Bangui, Central African Republic: In the Boy Rabe Sport and cultural centre, hundreds of young girls and boy are gathered to hear the UNSG Youth Envoy message: "You are building your country; you are proving to everyone who thinks that you are the problem that they are wrong. You are the heroes of this country. We need to tell the entire world the important work you are doing." He stated.
CAR is the first country visited by the UNSG Youth Envoy since the adoption of the 2250 resolution, the first-ever resolution on youth, peace and security that urges greater representation by young women and men in the prevention and resolution of conflict.
"Youth have for too long been cast away as either the perpetrators of violence or its victims.With this resolution the Security Council recognizes the important contributions that young people make in countering violent extremism and supporting peacebuilding efforts around the world." Declared Ahmad Alhendawi, UNSG Envoy and he conlued Youth from CAR are a live illustration of this resolution.
Central African Youth, a fortunate generation
The average age of the Central African population is 20. 75% of the population is under 35 years of age. These young people are not only vulnerable, but the prospect of an uncertain future can make them vectors for further unrest and social and communal conflicts. But, according to Ahmad Alhendawi, despite these challenges, Central African Youth have to remember that they may be the luckiest generation of young people in the history of their country. "Regardless of use of violence in the past; you are the generation that is working to rebuild the country as you have proved that you can make elections possible as well as development. You are the role model of the children and adolescents, you are the youth full of hope and we are here to support your effort and jointly build CAR", he concluded.
Addressing youth vulnerability
Since March 2016, and in the framework of the the MPTF joint project, UNFPA and UNICEF are working together to help reducing adolescent and youth vulnerability in 10 localities in CAR: Bangui, Bimbo, Boda, Yaloké, Sibut, Dékoa, Kaga - Bandoro, Bambari, Koungo et Bouar. The joint project was designed to contribute to the transformation of CAR's young (girls and boys) strongly destabilized and impoverished, into a vehicle and tool for local development, social cohesion and peace buiding.
The implementation of the joint project will improve sexual and reproductive health and rights of at least 100,000 Adolescents and Young people; and secondly, the project will promote their social and economic integration and participation in social cohesion and peace building by providing to the youth Vocational Training and convenient spaces.The SG Envoy has witnessed the signing of the UNFPA Work Plan to support the Ministry of Youth in CAR Ministry and the High Commission for the National Youth Pioneer. The implementation of this Work Plan will allow to provide vocational training for demobilized and descolarized young people. This is strong Sign of the United Nations System support to CAR
Joining efforts to support youth from CAR
"This is not a time for small interventions or for fragmented efforts, this is the time to join our forces for good and put all our resources together in a coordinating fashion to supporting young people" Ahmad Alhendawi stated.
Under the lead of UNFPA, an emergency joint programme for youth is being finalized to provide support to disarmed and demobilized youth, civic education, and moral and vocational training, in order to create enable conditions for their socio-economic and professional reinsertion. The programme is based on a UN rapid response mechanism to provide catalytic actions in specific localities in order to ensure coherence, coordination and an effective response to the needs and aspirations of the youth in line with the new Government's priorities. The program contains four axes and will be implemented in two phases; a first phase to be implemented for six months from June to December, 2016 to ensure effective delivery on Quick Win basis; and a second phase for a period of 24 months starting from 1 January 2017 to ensure scaling up and extension to more localities.
The visit was a unique opportunity for the Envoy to engage all Central African stakeholders and mobilize them around this vision of emergency and comprehensive program for youth. These stakeholders are: the Prime Minister HE Simplice Sarandji, the Special Representative of the UNSG, Mr. Parfait Onanga; 4 key Sectors Ministers (Minister for Youth, Minister of Social Affairs, Minister of Education and Minister of Agriculture); the UNCT, the MINUSCA, the National Council of Youth, and the women's organization. Finally the Envoy meet made strongh advocacy on the situation of young people toward the donors community gathered in the G8.
Youth as agents of peace
"I am glad to work for my community, we are ready to be developed in this work but we still need your support so we can continue working here and learning more skills." Said Richard Bingi Vaya, a youth working at a construction site
The UN Youth Envoy stated: "I have seen youth with hope and dreams who want the best for their future and their country. I will tell the world who thinks that youth from CAR are angry and fighting at each other that I have seen young Muslims and Christians who have rejected arms and opted for peace to rebuild their country. I'm leaving Bangui to Istanbul for the World Humanitarian Summit where I will advocate to this people"