During the opening ceremony of the World Youth Forum, Director General of The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Li Yong delivered an inspiring speech.
The third edition of the World Youth Forum is taking place in the resort city of Sharm El Sheikh, South Sinai under the patronage of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
“From our experience, we know that, when young people participate and are included, economic and industrial development processes are much more likely to be sustainable,” said Li Yong.
Full Text the World Youth Forum Opening Ceremony’s Speech:
“Your Excellency Mr. Abdel Fattah El Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great privilege to be here with you today at the World Youth Forum 2019. I would like to express my most sincere appreciation to the Government of Egypt for having the vision to support such an important initiative. I would also like to thank all the sponsors and partners for making this event possible.
Today, more than half of the world’s population is below the age of 30 – the vast majority of them live in developing countries. Taking in the views and perspectives of youth in any development processes is not an option, it is necessary. The UN Youth 2030 calls for the meaningful engagement and participation of youth, and UNIDO is fully committed to the fulfillment of this vision.
In UNIDO, we promote industrial development that is inclusive and sustainable or ISID. It is through the operationalization of the first pillar on inclusiveness that the second pillar on sustainability becomes a reality. Our Youth Strategy reflects this integrative and scalable approach. It seeks to mainstream youth across UNIDO’s strategic priorities and mandate, to scale up our impact towards youth development, and in particular employment.
From our experience, we know that, when young people participate and are included, economic and industrial development processes are much more likely to be sustainable.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Global youth unemployment rates have risen steadily between 1991 and 2018 from 9.3% to 12.8%. In the Arab region, over this same time period, youth unemployment rates are consistently high at 26% in 2018.
High levels of unemployment are usually driven by labor market mismatches and rigidities, which are influenced by the inability of the economy to create highly skilled work. In this context, realigning curricula with private-sector needs and improving the quality of educational systems is of crucial importance.
Creating an enabling environment where youth can live and drive digital economic trends requires innovative, multi-stakeholder ambitions and approaches to establish networking, connectivity. However, technology is not the only factor influencing employment for youth. Other elements such as: long-term structural changes in demography; labour relations and policy dynamics; as well as a redistribution of manufacturing activities and value chains, can also determine future global employment dynamics at all levels.
In this context, industrialization and the manufacturing sector are fundamental drivers for technological innovation, in addition to enabling youth entrepreneurship. UNIDO’s services aim at, among others, increasing young people’s employability by providing them with the necessary tools to create and develop sustainable enterprises for their livelihoods.
Further, the Development and Peace core theme of the World Youth Forum 2019 synergizes with the UN’s Humanitarian-Development Peace nexus. Ensuring human security is an important concept for UNIDO to create shared prosperity through industrial solutions. Our corporate strategy on post-conflict will secure, restore and develop livelihoods and productive capacities to support the lives of young people living in conflict-sensitive areas.
To build awareness on the potential of new technologies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, UNIDO develops norms and standards, carrying out research to support policy advice, building knowledge sharing platforms and developing the appropriate technical cooperation for UNIDO Member States. Innovation, knowledge sharing and strategic partnerships are vital to realizing the potential of technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Our flagship initiative, the Programme for Country Partnership, known as PCP, is integrated and scalable. The PCP is implemented based on nationally driven multi-stakeholder partnerships and is aimed at attracting investments into sectors with high growth potential. UNIDO is currently designing a PCP in Egypt, aligned with national development plans. It will pay particular attention to youth, as well as to mainstreaming the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Egyptian industries.
Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will not be feasible without addressing the needs of youth around the world. It is necessary to invest in young women and men.
We need to recognize youth as game changers in their quest for innovation and sustainable solutions. Youth inclusion in the workforce is an integral part of achieving sustainable industrial development. It is time for us to put those who will lead the future of tomorrow in the driving seat today.
@UNIDO DG, Li Yong at this year’s World Youth Forum opening Ceremony in Egypt 🇪🇬… “From our experience, we know that, when young people participate and are included, economic and industrial development processes are much more likely to be sustainable.”#WorldYouthForum pic.twitter.com/nMmG0fq6Sv
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