By: Mirwais Jalalzai
Debate on a modern youth policy framework finalized in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku.
First Global Forum on Youth Policy which was hosted by international youth organizations including the United Nation ended with the slogan (Youth policy must bridge gap between ‘haves and have nots’).
More than 200 youth activists from across the world including Afghanistan were invited to this global forum.
Experts, policymakers, researchers and activists guide in a set of focused guidelines to assist counties in defining, planning, financing, implementing and evaluating youth policy.
On the last day of the First Global Forum on Youth Policy policy experts, youth activists and Government delegations gathered in Baku pressed ahead with efforts to revive commitment to ensuring the national and international policy frameworks take into account the needs of young people and provide for their participation in decision-making, as set out in the 1995 World Programme of Action on Youth.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi held talks in Baku with over 30 country representatives including from Ethiopia, Albania, Mali, Fiji, the Russian Federation, Brazil, Kuwait, Spain, Croatia, Turkey, South Africa, and others.
Mr. Alhendawi said that while each nation faced unique challenges and aspirations, they all agreed on the urgency to address increasing youth unemployment and improve access to quality healthcare and education.
The Forum’s focus now is on reaching a consensus on what youth policy means and from that building a set of guiding principles for youth policy.
Some Afghan Youth activists also joined that event true Skype from deferent part of the world .
Sayed Adeeb was one of those participated true Skype in this international forum.
“Sadly, we are still pretty bad at involving the voices of young people into the debate,” he admitted.
He added, without budget for youths this kind of meetings mean only mental activities.
Mr.Adeeb asked the UN officials to force the Afghan government to invest on youths in his country, where the youths are forgotten generation on policy making and leadership level.
“Bridging the gap between grassroots activists and those in Ministry halls are very important in my country” he said.
“There’s always a question of access routes because even when a policy is adopted it might reach some young people in cities but neglect young people in rural areas and the country,” he said.
Youth policy financing is a critical issue as well, ranging significantly from country to country. The budgets of Afghanistan compared to that of US are very different. The same can be said comparing Asia to Africa. While mechanisms, resolutions and legislation may frame youth policy, they do “no good” without proper and adequate financing.
And even when Governments provide “packages of opportunity” it is common for resources to go to the “already privileged.” This only worsens the “youth divide.” Youth policy must narrow that gap and “level the playing field between the haves and the have nots.”
Governments should concentrate more on positive youth policy, than regulating and sanctioning the lives of young people.