22 July 2015, Nairobi – The United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, co-chaired a high-level meeting with Somali Government representatives and other stakeholders to discuss progress made in the development of the Somalia’s National Youth Policy since his last visit to Somalia in October 2014.
The meeting, which was organized by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office for Somalia with the support of UN-Habitat Youth Division, brought together officials, including Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan Nuux, Federal Minister of Youth & Sports; Mr. Abdirahman Ahmed Abdule, Puntland Minister of Labor, Youth and Sports; Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed, Minister of Youth and Sports, Juba Interim Administration; Mr. Abdullahi Abdi Omar, Minister of Youth and Sports, South-West Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Mr. Mohamed Ali-Nur Hagi, Permanent Secretary with the Office of the Prime Minister, as well as representatives from UN agencies, donors, youth organizations and media.
The meeting offered a strategic opportunity to take stock of progress made with the formulation of the National Youth Policy, a process which was set in motion as a result of the Envoy’s visit to Mogadishu last October (Read about 2014 mission to Somalia). The policy is to guide youth-focused interventions that will respond to the aspirations of youth and help young men and women play their role in bringing peace and stability to all parts of Somalia.
The Ministry briefed participants about a consultation meeting that had taken place in the meantime with the regional Ministries, and informed the meeting of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to support the Government in aligning the investments in youth across different regions of the Country.
Some key challenges, which were highlighted during the meeting, relate to the limited capacity of the ministries, and the need to strength the cooperation between the federal and regional governments, as well as with UN agencies.
A concrete proposal was put forward for a youth working group, consisting of these entities coming to work closely together in order to accelerate the development of the National Youth Policy. The Envoy expressed his continued engagement in the process and assured the participants that he will continue to follow up with the UN counterparts in Somalia.
Alhendawi commended the participants for their ongoing commitment and reminded them of the need to ensure that the youth policy is well plugged into the Government planning processes, and linked to resources available from the donor community.
The Envoy also addressed the media in attendance of the meeting and shared his cautious optimism that despite the challenging context that young people face in Somalia, there are promising signs of progress with the formulation of the National Youth Policy. He also reiterated his ongoing commitment to Somali youth and his support to them so they can reach their full potential and contribute to change their country for the better.