On 30 September 2021, the Permanent Mission of Qatar to the United Nations, the West Asia North Africa Institute, the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum, Peace Child International, and the Stimson Center held a virtual forum to discuss the role of youth in West Asia and North Africa (WANA) in catalyzing action on a range of regional and global challenges. Below you can find full opening remarks from H.E. Mr. Salah bin Ghanem Al-Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, State of Qatar.
Let me first welcome Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, my brother Mr. Taha Ayhan, President of the Islamic Cooperation Forum for Youth, all the panelists and everyone watching this event online. The world has witnessed in the last few years major challenges that herald a new era in human civilization highlighting an urgent need for a creative forcecapable of taking on those challenges.
This force is the youth of the world who will lead based on principles and values that unite all humanity. What unites us is our commitment to collective human dignity, which is based on promoting freedom and justice, seeking knowledge, and cherishing innovation and creativity. These overarching values are what guide young people everywhere, especially in West Asia and North Africa. To make progress, we need to believe in our youth and in their potential, to let them go as far as they can in search of creativity, innovation, and opportunities, and to guarantee equality in pursuing these endeavors.
Our youth need to be empowered to participate in public life and in sustainable development and need to be included in the decision-making process to be productive and to meet their potential. The Qatari youth share the world’s youth challenges, opportunities, and aspirations that transcend these ideals. Every step and every achievement should be in support of all young people in the world and for a better future for humanity.
The State of Qatar has launched a national policy for youth, which reflects our belief in the critical need to empower the youth, and in their role in their society and in the world. Many youth centers have become a training ground for promising young Qataris that are ready to take part in the opportunities and new experiences provided by the upcoming shura elections. I believe, now, it is time to trust in the potential of our youth and create opportunities for them to innovate and make change.
You can watch the event recording here.