Youth Development Delegates programme starts its second year, expanding reach to three new countries

ABU DHABI, 1st September, 2021 -The Arab Youth Centre (AYC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today that initiation of the second year of the programme, which promotes youth inclusion and strengthen their engagement in the development process across the Arab region.
In its first round, the Youth Development Delegates programme enabled the employment of 11 young people from the Arab region to work in UNDP offices in 10 countries, including Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Somalia, Syria and Tunisia, to gain hands-on multilateral development experience, while working to support and influence youth programming from within.
The next phase (2021-2022) of the programme will expand its reach to include an additional three UNDP country offices in Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Kuwait. It will also involve extending the period of youth engagement to two years in order to facilitate stronger skills acquisition, establishment of networks, and create more space for the Youth Delegates to use their learning for the creation and implementation of their own ideas and initiatives. This entails the continuation of the first cohort of Youth Delegates an additional year and the engagement of newly joining cohorts to serve for two-year term.
The programme continues its achievements by building on what has been achieved in its first year 2020-2021, overcoming the challenges imposed by the global COVID-19.
“The role of youth is pivotal in accelerating development and achieving its goals at national and global levels,” stressed Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Vice Chairperson of the Arab Youth Center. “The collaboration between the Arab Youth Center and the United Nations Development Program is an opportunity to empower a distinguished group of youth from various Arab countries to gain qualitative experiences and acquire skills that catalyse development in their communities.”
She added “We aim to strengthen youth contribution across all fields necessary to achieve the SDGs at both national and regional level. We trust that by developing their skills and creating meaningful opportunities for them we can reach the desired development outcomes in the next decade.”
“We are happy to expand our partnership with the Arab Youth Center, to strengthen young people’s engagement in development – as drivers and innovators of practical and tailored solutions to the many challenges that their communities face,” said Dr Khalida Bouzar, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States. “Harnessing the ingenuity and energy of youth is critical to our common pursuit of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by the promised date of 2030.”
In a round table discussion with Dr Khalida Bouzar and Al Mazrui held on 1 September 2021, the first cohort of Youth Delegates presented their key learning takeaways and achievements. They reflected on their aspirations for their 2nd year in the program as they continue to support UNDP youth programming, including contributing to UNDP’s strategic planning, developing innovative responses to emerging challenges, advocating for youth engagement in development, and organizing activities of the Youth Leadership Programme.
AYC and UNDP will continue their partnership to achieve their common vision for youth in the Arab region and ensure that youth receive solid support at multiple levels. Engaging with thousands of youths across the region, the Youth Delegates will continue to work towards stronger youth engagement in development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals at local, national, and regional levels.

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