UNAMI conference on youth engagement highlights the youth’s important role in Iraq’s future
14 December 2022
Baghdad, 14 December 2022 - A project to showcase the ideas and creativity of Iraqi youth and how they can contribute to their country’s future concluded in Baghdad on 13 December in a national conference that brought together more than 35 young women and men from across Iraq, officials from government and parliament as well as the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
The conference, organized by UNAMI, is the final milestone of activities during the period June-December 2022 that involved more than 220 youths from various governorates, half of them women. Activities with the youth included capacity-building workshops, technical and mentorship support on issues related to leadership, decision-making, communication and action on climate change. The youths had the opportunity to identify priorities and formulate concrete policy. They presented initiatives and recommendations to share with policymakers at provincial and national levels in order to inform government programmes and policies, including to help mitigate the impact of climate change in their communities and the country.
Present at the closing conference were Deputy Speaker of the Council of Representatives Shakhwan Abdullah, Minister of Youth and Sports Ahmed al-Mubarqaa, the Prime Minister’s Adviser for Youth, Qasim al-Zalimi, Members of Parliament, in addition to Claudio Cordone, Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance.
The Deputy Speaker said that empowering the youth should be a priority for State institutions, adding that the youth of Iraq have the capacity and expertise that can benefit the progress and prosperity of the country.
The Minister of Youth and Sports commended the role of the youth and their initiatives, underlining his ministry’s readiness to support young women and men in their endeavours with their communities or at the national level. He also stressed the need to move forward on climate change, commending youth initiatives in this regard.
DSRSG Cordone stressed in his address the importance for the Iraqi youth to express themselves and participate fully in the country’s social, cultural and political life. With youth comprising 60 percent of the Iraqi population, Cordone added that the ideas and energy of the youth should not be underestimated. “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.”
After the opening addresses, the officials engaged with the youth who presented their projects and explained their ideas. The youth also used alternative ways such as art and music to express their views and convey their messages to the political leaders.