The new UN initiative dubbed Generation Unlimited, that is aimed at supporting the youth, has come at the right time and will make a difference in empowering global youth, President Paul Kagame has said.
The President delivered the message on Monday in New York while speaking at the launch of the UN’s Youth 2030 Strategy for which he has been called to serve on UNICEF’s “Generation Unlimited” Leaders Group.
The President is in New York for the 73rd UN General Assembly.
‘Generation Unlimited’, which the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, launched yesterday, seeks to get every young person prepared for future employment by 2030.
It’s expected to complement and build on existing programmes around the world that support adolescents and young people.
It will focus on three key areas; secondary-age education; skills for learning, employability and decent work, and empowerment.
Kagame said that the new framework is practical and has the right emphasis on skills development, gender equality and access to information technology and mentorship opportunities.
“The United Nations cannot be ‘relevant to all people’ without an answer to the aspirations of the world’s youth. After all, in developing countries, most of the population consists of young people,” he said, commending the new programme.
He added that through the framework, the ideas of young people around the world will be continuously integrated along the way but stressed that there will be need for strong public-private partnerships to get things done.
He pledged Rwanda’s full support for the programme, indicating that it is in line with the country’s priorities as well as Africa’s Agenda 2063.
The President is the current Chairperson of the African Union.
“Equipping the next generation with the capabilities and mindsets needed for success is among the most urgent policy priorities in countries such as my own Rwanda,” he said.
He added: “Rwanda is fully committed to this task with you, and there is also full alignment with the African Union’s Agenda 2063”.
Apart from President Kagame and the UN’s Secretary General, the launch of the initiative was also attended by other global, business, education and youth leaders who are behind the Generation Unlimited drive.
They include UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, , UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake among others.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lilly Singh and global pop group BTS are also among the leaders behind the Generation Unlimited partnership.
Generation Unlimited is expected to tackle the global education and training challenges currently holding back millions of young people and threatening progress and stability.
UNICEF estimates that without urgent investment in education and skills training, the rapidly growing global population of adolescents and young people – which will reach 2 billion by 2030 – will continue to be unprepared and unskilled for the future workforce.
The UN body says that with more than 200 million young people of lower- and upper-secondary school age currently missing out on school, instead of contributing to equitable progress, young people – especially the most disadvantaged – could face a future full of increased deprivation and discrimination.