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Dr. Laurent Zessler, UNFPA Representative, meets the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP)

"It is inspiring and refreshing to listen to the opinions of young Afghans. UNFPA will start from your ideas to better respond to the needs of young people in Afghanistan", said Dr. Laurent Zessler, UNFPA Representative, in a meeting with the Youth Advisory Panel.

The Youth Advisory Panel, established in 2010 with the support of UNFPA, is a youth support system to strengthen the role of young people in the Afghan society. It is a group of eight men and women from different provinces networking with youth organizations to monitor difficulties and aspirations, and to develop ideas on how to respond to the needs of youth and better support them.

YAP will participate in future UNFPA activities such as a planned 2012 report on the status of youth in Afghanistan.

"We are committed to continue working with youth and support their initiatives and their active participation in the society", said Dr. Zessler who also assured YAP members that UNFPA will support youth development through several activities in cooperation with the Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs.

Thanks to the UNFPA support, YAP members had the possibility to undertake several study tours to different provinces of Afghanistan in order to meet youth and identify their needs and concerns. They also had the chance to meet Youth Advisory Panel in Pakistan to exchange ideas and experience a different approach to active citizenship. YAP members' efforts are now focused on encouraging more youth from across the country to actively participate in nation building process.