International Youth Day 2015 celebrated in Kabul on the theme of ‘youth civic engagement’

The International Youth Day 2015 was celebrated at a glittering ceremony in Kabul on Wednesday on the theme of ‘youth civic engagement’.
 
The function at the government media and information center was attended by senior government officials, including President Ashraf Ghani’s special envoy for reforms and good governance, Ahmad Zia Massoud.
 
Former president Hamid Karzai was also present on the occasion.
 
The representatives from the ministry of information and culture, deputy ministry of youth affairs, and members of civil society were also in attendance.
 
The function started with an exhibition of handicraft items made by youth. Some youth were also felicitated with awards and certificates for their achievements and accomplishments.

The speakers at the event stressed on the importance of youth engagement and participation to achieve sustainable growth and development

A drama skit on the theme of ‘youth civic engagement’ was also presented by a group of youth, which provided entertainment and information to audience.
 
The event was organized with the support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
 
Afghanistan, with more than 63 percent population under the age of 25, is one of the youngest countries in the world.
 
The speakers at the event stressed on the importance of youth engagement and participation to achieve sustainable growth and development.
 
“Afghanistan's stability and development lies in the hands of youth. We will protect the country with the power and belief of youth and we will advance with their ambition and efforts”, said Abdul Bari Jahani, the minister of information and culture.  
 
Even though the percentage of young population in Afghanistan is high, their participation in socio-political affairs continues to be abysmally low.

To encourage youth to be more engaged in society, the deputy ministry of youth affairs presented Afghanistan's first-ever ‘national youth policy’ in January this year

“The key to socio-economic development in Afghanistan and the transformation of its future is to invest in the potential of young people, particularly girls, and include them in the decision making processes that affect their lives”, said Dr. Annette Sachs Robertson, UNFPA country representative.
 
To encourage youth to be more engaged in society, the deputy ministry of youth affairs presented Afghanistan's first-ever ‘national youth policy’ in January this year.
 
It focuses on the commitment made by government to address the challenges facing youth, and build their capacity to participate in planning and decision-making processes.
 
The policy is supposed to address the issues of unemployment, gender inequality, lack of youth participation, abysmal healthcare, lack of education, peace and security, and environment.
 
Earlier this week, UNFPA released another report titled ‘Investing in Youth: How to realize Afghanistan's Demographic Dividend, which says the empowerment of youth is critical to the progress and development of Afghanistan.

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