UNDP Administrator Helen Clark meets with newly appointed United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi
The challenge of engaging and empowering the largest generation of youth the world has ever known was the focus of discussions today between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark and the UN Secretary-General’s newly appointed Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi.
Meeting for the first time, Miss Clark congratulated Mr Alhendawi on his new role and reflected on the passion of youth, including the strong spirit of volunteerism among young people, and the benefits of working with youth to progress key human development issues.
A shared priority was enhancing coordination and coherence of the UN’s work on youth issues at the country level. The UNDP Administrator and UN Envoy on Youth discussed the important role of the Office of UN Resident Coordinators in overseeing activities identified in the UN System-Wide Action Plan on Youth, to which numerous UN agencies had contributed and committed their support.
Given UNDPs’ role as custodian of the UN Resident Coordinator system, Miss Clark elaborated on UNDP’s unique positioning within the UN system to support joint programming at the national level with other UN entities and governments to support youth development.
Mr Alhendawi emphasized the importance for young men and women to have access to the UN organization, stating that “expectations are very high in terms of bringing the work of the UN closer to young people”.
In this regard, the UN Envoy on Youth reflected on his role in advocating the work of the UN within the global youth population, as well as strengthening the partnerships between the UN system and young men and women, and promoting a triangular collaboration between the UN, youth and governments.
Also present at the New York meeting, the Director of UNDP's Democratic Governance Group and the UNDP Focal Point on Youth, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, indicated that UNDP’s priority areas for youth empowerment included enhancing political participation, employability and entrepreneurship, and leadership building.
Miss Clark and Mr Alhendawi agreed it was essential for the voices of youth to be heard in the post-2015 development agenda dialogues, on a global platform, and also recognized the need for sustained youth engagement in advancing the work that still remains in the context of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Secretary-General in his Five-Year Action Agenda identified ‘Working with and for Women and Young People’ as a top priority for the UN system. Mr Alhendawi took up his post in February 2013.