Silatech has organised a high-level conference entitled “Empowering Youth, Transforming Societies” at the International Conference Centre, Geneva.
The conference called for tackling rising youth unemployment through economic and social empowerment, particularly in developing regions with increasingly young populations.
The conference stressed the importance of empowering young people economically, creating more job opportunities to reduce the negative impact of unemployment and placing the issues of youth empowerment in the priority of the international agenda for development work.
It also described the role of Silatech foundation in providing more than 1,100,000 jobs as pioneering work.
Silatech conference also urged the international community to do more to address unemployment and invest in youth development to contribute to the promotion of economy and peace for the security of the whole world, and to implement the international strategy against terrorism, especially as young people are the foundation of the renaissance of nations.
Sessions of discussions were on the agenda of the conference, one of which was on how to build a global system conducive to the empowerment of youths.
The focus was on the role of the Silatech foundation in providing job opportunities for young people, especially in conflict areas and increase the standard of living of the refugees and displaced persons.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi stressed the importance of listening to the voice of young people, adding that they have always been followers and now they should be leaders, stressing the importance of investment to employ young refugees in host countries, describing the achievement of Silatech and its success in providing more than one mn jobs for young people as a leading role.
For her part, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake said that poverty leads to social exclusion and marginalisation, noting that 64mn young people are unemployed while 70mn workers still live in extreme poverty.
Ambassador for Silatech, Chaker Khazaal, said that young people need to build bridges of communication rather than walls.
As a former refugee, he has learned that he must cling to hope, adding that the world is dark, but hope must be upheld because it is the only way to the life of any refugee and thanks to organisations like Silatech, there must be the belief that tomorrow will be better.
Speaker Chris Gardner, Author of In the Pursuit of Happyness called for action to tackle unemployment.
He also thanked Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Silatech’s Board of Trustees and Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals, for her efforts in order to enable the youth and provide them with job opportunities through Silatech.
He added that Silatech’s work on empowering and improving the lives of young people is more important than ever, especially in a world that grows darker and more frightening every day.
The participants, including politicians and officials of the United Nations, the European Union and prominent international organisations, agreed that the provision of employment opportunities for young people is a key to economic development and real investment in any country.
Prime Minister of Somalia Hassan Ali Khayre said 70% of Somalia’s population is young and every job opportunity is an investment in the country’s future.
He added that the youth in the population in his country can be a positive or negative factor. If provided with the skills of entrepreneurship they would be the backbone of economic growth, but ignoring them and not providing them with employment opportunities will make them a cause of instability and conflict.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, said youth are partners in change and benefit from it, and their voices must be heard.
She highlighted the importance of youth’s role, their empowerment, investing in them and interacting with them.
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Silatech and UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, had announced on Monday that youth will receive 3mn employment opportunities globally by 2022, calling for more partners to help raise that number to 5mn.
Silatech is an international, social, non-profit, non-governmental organisation based in Qatar established by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser in 2008 which aims to combat unemployment, extremism, and marginalisation of young people and women through employment and economic empowerment initiatives.
Silatech is empowering young people to lead change and improve their lives and communities for the better.