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"I see this Conference as a unique opportunity to raise your voices, share experiences, and being inspired by others. I hope you will use this opportunity to strengthen the ties between young people and institution, international and local organizations." Said Dr. Laurenz Zessler, UNFPA Representative attending the Third Annual Youth Conference organized by Youth in Action Association (YIAA) in Kabul on the 24th of December 2011.

Dedicated to the theme of "Empowerment and Participation", the YIAA conference has been sponsored by the UNFPA YOUTH for CHANGE grant programme. A large number of young afghan belonging to different youth organizations arrived in Kabul to attend the YIAA Third Annual Conference from all around the country to discuss how to enhance peace and sustainable development in Afghanistan.

Actively involve young Afghan in peace building, governance and policy making, providing educational and employment opportunities to young women and children resulted from the discussions as essential elements for Afghanistan's development.

"We should not let others make decisions for us anymore. It is our turn to stand up, ask for our rights and take them. We should be in high decision making roles in our communities and government. We need to fight to claim our right place and role in Afghanistan. The future of Afghanistan depends on us." said Mr. Sayed Ikram Afzali, the YIAA President.

UNFPA believes that support, engage and invest in young people will improve productivity and prosperity for generations to come. In line with UNFPA mandate, Dr. Laurent Zessler reaffirmed UNFPA commitment to support the Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs and Afghanistan's Youth Civil society.