Arab Youth Center & UNDP partner to enable greater youth engagement



New York, September 21, 2019 – The Arab Youth Center (AYC) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) signed a partnership agreement to support and build capacities of youth in 10 Arab countries and encourage their active engagement in effort to achieve the goals of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, within the frame work of their new joint initiative “Youth Development Delegates in the Arab region.” Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth, in the United Arab Emirates and Mourad Wahba, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Acting Associate Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States in UNDP witnessed the signing of the agreement at UN headquarters in New York.

“We, at the Arab Youth Center, are committed to implementing the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership to empower Arab youth to play an active role in the development of their communities. We are working in collaboration with the United Nations, utilising all available resources to support youth and invest in their abilities to engage them in sustainable development efforts across various sectors,” said H.E. Al Mazrui. “Empowering competent youth and enabling a new generation of leaders lays the groundwork for the Arab Youth Center to achieve its objectives. We look forward for this initiative to transform the lives of participants and empower them to play a bigger role in society and in their respective governments. It channels young Arabs’ potential to achieve the 2030 Agenda. We are dedicated to working with partners from organisations around the Arab world to create programmes that help hone young people’s skills, empowering them to lead the development journey.”

Through the first edition of the “Youth Development Delegates in the Arab region” initiative, AYC will sponsor 11 young people from the Arab region work in 10 UNDP country offices —in Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Somalia, Syria and Tunisia—for an entire year, during which each participant will work on issues of interest to youth, allowing them to get acquainted with national Youth agendas and development plans, and to build teamwork skills that will enable them to work effectively with local, regional, and international partners.

“We commit our full support to ensure the success of this pioneering initiative aiming to motivate youth to contribute effectively to the progress of their countries and to achieve their development priorities,” said Mr. Wahba. “Providing young people with the tools of development innovation enables them to work collaboratively with their local communities to identify problems, come up with creative ideas to address them and tap into funding sources to turn their innovative ideas into practical action to support progress towards the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 objectives, which all Arab countries have committed to achieve.”

The “Youth Development Delegates in the Arab region” initiative affords participants an opportunity to network widely with peers across the Arab region through biannual training sessions and periodic activities organized by the Youth Leadership Programme implemented through UNDP’s Regional Hub for Arab States since 2014 in collaboration with a wide array of partners. The initiative also allows delegates an opportunity to receive funding from AYC for innovative projects that cater to youth in their countries, in collaboration with UNDP country offices, which will oversee the implementation of these projects. It will also play an important role in strengthening coordination between UNDP and AYC to support other initiatives across the Arab Region.

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