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The YWCA of Palestine International Youth Day Statement 2023

The YWCA of Palestine International Youth Day Statement 2023

On the 12th of August every year, youth around the world have been commemorating their International Day, which was endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly. The resolution, adopted in 1998, has brought youth issues to the attention of the international community. It also champions the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society.

This day provides the opportunity for the youth to celebrate their voices, actions, and initiatives, and to publicize their meaningful participation.

Different events are taking place worldwide on this day for raising awareness on the importance of youth participation in political, economic, and social processes.

The theme of International Youth Day 2023 is “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World”. Today, the world is embarking on a green transition. The shift towards an environmentally sustainable and climate-friendly world is critical not only for responding to the global climate crisis but also for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A successful transition towards a greener world will depend on the development of green skills in the population. Green skills are “knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society”.

Recently, YWCA Palestine held its second national conference for the youth under the framework of UNSCR 2250, and was entitled “Palestinian Youth Deserve Freedom and Just Peace”. The conference aimed at reaching a number of applicable recommendations that would promote and protect the rights of the youth, and call on the government to adopt policies inclusive of youth in accordance with the resolution and other relevant resolutions. 

And while we strive as an organization that works to empower young men and women economically, socially and politically, support their initiatives and projects, and provide them with various skills and develop them, including green skills to achieve sustainability, the Palestinian youth is still facing difficult and complex conditions with the continuation of the long-term colonial Occupation. This requires serious international efforts to resolve it radically and to comply with the International Humanitarian Law that calls to end the Occupation and allow people to live in peace, justice, and dignity everywhere.

Several reputed and influential, Palestinian and international human rights organizations, even Israeli organizations, and the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, have described the current situation as an “apartheid”. Apartheid is considered a crime against humanity under international law and is in its nature in direct conflict with universal human rights and the premise of equality. The Israeli military aggression poses a massive obstacle to developing human potential and prevents the basic right for Palestinians to live in freedom, dignity, and peace

Moreover, military occupation, colonization and the discriminatory policies therein have detrimental effects on Palestinian youth, whose safety, security, and mental health, and overall well-being are constantly under direct threat.

Despite all these challenges, the young Palestinian people are full of potential; they are able to withstand the obstacles and achieve success.

On the occasion of the “International Youth Day”, the YWCA calls the international and human rights organizations and global community to provide protection for the Palestinian people, including youth and children, and to end Occupation as a first step.

On the national level, we demand the State of Palestine to take the necessary measures to: preserve freedom of opinion and expression, adhere to the rules of the Palestinian Basic Law, build state institutions that are based on human rights principles, and respect the international covenants to which the state of Palestine has consented to. In addition, we demand increasing the active participation of youth in official political positions to ensure more balanced political representations. We affirm the importance of implementing international resolutions, particularly UNSCR 2250, which relates to the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda.

We will continue to move forward towards achieving the goals and ambitions of Palestinian youth. We also affirm our commitment to support and empower young men and women, and raise their awareness on political, economic, and social rights through our various programs and in cooperation with all organizations, commissions, and coalitions that advocate for the protection of youth rights at the international, regional, and national levels.

From Palestine, Happy International Youth day

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