On 12 August 2016, the United Nations in Palestine celebrated International Youth Day with the theme: “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Production and Consumption”.
Palestinian youth face substantial challenges resulting from their social, economic and political marginalization. High poverty rates, shrinking economic opportunities and an uncertain future have all contributed to a sense of hopelessness.
There are approximately 1.44 million youth in Palestine, and if presented with quality education and productive employment, they could be a powerful group of future Palestinian leaders in the making.
— al whit (@soitiz) August 12, 2016
Anders Thomsen, the UNFPA representative in the State of Palestine said, “The recently adopted UN Security Council Resolution 2250 recognizes that youth should be actively engaged in shaping lasting peace and contributing to justice and reconciliation,” adding that “a large youth population presents a unique demographic dividend that could contribute to economic prosperity if inclusive policies are in place.”
Robert Piper, UN Deputy Special Coordinator for Middle East. , said that investing in “vibrant youth and ensuring they are part of decision-making is essential if we are to harness the extraordinary talent pool that this country has access to.”
— UNFPA Palestine (@UNFPAPALESTINE) August 12, 2016
Piper continued: “Addressing youth’s access to their basic rights and opportunities is a must if we are to see a real shift in Palestine’s trajectory toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”
He also emphasized that, “We must ensure that youth are at the core of our efforts for Palestine and are given the tools they need to lead the way.”