Rania Al-Mashat and the United Nations Coordinator chair the first meeting of the Council of the “Youth Balad” initiative

Minister of International Cooperation: The initiative integrates with national efforts to empower youth through joint work between the government, the private sector, civil society and development partners

Elena Panova: Empowering youth is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and promotes their achievement

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, and Elena Panova, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Office in Egypt, chaired the first meeting of the advisory board of the “Youth Balad” initiative, the Egyptian version of the United Nations initiative “Youth without Borders” Generation Unlimited, as part of the activities of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP27, which kicked off yesterday in Sharm El-Sheikh, where Egypt assumed its presidency at the twenty-seventh session from the United Kingdom, in the presence of Dr. Ashraf Sobhy, Minister of Youth and Sports, and members of the Council.

The advisory board of the “Shabab Balad” initiative includes Dr. Amr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Ashraf Sobhy, Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr. Rasha Ragheb, Executive Director of the National Training Academy, as representatives of the government side, and Mirna Aref, General Manager of Microsoft Egypt, Engineer Mohamed El Sewedy, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Industries, Reem Sami Saad, Board Member of Samcrete Investments, as representatives of the private sector, and Leslie Reed, Director of the USAID Mission in Egypt, and Kim Jin Young, Regional Director of the Korea International Cooperation Agency office in Egypt, and Aya Omar, Founder and Chair of Life Good Foundation as representatives of development partners, in addition to UNICEF Representative in Egypt Jeremy Hopkins and Omnia El Amrani, Envoy and Chair of the Climate Conference (COP27) for Youth.

The meeting of the Advisory Board of the “Shabab Balad” initiative was attended by Dr. Kevin Frey, Executive Director of the Global Initiative, Generation Unlimited, Dr. Urmila Sarker, Global Director of Programs for the initiative, and three ambassadors of “Youth Balad”, namely the artists Ahmed Dash and Amir Al-Masry, and Habiba Marzouk, the winner of several awards. Gold medals in national and international rhythmic gymnastics championships.

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, said that today is a special day as the activities of the climate conference will be launched at the level of leaders in Sharm El-Sheikh, as Egypt is strengthening its efforts to transition to a green economy and pushing the global effort to move from pledges to implementation, pointing out that the climate conference will witness Also signing the new partnership agreement with the United Nations for the next five years 2023-2027.

The Minister of International Cooperation explained that holding the first meeting of the advisory board of the “Youth Balad” initiative, the Egyptian version of the United Nations initiative “Youth without Borders”, enhances joint cooperation between Egypt and the United Nations, to empower young people and provide them with the opportunity to participate in various initiatives and promote development efforts, through Through the joint work of the various stakeholders.

She added that the “Shabab Balad” initiative had been launched and announced during the World Youth Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh last January, pointing out that President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Republic, at the closing events of the World Youth Forum, emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation. Empowering youth, and the “Youth Balad” initiative comes to integrate with all national efforts to provide the opportunity for young people to participate in promoting development efforts, in light of the huge forces that the Egyptian state possesses in terms of the number of young people who can participate effectively in supporting sustainable development through innovative and effective ideas. . And she continued: We saw the active participation of Egyptian youth in the COY17 Youth Climate Conference, which reflects the potential and potential energies of young people that can be exploited.

She pointed to the importance of the presidential initiative, a decent life, and its role in achieving sustainable development as an effective and unprecedented model in the history of the Egyptian state, and the importance of its presence as a representative on the advisory board of the “Youth Balad” initiative, in order to enhance joint efforts and empower young people in all governorates of Egypt and rural areas to increase investment in Human capital.

The Minister of International Cooperation stated that the advisory board includes diverse representatives from various stakeholders, such as the National Training Academy, the Decent Life Initiative, the Federation of Industries, major technology companies represented by Microsoft and the Envoy of the Youth Climate Conference, in addition to development partners, in order to enhance joint cooperation and stimulate efforts aimed at enabling Young.

Al-Mashat explained that the initiative establishes an exceptional partnership between youth, the government, international institutions, the private sector and civil society, to bring all concerned parties at one table, to achieve integration in efforts to support youth at the level of the initiative’s elements, namely education, employment, entrepreneurship and positive and effective social participation.

For his part, Dr. Ashraf Sobhi said: “The Balad Youth Initiative is one of the most important initiatives launched this year, which aims to invest in youth, and represents a unique model for cooperation between international organizations and the government, civil society organizations, the private sector, and youth.”

He continued: “This initiative works to promote the spirit of self-employment and entrepreneurship, improve the links between youth and existing job opportunities, increase the number of good job opportunities available to young people, promote equal access to quality education, and prepare young people to qualify them as future leaders and active members of society. Civilians contribute to creating a better world for their countries.

Sobhy pointed out that the initiative represents one of the important pillars of Egypt’s Vision 2030, which works to empower young people by providing training and educational opportunities, providing them with the skills necessary for the labor market, developing innovation and entrepreneurship thinking, and promoting active participation in society.

The Minister of Youth and Sports called on the participating parties to unite by unifying efforts aimed at serving and developing youth in a faster and more comprehensive manner, as youth are the most important agents of positive change, and thanks to their creativity and innovation, we find innovative solutions to the challenges facing peoples, declaring that the recommendations of the COY17 Youth Climate Conference will be included within the mechanism The work of the “Shabab Balad” platform.

In its meeting, the Council discussed a number of strategic decisions for the initiative, which was launched during the World Youth Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh last January under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and aspires to be the sustainable national platform for multilateral partners working together to ensure that all youth are in Egypt’s 10-24-year-olds are either enrolled in education, employed, have sufficient employability skills, have entrepreneurial opportunities, and are positively engaged in society by 2030.

Ms. Elena Panova, Resident Representative of the United Nations and Co-Chair of the Council commented, “Young people play a critical role in the fight against climate change, so holding the Balad Youth Initiative Advisory Board on the sidelines of COP 27 is timely. We are proud that this youth partnership has a full investment. From the United Nations system in Egypt, along with the government, the private sector, civil society and youth-led initiatives.The United Nations is keen to unite efforts for the success of the Balad Youth Initiative given that youth empowerment is in line with the sustainable development goals and enhances the chances of achieving those goals by year 2030. We hope that the initiatives’ achievements in Egypt will serve as a model for other countries, regionally and globally.”

Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt and member of the initiative’s advisory board, said, “The Balad Youth Initiative is characterized by its holistic nature that does not exclude anyone, and for this the advisory board was formed in a way that ensures the representation of the various partners in the initiative. The practical experiences and deep insights of the members of the board will ensure that the initiative is put on the road. The right thing to do is to meet the aspirations of young people in Egypt.”

It is worth noting that the “Youth Balad” initiative is the Egyptian version of the United Nations initiative “Generation Unlimited”, which was launched in more than 54 countries around the world, with the aim of supporting and empowering young people in the fields of education, employment, entrepreneurship and social participation.

It is scheduled to announce soon the strategic framework of the partnership for sustainable development between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United Nations 2023-2027, which represents the framework of cooperation between the two sides in the coming years, in a way that enhances national efforts to achieve the 2030 development vision in line with the UN goals for sustainable development.

The strategic framework of the Partnership for Sustainable Development sets 5 priorities to be achieved by the end of 2027, which are to enhance human capital through equality for access to distinguished services, social protection and social justice that guarantees everyone, to promote comprehensive sustainable economic development driven by productivity growth and decent job opportunities. Integrating the informal economy, enhancing resilience to climate change and efficiently managing natural resources in a sustainable environment, achieving inclusive equity in safe and equitable access to information.

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