Event at High-Level Partnership Forum in Istanbul spotlights Somali youth

23 Feb 2016

Event at High-Level Partnership Forum in Istanbul spotlights Somali youth



Istanbul - A high-profile event spotlighting the aspirations and challenges facing Somali youth was held on the first day of the High-Level Partnership Forum (HLPF). Titled ‘Investing In Somali Youth,’ the event was co-hosted by the Somali Ministry of Youth & Sports and the United Nations and was opened by H.E. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

The Prime Minister noted that youth unemployment as “without question one of the critical challenges facing Somalia on its road to stability and economic recovery.” He noted that Somali youth have endured decades of unrest, armed conflict and instability, and they unfortunately are presented with limited avenues to education and sustainable employment. 

At the event, H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, Somali Federal Minister of Youth and Sports presented the thematic priorities of Somali National Youth Policy that is being finalized. “The National Youth Policy is an important step toward empowering Somali youth. It will guide the government and our international partners with a comprehensive multi-sector response to the challenges being faced by the Somali youth,” said the minister.  

H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia stopped by the event to show his support for the National Youth Policy. “So many people blame youth for the destruction of Somalia, but I am here to say that youth are the only way to peace,” the President stated.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson thanked the Government of Turkey for hosting the HLPF and stressed the importance of young Somalis’ participation in all levels of government in their country.

Mr. Eliasson reinforced the UN commitment to work for and with young people, and took the opportunity to announce the launch of a new UN strategy for youth in Somalia that is focused on six areas: employment and entrepreneurship, education, human rights and civic engagement, political inclusion, health and peacebuilding.

“The time has come for Somalia’s youth to enjoy the opportunities and freedoms that are every person’s birthright,” said Deputy Secretary-General Eliasson. “You, the young, are the face of hope and peace for Somalia (and) your creativity and entrepreneurship can be the engine and the spirit of the country’s recovery.”