WINDHOEK – Namibia’s young people, who make up the majority of the country’s population, should be regarded as human capital assets that the country has to protect, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Christine //Hoebes has said.
Speaking at the breakfast meeting with the diplomatic community and international organisations on Wednesday, //Hoebes said the youth are regarded as the agents of change, the future and an inspiration.
“Across the globe we are seeing the youth taking responsibility for their future and holding us accountable for the decisions we make today. Closer to home, the Namibian youth are advocating for social justice and an opportunity to make a difference. It is in this context that we’ll discuss the UN Youth Agenda and how it relates to the Namibian and African youth agendas,” she said.
“Ours is to work together (among ourselves and to work together with the youth) to present the youth with opportunities to allow them to continue to work towards enhancing sustainable development and the attainment of Vision 2030,” she said.
The meeting was also aimed to provide an overview on the status of youth, building on the recent SADC Ministers responsible for Youth and the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF), for further cooperation on the youth agenda.
In her opening remarks, United Nations Resident Coordinator Rachel Odede said the closed-door meeting would discuss issues related to the youth.
‘The youth are our leaders of tomorrow, and they are multipliers of sustainable development,” she said.
Quoting UN Secretary General António Guterres when he launched the UN Youth Strategy last September 1, Odede said: “If we are to create a more peaceful, sustainable and prosperous world for all to fulfil the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we need young people to lead.”
She said it is against this background that through maximising collective comparative advantages, “we hope to propose a way forward on this important agenda”. Odede expressed strong appreciation to the government and the diplomatic community for making quality time to join the UN system in Namibia to collectively deliberate on the issues at hand.
“We very much value the dedication and efforts to ensure that no one is left behind and our commitments towards achieving the Agenda 2030 are implemented in a timely, efficient and effective manner, for the benefit of our people,” she said.
The meeting was attended by, amongst others, presidential advisor: Youth Matters & Enterprise Development, Daisry Mathias and the National Youth Council (NYC) chairperson, Mandela Kapere.