FG Promises to Translate Youth Expectations to Actionable Policies, Tangible Change

The Federal Government has called on the nation’s youth to come out with their expectations, promising commitment to translating their expectations into actionable policies and initiatives that drive tangible change.

The promise was made on Thursday in Abuja by the Minister of Youth Development, Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim at the Nigeria Youth Consultative Forum on the ‘Summit Of The Future (SOTF), a collaborative effort by the Interagency Youth Group of the United
Nations, the Network of Youth for Sustainable Initiatives and the Ministry of Youth Development,

The Minister said: “Today is not just another morning; it’s the dawn of a new era for our nation. The Summit of the Future hinges on this very room, on the power of your ideas. Today, we join hands to chart a course for
a sustainable, prosperous Nigeria led by the brilliant visions of its most vital
resource: its youth!”

She noted that the forum was more than a mere meeting, but “represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape and invigorate our multilateral system, addressing the challenges we face today and those on the horizon. Together, we aim to strengthen global governance and accelerate the implementation of commitments we have made, particularly those outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“Understanding the Present, Shaping the Future. The world’s landscape is rapidly evolving from climate change and digital
transformation to economic uncertainty and social justice. Our young people are at
the forefront of driving change. In Nigeria, over 60% of our population is under the
age of 25, making the youth our most valuable asset.

“Reflecting on Your Expectations. This forum is dedicated to capturing your views and expectations. What do you
envision for Nigeria? What are the pressing issues you face? How can we
collectively address these challenges to create a future where every young Nigerian
can flourish?

“Your feedback will shape our contributions to the upcoming UN Summit of the
Future, ensuring that Nigeria’s youth are heard and instrumental in the global
discourse on sustainable development. We are committed to translating your
expectations into actionable policies and initiatives that drive tangible change.”

Ibrahim noted that: “The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a blueprint for a better world, but achieving these goals requires more than just governmental effort; it demands the active participation of every citizen, especially our youth. The journey towards these goals is collective, and your role as a young leader cannot be overstated.

“As we delve into today’s discussions, let us focus on how we can collaboratively
tackle issues such as quality education, decent work, climate action, gender
equality, and peace and justice. Let us explore innovative solutions and sustainable
practices that can be scaled and replicated. Let us commit to actions that are not
only visionary but also practical and inclusive.”

She admitted that: “Nigeria’s challenges are complex, but they are not insurmountable. By harnessing the power of technology, fostering entrepreneurship, and championing education and skills development, we can create a vibrant ecosystem where young Nigerians
can thrive. We must also prioritize inclusivity, ensuring that our initiatives benefit every segment of society, including marginalized and vulnerable groups.”

She appealed that: “Today, I urge you to be bold in your ideas, fearless in your advocacy, and relentless in your pursuit of a better future. This forum allows your voices to resonate and your solutions to take shape.”

The Minister called on the youth to forget yesterday’s blueprints, noting that: “Nigeria’s future is being built today! This
gathering isn’t about listening– it’s about co-creating. We need your fresh
perspectives, the grit you bring to every challenge, and the game-changing ideas
that only young minds can conjure. Together, let’s weave a future that’s resilient, inclusive, and sustainable– a Nigeria that thrives on the boundless potential of its youth.”

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mohamed Fall explained that the Forum was to plan ahead for the Summit of the Future in September 2024 in New York.

Fall, who was represented by the Country’s Representative of World Health Organisation, Walter Mulombo,noted that: “In a moment of growing mistrust, in which outdated structures no longer reflect today’s political and economic realities, the Summit is a chance to get back on track and re-commit to a multilateralism that delivers for everyone, everywhere.”

He explained that the Summit of the Future will build on the 2023 SDG Summit, stressing that agreements to improve global cooperation arrangements will, in turn, enable us to deliver on the existing commitments and turbocharge the 2030 Agenda.

He revealed that: “The main outcome of the Summit will be an inter-governmentally agreed and action-oriented Pact for the Future. The Pact will have five chapters: 1) sustainable development and financing for development, 2) international peace and security, 3) science, technology and innovation and digital cooperation, 4) youth and future generations, and 5) transforming global governance. Human rights, empowerment of women and girls and poverty eradication will be cross-cutting.”

He said: “The UN System in Nigeria is strongly behind the Nigerian youth. We believe in you. We trust in your innovative ideas and positive energies to accelerate the achievement of SDGs and drive transformative change in Nigeria.

“We count on you for continuous support in disseminating, explaining and building support for the Summit and helping us sustain the momentum for the major changes our multilateral system needs. Your networks and energies will be essential to the Summit’s success.”

On his part, the Country Representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Gifty Addico said: “Young people are the most important and valuable resource of the nation and strategic investment in their education, health, security, and overall development carries the potential for demographic dividends.”

Addico, who was represented by the Deputy Representative, Mr. Koessan Kuawu noted that: “The need for effective multilateral solutions to address the array of challenges ranging from climate change and economic instability to technological disruption and social inequalities is now more urgent than ever.”

He noted that: “This event would provide a platform for young people to discuss and collaborate towards addressing priorities of young Nigerians for the United Nations Summit of the Future in September.
As we delve deep into today’s deliberations, let’s reaffirm our collective resolve: Every voice is invaluable. Every dream holds weight. Every youth deserves an opportunity.

“Here’s to forging a future that acknowledges, celebrates, and nurtures every young individual’s aspiration. The UN Interagency group on Youth steadfastly stands with you, ready to champion this cause.”

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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