Youth Come Together to Tackle the Challenges of Political and Economic Exclusion in Africa

Nairobi, November, 2017 – Youth, diplomats and high profile public figures came to the United Nations Office of Nairobi today to attend the first session of Young African Think’rs (YAT) Convention.

Hosted by UN-Habitat, the Young African Think’rs Convention will run for three days of intense brainstorming where African youth will generate sustainable solutions to foster Africa‟s development.

Wangu Mwenda, Project Designer for the Billion Startups project, gave opening remarks to start the session pointing out that “It is a critical time that governments and organizations come out to jointly support the youth as problem solvers for tomorrow’s issues toward the transformation of Africa.”

Business Man and Philanthropist, Dr. Manu Chandaria with youth after giving a talk Young African Think’rs Convention

Businessman and Philanthropist Dr. Manu Chandaria said that the coming together for youth as urban thinkers was a reminder that “Young people have the energy and are very able to get Africa organized.”

Speaking during the opening of the convention, Dr. Manu Chandaria challenged hundreds of youth saying, “It is an economic challenge for youth to sit at home thinking about issues affecting their continent, and doing nothing about it! Youth must open up their minds to find new solutions that work to solve current urbanization issues”

Christine Musisi, Director for External Relations, UN-Habitat spoke to the youth through a shared conference video emphasizing on the need for youth to take charge on urbanization, “Africa is the fastest urbanizing continent globally, yet its urbanization is unplanned.”

The creativity, energy and innovation of Africa’s youth shall be the driving force behind the continent’s political, social, cultural and economic transformation.”– Agenda 2063/ Aspiration 6:58

The session went on to include discussions with youth groups on how to utilize the untapped creativity of Africa youth to fuel the on-going transformation and realize the anticipated urbanization in Africa.

Meanwhile the Youth as Peace builders Forum themed at UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial taking place in Vancouver enters day two today with high level representative staff of UN-Habitat.

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World Leaders Gather with Youth to Promote Peace

 

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Over 500 delegates from more than 70 countries are attending the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference in Vancouver being held November 14th and 15th in Vancouver, Canada. One of the key focuses of the conference will be on securing new pledges from Member States on the issues of peacebuilding, with a special focus being given to youth and women.

A two day Youth as Peacebuilders forum is being held during the conference which will bring hundreds of youth from around the world. A focus of the Forum will be giving input to the government representatives on how they should support youth. Also, the youth will be reviewing the recently adopted UN Security Council Resolution 2250, the first ever resolution to address youth issues in conflict.

“As UN-Habitat we believe that young men and women are critical to peacebuilding, and are very excited to see this as a focus of the conference,” states Tessy Aura, UN-Habitat Human Rights Officer, “I am looking forward to discussing what are the best practices in engaging youth in peacebuilding with the youth gathered here at the Youth As Peacebuilders forum.”

A two day Youth as Peacebuilders forum is being held during the conference which will bring hundreds of youth from around the world. A focus of the Forum will be giving input to the government representatives on how they should support youth. Also, the youth will be reviewing the recently adopted UN Security Council Resolution 2250, the first ever resolution to address youth issues in conflict.

The youth of today are yearning for peace and are ready to sacrifice everything else to realize the dream of a better future. This an opportune moment for the UN to invest in youth4peace that can have greater impact in Somalia.

Mohammed Arshad, Youth Activist, Mogadishu, Somalia.

It is estimated that a 600 million young people are living in conflict zones or fragile states, many of them in the cities and towns of the world. UN-Habitat, which is the UN agencies charged with sustainable urban development, is at the forefront of developing programmes for youth and peacebuilding in conflict areas such as Somalia, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria.

“We are currently working with local and national governments in Somalia and South Sudan to establishment youth-led peacebuilding programmes,” states Douglas Ragan, head of the Youth Unit for UN-Habitat, “For example, we recently established a mutli-purpose youth centre in Mogadishu, Somalia and soon in Juba, South Sudan. These centres work with youth in a holistic way, providing them with critical job training, while as well engaging them in governance and peacebuilding activities.”

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Since the passing of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 in December of 2015, youth have had high hopes for their recognition and engagement in the peacebuilding process.

The need to understand the dynamics of peace within the urban context has also become a critical issue for decision-makers globally. The International Red Cross estimates that fifty million people are currently bearing the brunt of war in cities around the world.

