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In the Philippines to celebrate International Youth Day with Filipino youth in Manila, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, sat down with CNN Philippines to talk about his three-day mission to the Philippines, time he spent meeting with and listening to young people and youth organizations in Manila and Zamboanga, and the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by the talented Filipino youth.

Asked about some of the most crucial issues for youth in the Philippines, the Envoy stressed the important need to address teenage pregnancy. He said “The United Nations is here to support and advance efforts.” The Envoy emphasized however that addressing the crucial issue of teenage pregnancy “is beyond the only the efforts of the government or the UN.” He went on to underline the importance of education in confronting misinformation because “reversing the high number of teenage pregnancy could only be possible by having public awareness.”

Commenting on why addressing the rise in teenage pregnancy matters, the Envoy urged that, “We have to make sure we can reverse the numbers of teenage pregnancy and make sure that girls are girls and not moms.”

Speaking to the important matter of youth unemployment, the Envoy said: “I think this segment of the population faces some unique challenges because it affects certain transitions in life – transition to higher education, transition to independence, the transition to get your first job and to make sure that job is a decent one.”

Looking to change the narrative on youth unemployment, the Envoy stated, “We need to shift the narrative and not just talk about seeking jobs, but also creating jobs and have young people invent jobs. But to do that, we need to support them with better loans, with better access to finance, and better coaching so young people could also contribute to solving this crisis.”

Talking about his first official mission to the Philippines, the Envoy said that the 30 million young Filipinos today will be the nation”s biggest resource moving forward. Echoing his call to action on International Youth Day, and his focus on empowering the world”s biggest generation of young people ever, the Envoy reinforced his message that, “there”s still room to put even more emphasis in the young generation and put more investments to them.”