Madam Anne-Claire Dufay, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Country Representative, Ghana, says the United Nations (UN) is committed to partnering young people in the country for the implementation of the UN Youth 2030 Strategy Plan.
She said, the Plan launched in 201 and anchored on peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development, in all contexts, acted as an umbrella framework to guide the UN in stepping up its work with and for young people.
Speaking in a virtual meeting, dubbed: “Conversation with young people”, on the theme: “Strengthening youth engagement with the UN: Perspective from young people on areas for action,” by United Nations Ghana, Madam Dufay said the Plan sought to significantly strengthen UN’s capacity to engage young people and benefit from their views, insights and ideas.
She said it also ensured that UN’s work on youth issues was pursued in a coordinated, coherent and holistic manner to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Madam Dufay said, “We are here to support you to make sure you have a voice.”
Ms Ewuramma Tawiah, President, Federation of Ghana Medical Students Association, said young people were challenged in areas of youth unemployment, sexual reproductive health issues and lack of financial support to set up and that the challenges were leading to frustrations and vices.
She urged the youth to volunteer on UN programmes, saying, “Volunteering will build us up and create opportunities for the future.”
Ms Tawiah called for more capacity building sections, especially for rural dwellers and increase funding to organisation that provided services to the youth.
Mr Akwasi Sarpong, Executive Director, Ulti-Leaf Foundation, said the lack of civil skills, technology and social protection schemes for the youth made it difficult for them to form rightful partnerships and networking in the society.
He called for the “Youth Civil Pledge,” where mentors would pledge to get involved in the upbringing of the youthful population.
“They need to understand youth engagement in order to build their capacity,” he said.
Mr Kabiru Saidu, Co-Founder and Innovation Lead, Nubian VR, said the UN should work to build trust in the African Youth and offer welfare packages and social intervention programmes.
Jemima Mornuu, a participant also said lack of employable skills, mentorship and guidance, challenged young people’s capability of finding jobs, adding that, most of them mainly rural folks, had limited access to the right information.
“The youth should not be deprived of information when this happens, they become curious and vulnerable, which exposes them to preventable dangers,” she said.
Mr Charles Abani, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ghana, said the UN was keen on aggregating all contributions made to guide the implementation of the Plan.
He assured of continued engagement of the youth in facilitation and promised accountability and commitment to create opportunities in line with feedbacks received from the conversation.