Marking International Youth Day on the sidelines of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the UN Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi said that in order for Brazil to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, its young people need to be included in the process and their rights need to be protected.
Brazil’s economic growth and sustainable development will depend in large part on the investments made today in youth, by ensuring their health and rights are safeguarded and that they can gain meaningful access to quality education and political participation, the Envoy said.
“Achieving the SDGs will only be possible with the inclusion of young people. To do this, we need more resources and investments, particularly when it comes to reaching marginalized youth,” Alhendawi said. “We need to invest more in education, because only with education and a strong social security system can you protect people so that they achieve their true potential,” he added.
— UN Youth Envoy (@UNYouthEnvoy) August 15, 2016
Alhendawi spoke was speaking at an event organized by the Office of the Youth Envoy in cooperation with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the United Nations in Brazil and the UN Office on Sport and Development for Peace. The celebrations, titled “Sport and the Road to 2030,” took place in the Manguinhos neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro and saw the participation of hundreds of local youth.
The Youth Envoy brought to Rio two key messages. First, that the UN is committed to working for youth development in Brazil, highlighting how International Youth Day is not only a time for celebration but also for strong, concrete commitments.
His second message was a global one, “that despite all the challenges we face worldwide, one solution is to increase investment in young people.”