On July 8, the official ceremony dedicated to the appointment of the UN Youth Advisory Panel (UNYAP) in Belarus took place at the IMAGURU business club in Minsk.
The event was attended by the UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus Sanaka Samarasinha, UNICEF Representative Dr. Rashed Mustafa Sarwar, UNAIDS Coordinator in Belarus Vera Ilyenkova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Ekaterina Paniklova, UNFPA Assistant Representative Elena Kasko, Deputy Head of the Department for the Global Politics and Humanitarian Cooperation, Deputy Head of the MFA General Department of Multilateral Diplomacy Irina Velichko, as well as the Head of the Swiss Embassy in Belarus Aldo de Luca. Alexander Krot spoke on behalf of the International Advisory Panel.
In his welcoming speech, the UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus noted that “one of the main challenges for youth today is a lack of opportunities for meaningful participation and engagement in decision-making around the world. Unfortunately, young people are often sidelined from formal decision-making processes. With the right investments, they can reach their potential as individuals, leaders, agents of change and promoters of social justice. This is why we need a Youth Advisory Panel in the UN system.”
UNICEF Representative Dr. Rashed Mustafa Sarwar addressed the representatives of the UN Youth Advisory Panel: “In the UN system, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is an agency whose activities are completely focused on children and youth. UNICEF activities cover the full range of issues and problems that adolescents face in trying to pave their way from childhood to adolescence and teenage years. UNICEF has expertise in such areas as youth participation in society, education, health, violence and gender issues - all that is the basis of youth policy. We are sure that young people do change society. Everyday. You are a part of the solution. We can not solve your problems without your participation. UNICEF and entire UN firmly believe in that. I hope you are ready for this fascinating journey. We are convinced that the members of the UN Youth Advisory Panel will be influential advocates in youth policy matters as well as the driving force behind positive changes. I hope that membership in this council, involvement in the UN work will give you a new flight of imagination, new forces to voice the problems of children and young people and work for them even when this membership ends.”
Member of the United Nations Youth Advisory Panel Alexander Krot expressed his confidence in productive cooperation between the Panel and various agencies of the UN system. “Young people have both the capacity and the potential to make positive changes. Youth is ready to take on the problems facing our world today, and most importantly, to address them. Young people, as the heirs of today's challenges and future leaders should be involved in the formulation and implementation of a new development program,” underlined Alexander Krot.
The Youth Advisory Panel is a consultative body designed to make recommendations to the UN bodies on issues related to youth, as well as to participate in those activities of the UN agencies which affect the interests of young people. In its activities, the UN Youth Advisory Panel will be guided by the UN Secretary General’s five-year Action Agenda for Youth, the Workplan of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the World Programme of Action for Youth for the period until 2000 and beyond, as well as the United Nations System-wide Action Plan on Youth (SWAP).