Peace can also be made in cities – those on the frontline are young people who often live in slums and informal settlements. Isaac Muasa who lives in the Mathare Slum in Nairobi, Kenya is one of those youth. In the ongoing election tensions in Kenya, he and many of his contemporaries continue to promote a strong message of peace.

“We must continue to engage in developing our communities, ensuring social change and dignity for all residents, states Muasa, “We don’t have to bleed so that they can lead. We will lead our generation to a better tomorrow.”

In another confict area, Mogadishu, Somalia, that same message and commitment is prevalent.

“Somalia has had a long protracted conflict of about three decades. Since the start of the civil war in 1991, the international community has made a number of efforts to broker peace negotiations among warring factions that had limited success,” reflects Mohamed Arshad, Youth Activist, “The youth of today are yearning for peace and are ready to sacrifice everything else to realize the dream of a better future. This an opportune moment for the UN to invest in youth4peace that can have greater impact in Somalia.”

 

 

Youth Gathered on Urbanization to Innovate Kenya

Mombasa | Kisumu 2017 – Youth, government officials, business experts in technology, media, finance and high level staff of the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) came together to make the Innovate Kenya boot camp a success.

Hosted by UN-Habitat simultaneously in two cities of Kenya, the Innovate Kenya boot camp highlighted the significance of youth inclusion in setting up business models in urban places.

UN-Habitat Liaison Person, Linus Sijenyi said that the Innovate Kenya boot camp was a reminder that “Youth have the ideas and skills to develop sustainable city solutions which is a vital tool in the implementation of the new urban agenda by making them business investors in their own futures”.

Youth Business Models

Youth came out in large numbers to experience, learn and gain from the open opportunity amid heavy political demonstrations in the named cities.

The main purpose of the workshops was to demonstrate how to raise the capital for youth to begin their transition from a business idea into an actual product or service. The participants were further trained on how to package and confidently communicate the value of their ideas and the offerings of their businesses to other people to inspire them to bring about value exchange.

The boot camps sessions went on to include discussions with youth groups on the role that youth can play in building cities as such as developing sustainable business models that operate within a standardized legal framework–– with a special focus on the engagement of young men and women in increasing their income generation by utilizing possible and available resources in their cities.

The Kisumu Boot camp was driven at equipping existing entrepreneurs with skills to take their businesses to the next level.  The Mombasa one was aimed at introducing university students with varied career backgrounds to entrepreneurship as well as embrace that innovation not only works within ICT courses and careers but so does it open more opportunities for business students as well.

“Cities can generate more wealth by utilizing youth intelligence and the sufficiently attractive, available innovative solutions from youth,” Rhoda Omenya, UN-Habitat

 

World Cities Day 31 October| Theme: “Innovative Governance, Open Cities”

The United Nations General Assembly has designated the 31st of October as World Cities Day, by its resolution 68/239. The Day is expected to greatly promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.

2017 Theme: Innovative Governance, Open Cities

The general theme of World Cities Day is Better City, Better Life, while each year a different sub-theme is selected, to either promote successes of urbanization, or address specific challenges resulting from urbanization.

This year, the United Nations has selected the theme Innovative Governance, Open Cities to highlight the important role of urbanization as a source of global development and social inclusion

What Does Home Mean to You? Youth in Canada Launch Initiative to Strengthen Social Cohesion among Homes in Cities

From traveling to Ecuador in the Andes and the Amazon Rainforest this summer, and reflecting on the situation back home, Helen Chen realized that home is more than just a physical place-a house, condo-but it can be a feeling, or even something intangible that makes one feel at home.

Admiring the lifestyle of a small community of Sablog residing at the Andes, Helen tells us about one tractable practice that promotes social cohesion among the indigenous peoples living in Amazon, the “Minga”. “Minga” means working together as a community to achieve a common goal. One of the most compelling experiences was how people formed a chain to off-load luggage from the boats, passing it from one person’s hands to the next till it gets to its destination.

To her amusement, the houses of the people in this region are almost 20 meters apart yet these indigenous people know each other’s faces, names and families as compared to the everyday culture back in her city at Toronto, Canada. Watching small children walk and play around together; as well as beautiful women sat in circles making handicrafts that they would later sell for an income; reminded Helen of how people in her city must drive to and pick their children from school in the evening.

