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Project brings forward initiatives tackling youth issues

By Merza Noghai - Oct 14,2015 - Last updated at Oct 14,2015

AMMAN — Thirty-seven young people representing 18 Arab countries concluded on Wednesday an eight-day UNDP initiative aimed at exchanging views and establishing projects based on social values such as gender equality, diversity and respecting others.

The programme, hosted by the Higher Youth Council's Amman Youth Hostel, also aimed at developing young people's capabilities and exchanging expertise on leadership skills in social development, according to organisers.

Khalid Abdel Shafi, director of the UNDP regional centre in Amman, said that over the last few years, young people have expressed despair of their economic and political marginalisation.

"Such initiatives give us hope, especially because what the participants presented was innovative and creative," said Abdel Shafi, adding that the UNDP would follow up on the participants' projects through its regional centres.

The projects presented in the initiative will help the UNDP deal with youth issues in the future, and the ideas tackled would encourage decision makers to pay more attention to such topics, he said.

"The UNDP on December 2 is scheduled to release a pan-Arab human development report focusing on youth concerns," the director noted, adding that the report shows UNDP's interest in young people and its efforts to empower them.

The programme, dubbed "Empowering young leadership in the Arab region", mainly targets young women to encourage them to communicate and integrate into society through creating local leaders able to found effective initiatives that achieve sustainable development, the organisers added.

Mazen Hayek, spokesperson of the co-organising MBC media group, said the programme is important as it creates a base of expertise among participants which could be useful for reaching innovative solutions that help the youth contribute to developing their local communities.


Participants in the programme were between the ages of 19 and 30, and have a desire to effect social change and the ability to participate in future events, organisers said, noting that they had received some 4,000 applications to join.

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