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Kabul, 12 August 2017 – the President’s Office of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Ministry of Information and Culture, Youth Civil Society Organizations, and over 1,000 Afghan Youth have celebrated International Youth Day 2017 with technical and financial support of United Nations sister agencies at the Afghanistan Presidential Palace. 

The focus of this year’s event is Youth Building Peace, which is particularly relevant in Afghanistan where about 63 percent of the population is under the age of 25 years and young people in this context face significant challenges related to armed conflict, health, education, employment and gender inequality. Therefore considering the needs and aspirations of youth in matters of peace and security is a demographic imperative.

Young people have the potential to act as greater forces for positive social change and to build the foundation for a just and peaceful world.  Today’s generation of youth has come of age in an era of crisis, conflict and disaster. Yet, it has largely been excluded from national and global efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts.

Building peaceful, cohesive and resilient societies requires the full and meaningful participation of young people. Investing in them in ways that build their capabilities and creating opportunities that will enable them to realize their full potential in life are a prerequisite for their engagement in civic affairs.

If we want a more peaceful world, we can no longer afford to leave young people behind. We must listen to and work with them.

United Nations remains committed to supporting the efforts of governments and civil society to develop our greatest asset, young people, who can help us move closer to our shared vision for a world free of conflict and violence. 

“The UN in Afghanistan is committed to empowering young people to bring out sustainable development.  Each and every young person has a great potential and the UN will continue to support the Government to realize this potential to strive towards a more peaceful Afghanistan.”, Country Representative for the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) for Afghanistan, Dr Bannet Ndyanabangi.

This event at the Presidential Palace on Saturday12th August will celebrate young role models in Afghanistan who strive towards civic peace in their communities against the odds.  Four young people, His Excellency President Ghani, the Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs and the Tadamichi Yamamoto, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan will all share their experiences and hopes for positive impacts young people have made and can make on the future of Afghanistan.