Youth Conference - Baghdad
Deputy Speaker Mr. Shakhwan Abdullah
Minister of Youth and Sports Mr. Ahmed al Mubarqa
Dear youth participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to be joining you here today to mark the conclusion of UNAMI’s 2022 youth engagement and showcase the results of the efforts of Iraqi youth over the past few months. They have once again proven not only capable but also committed to bringing change and building a better future for themselves and the generations to come. As we know, the youth of a nation are its leaders of tomorrow. We owe them, boys and girls, to provide them with the opportunities to express themselves and participate fully in the country’s social, cultural and political life.
Your presence here show the commitment of the Iraqi government to provide better opportunities for the Iraqi youth. Youth represent more than 60 percent of Iraq’s population, but their significance is not only in their number but also in what they can bring to the present and future of this nation. What we will see today are just few examples of what young women and men in Iraq are capable of in encouraging positive change within their communities.
Unfortunately, youth in Iraq, as it is the case in other countries, encounter social obstacles and are often excluded from political discussions and decision-making forums. Yet, the energy and the ideas that young people can bring to resolve social or political issues should not be underestimated. Young people are a source of innovation, and can make a key contribution to the development of just, inclusive and stable societies. I look forward to the government, the political parties and other state institutions to ensure the inclusive participation of youth and women in politics and decision-making processes.
Dear young participants present here,
Over the past few months you have been working closely together empowering one another and exploring new ways on how to build a better future. You have formulated your recommendations to the government on how to promote your own social and political engagement, and presented initiatives to help mitigate the impact of climate change in your communities and in the country as a whole. We are here today to listen to your views, ideas, and aspirations.
I want to assure you that the United Nations remains committed to working with you to deliver on your ambitions, in line with our commitment set out in the UN Secretary-General’s “Youth 2030” strategy.
My young friends, we need you as partners and future leaders. We need you to play your role in full to build a peaceful and sustainable future for Iraq, which will meet the aspirations of all its people.
Today the floor is yours. I look forward to listening and wish you all the very best for your future.