Youth urged to prepare themselves for leadership role

United Nations

The youth have been urged to prepare themselves for leadership roles to create opportunities for self-improvement.

United NationsMr Christian K. Leslie, Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, who made the call on Monday, said it is a precondition that the youth should be accorded due recognition and engage in the development of the nation.

He said one might argue that it is the responsibility of the government to provide the youth with proper facilities and structures to get them abreast of and equipped with modern knowledge, but it is even more important that the youth take the challenge.

Mr Leslie was speaking at the launch of the 65th United Nations (UN) Day celebration scheduled for Friday, October 24, on the global theme: ?Global Citizenship and Youth.?

Mr Leslie said the local theme for Ghana: ?Youth Engagement for Nation Building,? is a significant component of Ghana?s policy framework as it acknowledges the youth as an important human resource with the potential to contributing significantly to national development.

He said in harnessing the potential of global citizenship, the group that stands out is the youth, people from 15 to 24, made up 1.1 billion of the world?s population.

?Ghana recognises that the ways in which young people are able to realise their potential can influence social and economic conditions and the well-being and livelihood of future generations,? he said.

He said zeal and unwavering commitment of government in youth development had contributed immensely to growth and development, which had informed government?s determination to sustain youth engagement programmes.

Mr Wolgang Haas, Office of the Resident Coordinator, UN, Ghana, said the Day is the celebration of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter, yet October 24, has been celebrated as UN day since 1948 with a call to attention on a specific area of global concern.

He said Ghana, has played an active role in achieving the goals as set out in the UN charter by contributing significantly to UN peacekeeping missions.

?Currently, Ghana is contributing almost 3000 troops, experts and personnel to UN peacekeeping missions in Western Sahara, Mali, Lebanon, Abyei, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Darfur, South-Sudan and Cote d?Ivoire, which ranks Ghana amongst the top 10 contributing member states.

?With the increase in the number of global crises, UN peacekeeping missions become increasingly important in maintaining international development by the Millennium Development Goals campaign,? he said.

Mr Haas said the threat of Ebola, combined with recurrent challenges such as cholera, and the long-term challenge of poverty compounded by even more pronounced social and economic inequality around the globe stretched the capacity of many governments in providing an adequate and effective response.

?Furthermore, climate change increases the risk of natural disasters, which render the population of developing countries more vulnerable. Never before has it been more important to protect the most vulnerable populations to ensure the upkeep of the progress we made in international development over the last years,? he added.

Mr Haas said in light of the many challenges posed by the global threats, the concept of global citizenship is becoming increasingly important for pursuing the vision of the UN charter. Global citizenship embodies an identity and a responsibility which transcend national borders and an awareness that individual action could contribute to global solutions.

?The youth are key actors in harnessing this concept and, as such, they have shown to be the central driving force behind many social and political developments over the last years,? he added.

Ghana?s celebration would be a week-long series of activities comprising; Television and Radio programmes to sensitise the public on the activities and achievements of the UN, a Model UN General Assembly by students from selected educational institutions across the country, including a simulation exercise to expose the youth to the decision-making process within the UN System, and a Flag-Raising Ceremony at the Forecourt of the State House to climax the celebration.


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