More efforts needed to promote rights of youth, Tunisia tells UN debate
Calling for 2010 to be proclaimed the International Year of the Youth, Tunisia’s Foreign Minister today urged the United Nations and its Member States to boost their efforts to ensure that young people do not feel marginalized and become attracted to extremism.
Abdelwaheb Abdallah told the General Assembly’s annual high-level segment, held at UN Headquarters in New York, that youth “are our real wealth” and therefore it was critical to introduce measures to make them more active in decision-making processes.
“Globalization, with its numerous problems and major challenges, urges us to take care of our youth and constantly listen to their concerns in order to preserve them from exclusion and marginalization, protect them from the dangers of seclusion and extremism, as well as from carelessness and estrangement, while instilling in them the culture of tolerance and moderation,” he said.
Mr. Abdallah said the African, Arab and Islamic States, as well as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), had already backed a proposal from Tunisia to make next year the International Year of the Youth and he hoped the entire General Assembly would support a resolution on the subject during the current session.
The Foreign Minister said next year could also feature a World Youth Conference under the auspices of the UN and other international organizations, to be attended by young people from across the world and to conclude with a pact outlining common values among the participants.
“We strongly hope that this initiative will contribute to deepening the awareness about the position that the youth shall enjoy within our societies so that they become an active stakeholder in the success of our development process,” he said.
Mr. Abdallah also said that youth have a vital role to play in promoting dialogue and enhancing mutual respect between peoples, as well as values such as tolerance and moderation.