The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, has made his first official visit to the Philippines this week to join youth in Manila and celebrate International Youth Day on August 12th.

During his three day mission to the Philippines, the Envoy has so far met youth representatives from civil society organizations, visited with government agencies in an open forum regarding their respective youth policies, and received a report on the Demographic Dividend in the Philippines researched by faculty from the University of the Philippines School of Statistics.

He also met with internally displaced children in Zamboanga City, listened to their experiences of youth policies, and exchanged ideas on the development needs and rights of Filipino young people today.

2015 will mark the 16th anniversary of International Youth Day, and continue to carry forward the spirit of inclusion and advocacy of youth voices this year’s theme is “Youth Civic Engagement.” This year, on International Youth Day, 12 August 2015, Alhendawi will participate in the 3rd Asian Youth Forum hosted by the Asian Development Bank and attend the National Youth Commission’s International Youth Day Celebration held in the SM Skydome.

Here are some highlights from the Envoy’s visit so far:

Visiting the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs, the Envoy met first with Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and later with Government Agencies. He was also presented with the Philippine Context of Youth Situationer by National Youth Commission Chairperson, Gio Tingson.

Meeting with Filipino Youth representatives from civil society organizations, the Envoy hosted a dialogue to discuss challenges and opportunities for Youth.

UN Envoy on Youth meeting with Youth civil society representatives

UN Envoy on Youth meeting with Youth civil society representatives

 Arriving at the Zamboanga City International Airport, the Envoy was greeted by Margaret Sheehan of UNICEF and Asec. Earl Saavedra the Commissioner Representing Mindana from the National Youth Commission.

Arrival at Zamboanga City International Airport

Arrival at Zamboanga City International Airport

Arrival at Zamboanga Airport

Arrival at Zamboanga Airport

During a breakfast meeting, the Envoy was accompanied by Margaret Sheehan of UNICEF,  Asec. Earl Saavedra of the National Youth Commission, and representatives of Congresswoman Nuno and WesMinCom. 

Breakfast meeting

Breakfast meeting

Stopping by  Zamboanga City Hall, the Envoy was briefed by Mayor Maria Isabel Climaco on the Zamboanga City Road to Recovery and Rehabilitation. 

Visit to City Hall

Visit to City Hall

 Visiting the Mampang Masepla Transitory Site, the Envoy engaged with displaced local youth and parents. The Envoy noted the value of education in youth in leading them to make smart decisions in their lives.

Mampang Masepla Transitory Site

Mampang Masepla Transitory Site

Talk with Badjaos

Talk with Badjaos

Envoy hugs internally displaced children in Masepla Mampang

Envoy hugs internally displaced children in Masepla Mampang

Touring a wig factory in the ZAMBOECOZONE, the Envoy met with youth employed by the factory and discussed with Chairman Christopher Arnuco the history and milestones of the economic zone. 

Lunch hosted by Chairman Arnuco of ZAMBOECOZONE

Lunch hosted by Chairman Arnuco of ZAMBOECOZONE

While on a tour of the Tulungatung Transitory Site, the Envoy observed the turnover of sports equipment. 

Tulungatung Transitory Site

Tulungatung Transitory Site

While visiting Zamboanga, the Envoy celebrated Mindanawon Youth, and the laucnh of the Mindanao Youth Agena, while addressing students at Zamboanga University. He also received the Mindandao Youth Agenda from the National Youth Commission.

Zamboanga University

Zamboanga University

Envoy visits students at Zamboanga University

Envoy visits students at Zamboanga University

The Envoy had a dinner with 30 local youth leaders to discuss their activism and priorities. 

Dinner with 30 local youth

Dinner with 30 local youth

Envoy interacts with young local leaders

Envoy interacts with young local leaders

Follow @UNYouthEnvoy on Twitter for more on his visit to the Philippines and International Youth Day 2015.

Join the Envoy’s International Youth Day Twitter Surge using #YouthDay and #YouthNow.