The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, arrived in Veracruz, Mexico in the last stop of his current tour which took him to Germany, Thailand and the Dominican Republic. Alhendawi addressed this morning Ministers and Directors of Youth at the Youth Meeting of the Ibero-America, organized by the O.I.J and Mexican Institute of Youth in the context of the Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Governments.

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Alhendawi is scheduled to hold a series of bilateral meetings with the Mr. Jose Manuel Romero Coello, Director of the Mexican Institute of Youth, and Mr. Alejo Ramirez, Secretary-General, the Ibero-American Youth Organization, as well as other Ministers and Directors of Youth from the Ibero-America.

In his keynote address, Alhendawi acknowledged the Ibero-American Youth Organization, describing it as a global leader in supporting the youth development agenda and youth rights. “O.I.J. and its national affiliates have made important strides to support youth development and policies and, over the past years, we have been able to bring the partnership between the United Nations and O.I.J. to a new strategic level. I am here today to keep building over this much needed momentum to bring youth issues to the highest level,” Alhendawi said.

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Alhendawi expressed his appreciation to Mexico, a strong partner to the United Nations and for the Mexican Institute of Youth for “graciously hosting this timely forum and for their hard work and commitment”.

In relation to the case of the missing 43 students in lguala, Alhendawi commented “I would like to express my deep concern over the case of missing students in Iguala and express my solidarity with the people of Mexico, and the students’ families as they carry this tremendous pain. I take note of the actions taken by the authorities to find the 43 students and regret that despite the measures undertaken; no results have been reached so far. Likewise, we are concerned about the finding of clandestine graves around the city of Iguala with remains yet to be identified. I also welcome the recent measures announced by President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico”. Furthermore, Alhendawi stressed that protecting young people from violence, trafficking and crimes should be done by promoting positive youth development and the enforcement of the law. “This is essential to provide the necessary foundation to unleash the power of this generation of young people,” he added.

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Alhendawi reminded the participants of the important UN processes tabled for 2015, such as the post-2015 agenda, climate change and the 20th anniversary of the World Program of Action for Youth. “We have been entrusted by young people to carry their priorities in all these processes, and to safeguard their rights when the policies of the future are being discussed today. Let us continue working together to ensure that young people live in the world they want, and the world that they certainly deserve,” Alhendawi concluded.

To read the speech of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth: here