“In my city, neighbors share walls but do not even know each other’s names. The youth in my city will also be texting each other on Whatsapp yet they are in the same room. In my city,people own swimming pools, individual boreholes and homes separated by walls. These indigenous people share rivers, swim in rivers and of course feed each other from the foods gathered in the deep forest of the Amazon.  This is a custom we can borrow to promote coexistence in our city homes,” said Helen Chen as she began to narrate about the root of her inspiration about her new initiative to celebrate Urban October.

For a long time, home was known as the place to find shelter to enjoy good food and enough sleep in a beautiful house, with a cozy se­­t of seats and big bed.

Individuals and organizations then took the lead to advocate and raise funds focusing on building new houses especially in slums settlement areas. The rest of the persons in the world then followed suit and started working hard day in, day out to meet certain set standards of lifestyle.

However, upon her reflection after an interaction with the people in Amazon and new experiences around her, Helen landed a whole new image and meaning of the “home”

Many Syrian Refugees were coming to her school for studies and she felt a burning need to make the young ones acknowledge that the school is not just an educational facility but also a home to them. The refugees needed more than just classrooms but to make new friends and live harmoniously with each other as well.

This downed on Helen that a decent modern house far from the slums without persons who make you feel warm, laugh and contribute to your inner peace, is just but empty creative expressions of art put together to make beautiful structures of stone and iron sheet. All of these have been labeled as elements of a home, but they actually mean home to a number of people.

Tagging along her two close friends, Caryn Q and Molly Y. Helen then started the “What Does Home Mean to You?” initiative to welcome the new refugees’ students to their community.

“Conflicts are shattering families – and driving record numbers of youth from their homes. Even where there is peace, young people suffer from violence and discrimination. Young people are also on the vanguard of progress – as entrepreneurs, activists and community leaders. You inspire change,” United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres

The three friends then put up a big banner at their school for students to sign and illustrate what home really means to them! To amazement, every student painted a uniquely distinct description of home.

Helen and her two friends said in one voice, “We all live in harmony and peace through our commonalities and respect for our differences. If only we can learn to see the need for others to enjoy the same peaceful co-existence, then we could build strong-resilient cities in the world.”

At least 150 students participated in writing on the banner

At least 150 students participated in writing on the banner, and a good number of the rest viewed it and read the details of their school mates’ expressions on it. “You could also tell from their dazzling faces that something was going on through their minds after making a stop by the banner as they were walking down the halls,” added Helen.

From attending the Commission on the Status of Women Youth Forum and High Level Event on Education at the United Nations, Helen went further on to narrate her inspiration to UN-Habitat saying, “I learned that there are so many factors that make one like or dislike their home, such as equality in the household, safety, quality education, and how homes can be affected by climate change, an issue I’m extremely passionate about.”

Helen is also a mentor for the Decarbonize project which she is using to unite youth around the world to learn and write a resolution to be presented at COP23. This is being made possible with the continued support from the SDGs club at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Canada and her two friends .All their efforts are culminating into “What Does Home Mean to you?” thus stretching out the whole meaning of “home” to include building lasting relationships between humans and the environment to control extreme climate changes. This led her to write a piece on the indigenous people and how we are not respecting their homes through negative active human behaviors which is altering our relationship with the environment; for the Phrase of the Year Competition by the Dhillon Marty Foundation in collaboration with UNESCO, where she became a finalist.

Helen continues to make a call to other young people in the world to join efforts in developing more sustainable solutions for making better homes saying, “I really hope more students around the world could do this, because home in developed countries is often something we take for granted; it’s the little things in our everyday lives that could mean so much for others.”

Youth and Urbanization | Youth innovation is the clean fuel to light up world cities

“Today, 1.6 billion people live in inadequate housing, of which 1 billion live in slums and informal settlements. While millions of people lack suitable homes, the stock of vacant houses is gradually increasing. Ensuring housing affordability is therefore a complex issue of strategic importance for development, social peace and Equality. Addressing the housing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women, youth and those who live in slums must be a priority in the development agendas,” UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos,

In 1985 the United Nations through Resolution 40/202 declared every first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day, with the first celebration held in 1986. The purpose of World Habitat Day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right to adequate shelter of all. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. In December 2013, the United Nations through Resolution A/RES/68/239 designated every 31 October for the celebration of the World Cities Day. World Cities Day is a legacy of the Shanghai Expo 2010 which theme was ‘Better City, Better Life’ and aims to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world. The World Cities Day was celebrated for the first time in 2014.”

