Youth Forum in the Arab Region
“Knowledge at the service of Youth in the Arab Region” is the theme of the second edition of the Youth forum, held from 20 to 22 August 2019 in Tunis and organized by the Regional Office of UNFPA, in partnership with the Tunisian Ministry of Youth and Sports and under the patronage of the presidency of the government.
Founded in 2018 in Morocco, the forum provides an impartial space for dialogue with the aim of setting and advancing the youth agenda in the Arab region.
More than 200 youth from 20 Arab countries participated in workshops to discuss their needs and priorities in terms of knowledge. Influencers, policy and decision makers, civil society, academia, United Nations and other international partners, private sector and other actors engaged in youth issues attended also the forum.
The 2019 Youth Forum has been designed to provide 100% youth-led discussion space. Throughout the three-day event, young people worked in thematic youth creative workshops:
- •First workshop on designing an innovative regional youth platform for sharing experiences, lessons learned and good practices among young people in the Arab region.
- •Second workshop on Positive Youth Engagement in Youth Policies and Strategies that led to the idea of the "Arab Youth Charter".
- •Third workshop on promoting knowledge of youth-friendly programs and services, which led to the design of a digital application idea to diffuse and use this knowledge.
- •Finally, fourth workshop on accelerators for the contribution of young people to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The last day of the Forum was an opportunity for young people to present their products to ministers and senior officials within ministries of Youth & Sports of some Arab states for discussion and adoption.
During the Forum, Her Excellency Dr. Ben Cheikh, Tunisian Minister of Youth & Sports, called upon the institutionalization of the Forum and announced the readiness of the Government of Tunisia to host the envisaged Regional Center of Excellence on Youth that will contribute to achieving the youth agenda. “Our country puts special emphasis on the role of youth and I am using this platform to express our eagerness to embrace this much needed youth space in the Arab region,” she stated.
Dr. Luay Shabaneh, Regional Director at UNFPA, applauded the active collaboration of all partners in promoting youth empowerment and rights. “The youth forum should be a regular annual meeting. We are now beyond the brainstorming stage; we will have four practical flagship youth projects out of the workshops of the forum. These projects will also have implementation and evaluation mechanisms, all set by youth themselves.” Dr. Shabaneh said.