Geneva, September 14, 2016The Human Rights Council has announced the appointment of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, as the co-chair of the Council’s first Forum on Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law that will take place in Geneva. The Forum will be convened for the first time on November 21-22, 2016 as mandated by Human Rights Council Resolution 28/14 and will focus on the theme “Widening Democratic Space: The Role of Youth in Public Decision-Making.” Ambassador Daniiar Mukashev, the Permanent Representative of the Kyrgyz Republic to the UN Office in Geneva, has been named as the other co-chair.

The Forum comes at a time of increased initiatives aimed at recognizing the importance of safeguarding the rights of young people around the world. In June, the Council adopted Resolution 32/1 on Youth and Human Rights, an important step that brings the question of youth rights to the Council.

“I am honored to have been appointed as co-chair of the first annual Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law,” said Alhendawi. “I thank the President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Choi Kyonglim of the Republic of Korea, for his consideration, and I look forward to working closely with the co-chair, Ambassador Mukashev, to elevate this timely discussion with member states and civil society organizations on the urgency of widening the democratic space by strengthening youth participation and promoting their rights. Now more than ever,” Alhendawi said, “the international community has to take additional measures to ensure that the rights of this largest generation of young people are promoted and safeguarded.”

 The Forum will provide a platform for promoting dialogue and cooperation and will identify and analyze best practices, challenges and opportunities for states in their efforts to secure respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Learn more about the Forum here.