The 2017 theme of the two international days marking Urban October will be at its peak advocating for Innovative Governance, Open Cities”.

This year Urban October celebration will coincide with the first year since the adoption of the New Urban Agenda, the outcome document of the Habitat III Conference.

UN-Habitat recognizes that cities are not only places where development happens, but so are they a platform where youth meet to bring their minds together and share their vast experiences to engineer strategic solutions for that development to happen.

UN-Habitat through its Youth and Livelihoods Unit is hosting youth activities across the world to promote the concept of Urban October. One of the key projects is the implementation of a project dubbed the ‘Innovate Counties Challenge’. The project seeks to build youth inclusion in local governance in small and medium sized cities around the use of ICT as a tool for good governance, planning and youth entrepreneurship, ultimately institutionalizing innovative solutions to enhance citizen engagement in line with UN-Habitat’s priorities according to the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Youth drive innovation at the local level, and can if given the proper support; develop solutions for our most pressing urban issues such as transportation, housing, climate change and inequality,” UN-Habitat, Youth and Livelihoods Unit Chief, Douglas Ragan

The Innovate Counties Challenge will kick start in two cities in Kenya, Kisumu and Mombasa, which have also been considered as most affected cities by the heated political instability currently in the country. The project will entail a two day extensive and intensive entrepreneurship boot camp featuring training by business experts in technology, media, finance and more to build resilience among youth residing in the named cities as a means to create sustainable solutions toward achieving social cohesion. This project also aims to empower youth with the adequate knowledge to understand the fundamentals of good governance:

Cities can generate more wealth by utilizing youth intelligence and sufficiently attractive, available and sustainable innovative solutions from youth.

 “And here, is where I find my hope in the youth, because if one looks today in societies there is a trend for them to be closed on themselves, there is a trend for people to be more nationalistic, less and less open to the need to understand that global challenges need global responses, need multinational cooperation, need multilateral institutions,” United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres

It is therefore vital and rational for governments to invest in infrastructures and activities that will engage youth and help them find a sense of belonging in cities by putting their innovative skills to practice..

UN-Habitat encourages governments, institutions and persons in power to keep involving youths in shaping the new urban agenda as well as identify sustainable urbanization as a priority.

If youth are not included in urbanization and governance processes then they could become an obstacle to economic development as poorly designed urbanization that does not cater for the needs of youth will become a significant source of poverty and inequality.

Exclusion of youth in such activities as policy making in regard to issues affecting them could lead to a stronger informal sector and higher marginalization, which, in turn, could cause a rise in social conflicts and even threaten the economic, social and environmental stability of countries

“Globalization and technological progress have tremendously increased global wealth; contributed to trade growth, prosperity in many societies and improved living conditions in many parts of the world; extreme poverty has been substantially reduced globally, but, at the same time, inequalities have also grown tremendously,” United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

Youth population and urbanization are rapidly developing at the same time causing profound ramifications on economy and local administration development. The two likewise commonly impact each different as statistic development substantially affects urban planning while the nature of urbanization determines the wellbeing of populations. Urbanization has a growing influence on development and economic trends in cities Urbanization impacts advancement and financial patterns in urban areas

“For housing to contribute to national socio-economic development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda calls for placing housing policies at the center of national urban policies along with strategies to fight poverty, improve health and employment. As we strive to create cities for all, an urgent action for achieving affordable homes requires a global commitment to effective and inclusive housing policies,” UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos,

A large number of events all over the world are taking place as commemoration of the Urban October as well as part of the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. UN-Habitat invites all those working on sustainable urban development to join the celebration.

UN Security Council Resolution 2250 Reminds Us that Peace is Possible

Co-authored by Hussein Nabeil Murtaja, UN-Habitat Youth Advisory Board Representative for Arab Regions and member of Advisory Group of Experts for Progress Study on Youth, Peace, and Security

The United Nations (UN) Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2250 at the end of 2015. This is the first resolution of its kind that recognizes and promotes young people’s role as peace-builders. To achieve the vision of this resolution, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the formation of a 21-member Advisory Group of Experts for Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security that will ‘carry out a progress study on the youth’s positive contribution to peace processes and conflict resolution, in order to recommend effective responses at local, national, regional and international levels.’ Aligning with the spirit of the resolution, this panel included nine young people under the age of 30 who have been helping prepare the report, which will be delivered to the Security Council in December of this year.

