26th October 2020
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UN envoy calls for political representation of youth

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Monday, February 3, 2020

A past meeting organized by the National Youth Union | Credit | Facebook

The UN Youth Envoy has called on the government of South Sudan to implement the 20 per cent political representation of young people in government.

In 2018, the Inter-Parliamentary Union report on Youth Participation in National Parliaments revealed that young people under 30 make up just over 2 per cent of the world’s MPs.

It says just over 30 per cent of the world’s single and lower houses of parliament have no MPs aged below 30, and seventy-six per cent of the world’s upper houses of parliament have no MPs aged under 30.

In South Sudan, the draft National Youth Policy indicate that young people will have a 20 per cent representation in all organs of the government.

Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, concluded her five-day mission to South Sudan with a strong call for stakeholders to support and amplify young people’s role in the implementation of the peace process.

During her visit, the Youth Envoy listened to challenges, ideas, and solutions from the young people of South Sudan.

She also met with partners from the Government, civil society organizations and international donors to strengthen partnership and collaboration on key developmental, humanitarian and peace building initiatives.

The youngest top official of the UN says given that people under the age of 30 years make up more than 70 per cent of South Sudan’s population, it is important they are engaged and represented in the peace process in various roles.

“I hope that this would be implemented across party lines and across different levels to give more representations to young people in actual decision making tables,” she stated.

“But also according to the peace agreement in the newly formed government for the youth minister to also be somebody under the age of 40 and to really have young voices heard at the highest level of decision making in South Sudan.”

She stressed that she is looking forward to the commitment made by President Salva Kiir to have 20 per cent quota for youth representation in the decision-making process of government.

Ms. Jayathma also called on the government of South Sudan and other stakeholders to deliver on five key areas such as adoption of the National Youth Development Policy, ratification of the African Union Charter on Youth, ending gender-based violence and child marriage, and providing quality education.

For his part, Kuac Wek Wol the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports also emphasized that implementing peace is the priority for the youth.

“Ending war and conflict will pave the way for the youth to explore their potentials and their talents so they can realize the future that they want,” he said.

The peace agreement stipulates the youth minister in the next transitional government should be a person below 40 years.

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