|The Role of Youth|
|Monday, 26 September 2011 17:57|
Statement by Ambassador H.E. Palitha T.B. Kohona
First of all, I would like to welcome you to this event and thank the Panelists for their wonderful contributions. I would like to congratulate the Secretary General, the President of the General Assembly and the Member States for the highly successful UN High Level Meeting on Youth in July this year. It was an unprecedented event and was the beginning, or even the consolidation, of a major UN initiative. A particular thank you is owed to the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development and all the youth-led organizations. Your efforts are clearly acknowledged.
The outcome document of the (UNGA) High-level Meeting on Youth emphasized “poverty eradication, the promotion of sustained economic growth, sustainable development and full and productive employment and decent work for all." However it needs emphasis that the Outcome Document calls for the investment in youth in order to achieve sustainable development. There is a crucial connection between the World Program of Action for Youth and the Millennium Development Goals. In many countries, especially in the South, the youth compose a significant part of the population. It is vital to make them partners in the efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Progress with the MDG’s will benefit the youth, but they also need to be part of the efforts to achieve the MDGs.
The outcome document underlines the need to fulfill the commitments made on achieving the MDGS as well as supporting the World Programme of Action for Youth. Sri Lanka reaffirms its commitment to support the youth community and develop mutual understanding by ensuring active youth participation as a key element to social integration. Sri Lanka hosted the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organizations earlier this year.
In the context of the International Year of Youth, Sri Lanka had been offered to host a UN World Youth Conference, with ministerial level participation, in Sri Lanka in 2014.
In closing I am delighted to see such an enthusiastic attendance today. You have seen the pictures of Sri Lanka. May I take this opportunity to encourage you to make Sri Lanka your venue for the 2014 UN Youth Conference.