The UN has expressed hope that the youth of war-torn Somalia can contribute to peace-building efforts in the country.

Welcoming the launch of a national policy for young people in Somalia, the United Nations Youth Envoy expressed hope.

“I want to congratulate the Federal Government of Somalia, the federal member states, the UN and all stakeholders, especially young people, who were part of this process for your successful formulation of this youth policy,” Jayathma Wickramanayake said at the Monday opening of the country’s second National Youth Conference, where the policy was launched.

The UN had been supporting the Somali Ministry of Youth and Sports with the development of the policy since 2014.

It was endorsed by the federal cabinet last month. Among its key features, the policy will promote youth participation in peace-building efforts and other key initiatives.

Also speaking at the Conference, Peter de Clercq, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, highlighted UN support for programmes fostering youth development in the country.

“We have contributed so far $38 million to 18 programmes that are dedicated to youth employment, youth empowerment and more youth influence in politics, and we will continue to support the youth and the government of Somalia in this very important objective,” he said.

With many of the world’s 1.2 billion young people affected by the hardship of war, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has made empowering youth a priority for the organisation, and flagged the key role that they play as agents of change and critical actors in preventing conflict and of building peace.

Similarly, in 2015, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution in which it recognised the positive contribution of youth in the promotion of peace and security and supported efforts aimed at advancing their development.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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