Virtual Youth Meeting with UN Youth Envoy

Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth met with UN Namibia, GRN and stakeholders in the virtual space to engage on youth.

Representatives from the UN and Government ministries associated with youth met virtually to deliberate on how to operationalize the UN Youth Programme for Namibia. The youth is identified as valuable human capital and no single agency can address youth agendas in isolation of others. This heeds for a partnership to work together to look at youth in totality and not in a compartmental manner.  

The Deputy Minister of Sports, Youth and National Service, Ms. Emma Kantema-Goamas; gave her assurance that her Ministry is committed  to owning and supporting the operationalization of the UN Youth Programme for Namibia.

“It will be a great opportunity for youth empowerment and it comes at an opportune time, ” the Deputy Minister said.

Youth 2030, is the United Nations’ Youth Strategy that resets the UN’s focus on youth to facilitate increased impact and expanded global, regional and country-level action. It was developed as a system-wide effort and was launched at a High-Level Event in UNGA in September 2018.

Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth introduced ideas and tools that can be used to establish a strong UN Youth Programme for Namibia. This agenda is rooted in its aims to address the needs, build the agency and advance the rights of young people around the world. The Youth 2030 agenda has two pillars namely:

Foundational areas focusing on: 

  1. Youth leadership example
  2. A knowledge and innovation pioneer
  3. An investment and solution catalyst
  4. An accountability leader

 And the Priority areas focusing on:

  1. Amplifying youth voices for a peaceful and sustainable world
  2. Support young people’s greater access to quality education and health services
  3. Support young people’s access to decent work and productive employment
  4. Protect and promote the rights of young people
  5. Support young people as catalysts for peace and Security Humanitarian Action

Speaking at the meeting was Ms. Rachel Odede, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. said, “Consequently, adolescents and young people feature as the key target in the four outcomes under the second Pillar (Social Transformation) of the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF) that also mirrors the current national development plan.” She continued noting that the meeting could not have come at a better time and that Namibia will deliver. She reiterated that the Youth Agenda should be contextualized in order to sustain development and for the betterment of the country.

To achieve this programme in Namibia, importance was placed on having a proper governance system, one that is accountable and inclusive of multi-stakeholders. Ms Daisry Mathias, the Presidential Advisor for Youth and Enterprise Development noted that the Youth Development Agenda for Namibia is in a policy vacuum, and a process is underway in finalising the 3rd National Youth Policy. The Namibia UN Youth Programme will fit into the Youth Policy Framework which will serve as implementation tool of the National Youth Policy.

The deliberation was fruitful as the working group agreed to utilise the ideas and tools that were presented to strengthen youth focused programming in Namibia.

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