The Panelists reflected on the multiple factors bearing upon effective youth participation and youth empowerment. Identifying, among others, education, training and guidance towards youth entrepreneurship, inclusive youth development, encouragement and support for young women in entrepreneurship, decent employment for youth, the panelists stressed the need for addressing these factors holistically in the World Conference on Youth in Colombo in the lead-up to the preparation for the new Development Agenda. Developing and expanding value chains was underlined as essential for creating opportunities of employment for youth and for contributing to equitable economic growth. The importance of South-South Cooperation in youth entrepreneurship and vocational training, specially focussing on less developed countries, was also stressed, as was the potential leadership of Sri Lanka in this arena.
During the interactive discussion that ensued, delegations expressed strong appreciation for Sri Lanka’s initiative in hosting the World Conference on Youth, reiterating the commitment of their governments towards addressing youth concerns, especially empowerment of youth through appropriate education, including technical and vocational skills, and entrepreneurship.
The Panel comprised HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand; Ambassador Ana Teresa Dengo, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica; Ambassador Khaled Shamaa, Permanent Representative of Egypt; Dr. Mohd. Lamine Dhaoui, Director in the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Ms. Gillian Murray, Deputy Director and Focal Point for Youth Issues in the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Dr. Janez Padobnik, Acting Director General of the International Centre for the Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE).