Kuwaiti youth have great potential and talent, and His Highness the Amir shows and encourages great care to realize that potential in all fields, a youth affairs official said yesterday. Board Chairman of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) Faisal Al-Jazzaf was talking after his participation in a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on youth issues on Monday and Tuesday, representing the Kuwaiti Amir, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Al-Jazzaf noted that the Amir Channels great care to young talents through programs of such institutions as the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research and PAYS, and this applies at schools as well as at other venues.
As they represent over 60 percent of the Kuwaiti population, it is natural that youth should be greatly involved in all aspects of life and in political decision making, and they must be shown trust and given an opportunity.
Al-Jazzaf added that youth affairs took up due priority in the state's development plan and budget. The areas for spending in this regard include programs related to the environment, countering drug use, awareness, national unity, and other social, cultural, and even recreational interests.
A current project to provide more care to youth is establishment of "Family Centers" across the country. The centers would organize sports, social, cultural, and recreational activities that would attract youth as well as parents with participation and guidance from the Ministry of Education, he explained.
PAYS, he noted, plays an important role in all gestures regarding youth in the country as it coordinates and interacts with international specialized bodies and attends conferences and events. It would also complete drafting a special program in cooperation with the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Though Kuwait does not suffer from poverty, our youth are still affected by drug use, and we have a standing committee that addresses the issue. We also intend to invite international experts to give lectures and organize programs in cooperation with specialized Kuwaiti bodies." The official also remarked Kuwait is to host an important event under the supervision of Arab League in November, on youth affairs. Kuwait, he added, had presented a number of proposals regarding youth activities and care in the G
ulf Cooperation Council.
On utilization of modern means of communication and social networking portals by youth, Al-Jazzaf remarked that constructive use of such media is warranted. One must shun aggressive tone and attitudes that would foster divide, through.
Al-Jazzaf, who represented His Highness the Amir at the high-level meeting, met with Moroccan Minister of Youth and Sports Belkhayat, who addressed the Assembly on behalf of the Arab group, as agreed earlier in July.
Belkhayat had said that fulfilling the aspirations of youth in the Arab countries had always been the overriding concern of the national policies and the decisions taken at Arab summits. Regardless of the magnitude of the national effort of each individual country, and of the degree of effectiveness of the espoused youth policies, he stressed, success remained contingent on concerted regional and international efforts to overcome the challenges facing youth.
That was the objective of the Arab Youth Observatory, recently established in Rabat, which would be a mechanism to predict future youth trends, he explained. He expressed hope that the observatory would help "erase" borders and create a new communication dynamic among the peoples of the Arab region, in the interest of economic integration and the mobilization of the capabilities of youth in guaranteeing development.
At the end of its two-day High-Level meeting on Youth, the General Assembly adopted by consensus an outcome document in which senior government officials called on member states, with the support of the United Nations, to take action to enable young people to overcome widespread unemployment and other problems and to ensure that they participated integrally in global efforts for peace and sustainable development.
The document enumerated a number of areas of action by member states, pledging "to fulfill our commitments to promote youth development, dialogue, and mutual understanding, paying due attention to the relevant internationally agreed development goals". It also called for measures to strengthen educational opportunity and to promote human rights knowledge among youth, as well as dialogue for mutual understanding. Member states were also urged to take measures to protect young people affected or exploited by
terrorism and incitement.
Many participants spoke of the need to harness the energy of youth that had been witnessed in recent upheavals in Arab countries. Benin's President, Boni Yayi, said the outcome document was "the crowning point for the International Year of Youth" which ends on International Youth Day celebrated annually on August 12.
He stressed that the energy exhibited in the revolutions in the Arab world made young people agents for change and an invaluable asset for development all over the world. "The twenty-first century will be the century of human capital, embodied in young people," he stressed.