will attend a First Advisory Board meeting for the Arab Human Development Report 2015, organized by UNDP in Amman.