Saudi G20: Youth group discusses empowerment

A handout photo released by the Saudi Energy Ministry on April 10, 2020 shows Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman (3rd-L) chairing a virtual extraordinary meeting of G20 Oil ministers, in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)

RIYADH (RAHNUMA): Young people from around the world took part in a virtual meeting as part of Saudi Arabia’s G20 Presidency to discuss international issues related to youth.

Organized by the Misk Foundation in partnership with the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture, attendees discussed challenges to youth leadership, particularly lack of opportunity, and the importance of youth leadership, highlighting the different perspectives young people offer, and their adaptability to a rapidly changing world.

Othman Al-Moamar, Y20 chair and research manager at Misk, said that sharing the platform with youth delegates was a great responsibility.

“Youth’s challenges today are further exacerbated by COVID-19 (the coronavirus disease pandemic) and it’s up to us to make sure we fulfill the promise of this platform by amplifying youth voices and ideas to ultimately see our leaders implement youth-led solutions.”

Other issues discussed in the meeting included the importance of access to education – particularly at the secondary level – to ensure young people have the skills they need, the removal of the stigma surrounding youth leadership, ideas, and participation, and the need to focus on initiatives, policies, and ideas that were realistic and could achieve real-world impact – particularly with the challenges posed by COVID-19.

A number of common themes emerged, such as using technology to develop a global, online platform for young voices as well as the importance of ensuring diversity and ending discrimination.

Saudi Arabia’s Y20 team have chosen to focus their activities around three key themes that complement the broader G20 goals: Future fit – preparing for the future of work and entrepreneurship; empowerment – developing agile and dynamic future leaders; and global citizens – promoting proactive, culturally sensitive problem solvers.

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