2014 was a busy and productive year for the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, and our Office. Alhendawi visited over 24 countries to meet with senior government officials, youth groups, delegations and United Nations country teams. Additionally, the Office of the Secretary-Generals’s Envoy on Youth hosted and co-organized some critical events.
Here are some highlights of 2014!
In March 2014, the Youth Envoy visited Brdo, Slovenia to participate in the Initiative on Mediation in the Mediterranean Region Promoting a Culture of Mediation and Prevention in the Mediterranean organised by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Slovenia. Alhendawi spoke in a session called “Promoting the value of mediation and peaceful coexistence through education, engaging youth and civil society”.
In April 2014, the Youth Envoy delivered a keynote speech at the launch of UNDP Youth Strategy: ‘Empowered Youth, Sustainable Future’ in Tunis, Tunisia. Additionally, the Youth Envoy participating in a round table discussion on Youth and the UN system, spoke at an event on Political Youth Action with Student Union National Youth Obervance, and moderated a panel discussion on “Youth in the Arab Region.”
In April 2014, the Youth Envoy participated the International Parliamentarians Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action organised by the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development, the Riksdag, and the UN Population Fund in Sweden.
The Youth Envoy addressed the luncheon hosted by Ms. Maria Arnholm, Swedish Minister for Gender Equality, participated in a panel on Young People as Leaders and Drivers of Sustainable Development, and met with Swedish youth organisations and 30 Members of Parliament to explore establishing a network of young parliamentarians.
Photo Credit: EPF/Kristian Pohl
In May 2014, the Youth Envoy gave opening remarks on behalf of the Secretary-General at the World Conference on Youth organised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development, Republic of Sri Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Youth Envoy had bilateral meetings with Ministers, high-level government officials, and United Nations partners. Additionally, the Alhendawi met with youth organizations and participated as a speaker in side-events.
In June 2014, the Youth Envoy addressed the “United Nations Youth Forum, Islamabad 2014”, in Pakistan. The Envoy visited Punjab and met with the Provincial Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs and the Governor Punjab. Alhendawi also attended an art exhibition opening “Art for Peace: the Young Pakistani Vision” and had interviews with Pakistan Television Corporation and Pakistan broadcasting corporations Islamabad. The visit was organized by organized by UNCT and UNIC Islamabad.
In August 2014, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth co-organised an event to observe International Youth Day, in partnership with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations headquarters in New York. At the event, the Secretary-General drew attention to a new UN publication, Social Inclusion of Youth with Mental Health Conditions, disclosing that 20 percent of the world’s young people experience a mental health condition each year.
As part of the International Day of Youth, Secretary-General invited, Raquelina Langa, a young girl from Mozambique to be his special guest in New York City to attend meetings and the International Youth Day Event.
In August 2014, the Youth Envoy accompanied the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon as part of the official delegation to participate opening of the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. The Youth Envoy joined the dialogue with the Secretary-General on Youth Participation in Common Development at Nanjing University.
In September 2014, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth hosted a World Youth Café Breakfast in partnership with The Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations and UNFPA. The theme was, Young People in the Post-2015 Agenda: A Commitment for Present and Future Generations.
The breakfast brought together special guests, His Excellency Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, UNFPA Executive Director, Babatunde Osotimehin, the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, and 45 youth delegates and experts working in partnership with the UN on the priority areas of the Global Youth Call. Many participatants took #ShowYourSelfies, including H.E. Mark Rutte and Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin.
In September 2014, the Youth Envoy participated in the HeForShe event organized by UN Women with UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson for the launch of the campaign at the United Nations headquarters in NYC. The event was highly attended by United Nations Officials including the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon who joked that he wished Emma