The Arab region and the Middle East region are most affected by the emergence of terrorist and tycoon groups that destroyed cities and displaced thousands of people. It has also contributed to and compounded by issues such as corruption, unemployment, migration, refugee resettlement, education and health, and violations of the rights of women and children. Given their social, economic, and political vulnerability and marginalization, it is clear that many terrorists are youth. Among others, the solicitation of youth to join terrorist organizations have led to their absence in the peace-building process.

Resolution 2250 calls for the protection of young people from all kinds of extremism, which we now see through providing a stimulating work and social environment, policies and mechanisms to enable them to contribute effectively to peace-building, and promoting a culture of tolerance and respect for religions. This requires the effective and institutional integration of young people into their societies, enhancing inclusive education, providing jobs that meet their needs.

United Nations
Poster on UNSC Resolution 2250.

Call for recognition of power of youth from informal settlements at UN General Assembly

New York, 22 September 2017 – Youth took centre stage at the United Nations General Assembly, calling to be liberated from the margins and welcomed into the centre of decision-making, based not only on their right to be there but their actions in creating economically and socially inclusive and dynamic societies.

The Cities for All event brought together young people from Kenya, France and Zimbabwe with UN Women and UN-Habitat to discuss how world leaders can support youth’s meaningful engagement in decision making at all levels of government with the goal of achieving the 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA).

The event highlighted how the provision of urban space can facilitate youth’s engagement. This meeting followed the visit of the UN Secretary-General to the Mathare informal settlement in Nairobi Kenya during the 2017 International Women’s Day.

The session, which began with a video shot by the One Stop Mathare Environmental Youth Conservation Group, outlined the journey they went through to acquire a space in the middle of the slums and how they created in this space through garbage collection and recycling, and how this space became central to the economic and social well-being of the community.

Young people at the core of advancement

Currently the One Stop and adjoining football pitch are the only public space serving a population of more the 35,000 inhabitants. It is the same facility that the Secretary-General visited during his visit to Kenya following his appointment as the new UN Secretary General, and engaged in dialogue with youth from the One Stop, inaugurated the Slum Football Pitch, and met with young women political aspirants supported by UN Women.

Researcher Tone Vesterhus followed the video, launching UN-Habitat’s new report

Youth, Informality And Public Space: A Qualitative Case Study on the Signi cance of Public Space for Youth in Mlango Kubwa, Nairobi.

“This research had the aim of examining whether public spaces play a role in improving the lives of young people,” said Vesterhus, “And while concluding that public space certainly does play a role in advancing this community, the political strategies and diplomatic abilities of the young people in the village are at the core of these advancements.”

Vesterhus went on to detail the challenges faced by youth in the slums spatially, socially and politically, framing the session and ensuing conversation.

The strength of communities

UN-Habitat Executive Director Dr. Jon Clos spoke at the session, highlighting the linkages between economic, spatial and social equity. He commended the efforts of the young men and women in reclaiming their dignity through the creation of the One Stop Centre.

“Public spaces are for the public good and should be protected by the community,” said Dr Clos. “The rich and people in authority will use all means to grab the last space and it is only the strength of the communities that will help them defend and protect the available public spaces.”

He went on to reflect on the video from the Mathare youth, and how they used economic means to create a social good.

“The youth in Mathare have cleared and recycled garbage to reclaim the public space which now the entire population is currently using,” he stated, “Urbanization can be done; what we need is the political will. It is not expensive, it is doable.”

Women as entrepreneurs and decision makers

Maria Noel Vaeza, Director of Programme Division for UN Women called for gender equality, highlighting the many intersecting barriers women face.   “In over 189 countries women can’t inherit land, that means they cannot build houses, which is a basic need; in 76 countries women cannot access credit facilities without a man’s signature,” said Director Vaeza, “yet women make up the most entrepreneurs; who without credit facilities cannot implement their initiatives.”

She applauded the fact that in Mathare women were playing football, often represented as an all male sport, and were engaged in running for political office.

Three youth representatives spoke at the session and all focused on promoting the rights of youth living in slums, especially young women. Mureil Vincent, representing the Huairou Commission, a global network of women’s groups, stressed that women need to be included in governance and decision making, especially as decision making related to the localizing of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We need to create political space for women,” stated Ms. Vincent, “this can be done by building and empowering grassroots women’s networks.”

Annah Sango, representing Zimbabwe Young Positives, a youth-led group fighting to improve the lives of those living with HIV, also advocated for the engagement of young women in the community, promoting “models of social responsibility where the community takes charge”.

Towards an asset-based community development model

Wrapping the session up was Linus Sijenyi, project coordinator for UN-Habitat, who highlighted the challenges faced by youth living in the slums including unemployment, disease and drug and substance abuse, and called for practical solutions.

“We must face these challenges as we saw my brother, Isaac Musua, do in Mathare,” stated Sijenyi, referring to the Mather Environmental video. “I propose an asset based approach, such as John Mcknight’s Asset Based Community Development model, which builds on the successes the community already has, and thus guarantees ownership and sustainability, and empowers groups such as young men and women to adequately address their needs.”

By the end of the session it was clear that all the speakers needed no convincing that young women and men played leadership roles in their communities, and that it was the role of the UN and other agencies to provide support to them both in the provision of public space as well as supporting directly youth-led groups and activities.

“It is messy, I always say that Nairobi is messy. It’s messy, noisy, and has fumes all over,” said one Mathare youth respondent to the Youth Informality report. “But I always tell the youth…that out of all this mess, we have some gold. Crime is not the answer. Youth is our gold. Out of the fumes, the garbage, the blocked drainages, there is some gold.”

Continue reading Call for recognition of power of youth from informal settlements at UN General Assembly

Youth #Together4Peace on International Peace Day

Nairobi, 21 September 2017 – Youth, diplomats and local leaders came to the UN Office of Nairobi today to celebrate International Peace Day.

Hosted by UN-Habitat, the event highlighted some of the work that the agency is doing around the world to promote the active role that youth are playing in peace building and keeping.

UN Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, said that the event was a reminder of “the commitment of youth, that you do not want to be passive participants, but leaders in your own futures.”

(Far Left) David Kariuki, UN-Habitat Staff moderating open discussions during International Day of Peace

Elizabeth Taylor Jay, The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Colombia to Kenya and Chol M. U. Ajongo, South Sudan Ambassador to Kenya both drew on their countries’ own experience in drawn-out conflict to highlight the challenge of building lasting peace.

Respect, safety and dignity for all

As Mr Ajongo said: “You lose nothing when you talk of peace; you lose everything when you talk of war.”

The session went on to include discussions with youth groups on the role that sport can play in peace-building and development, under the theme of the day –  “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All” – with a special focus on the engagement of young men and women in peace building.

Meanwhile in New York, UN-Habitat also hosted a youth and peace event in the sidelines of the General Assembly with the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake.

UN-Habitat International Peace Day Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Thursday September 21, 2017

United Nations Human and Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) —and its partners will celebrate the annual International Day of Peace with an event held on Thursday, September 21, 2017 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm; at United Nations Grounds, Nairobi office.

The focus of the event will be celebrating the theme “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All” with a special focus on the engagement of young men and women in peace building.

The International Day of Peace event will highlight evidence-based practices in youth peace building models, such as: the Urban Peace Labs; Innovate Counties Challenge on governance and sports development initiatives.

The youth led peace-models are contributing to strengthening of institutions to achieve transparency, accountability and openness for youth inclusion in governance and decision making processes.

The event will be graced by Ms. Aisa Kacyira, Deputy Executive Director, USG,
UN-Habitat, H.E Elizabeth Taylor Jay, The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Colombia to Kenya and Mr. Chol M. U. Ajongo, South Sudan Ambassador to Kenya among other youth representatives.

Follow live updates of the International Day of Peace on Twitter with #UrbanYouth4Peace and #Together4Peace to learn about innovative research and practices that show great promise in the field of peace building.

For more information about International Peace Day event and our many initiatives, visit: www.unhabitatyab.com

To arrange interviews with project coordinators, contact:

Mutisya Emmanuel NGUI, Communications, Story Telling and Social Media Expert

Email: mutisyalma@gmail.com – +254728774355

Twitter: @UN-Habitat Youth | @UN-Habitat

Youth as Leaders of Today and Tomorrow