Zimbabwe’s United Nations Resident Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli, has implored youths in the country and Harare to play active roles in national issues that affect them and help shape their future.
He made these remarks at the Junior Chamber International (JCI)’s Go4Gold Opening Night ceremony event held at the Meikles Hotel recently. He urged the younger generation to expand their energies towards global policies like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Parajuli said designing a futuristic world that is sustainable cannot be achieved without the youths’ input. He challenged them to stand up and be counted.
“Young people must be at the centre of transmitting developmental agendas such as SDGs to their peers and parents in their neighbourhood at local, as well as national levels.
“I challenge you to render your support to this global commitment to take bold transformative steps needed to shift the world focus towards a sustainable resilient path, taking everyone on board,” he said.
JCI is a non-governmental organisation that seeks to empower young active citizens, targeting socio-economic and positive change in their communities and the country at large.
It works closely with various United Nations (UN) agencies and programmes aimed at promoting sustainable utilisation and equitable distribution of resources, with a vision to achieve set out developmental goals.
JCI has been a beacon of light in offering youth platforms for discussion, including public lectures and roundtable discussions.
It also provides training of trainers programmes and interaction of youths with their peers in the global community through UN agencies.
His comments come at the time youth activism has been focussed on the upward trend in the socio-political and economic spheres in Zimbabwe.
He said after the realisation of the power and impact of the youths across the world, the UN in Zimbabwe has so far reached out to over 30,000 youths on SDG advocacy in the year 2016 alone.
Harare has been dogged by various challenges ranging from waste management and vending — spiralled by the rising unemployment levels, amid calls for youths to play their part in holding authorities accountable, as well as in formulating lasting solutions.
“Youths should be at the forefront of promoting peace, justice, development and good governance,” said the UN top official.
Through the Zimbabwe UN Development Assistance Framework — the global body of nations – with support from donor partners, has been delivering developmental support worth US$400 million each year in sectors to do with food and nutrition, social services, HIV and AIDS, poverty reduction, governance, human rights and gender equality.
On top of offering developmental support in response to the EL Nino-induced severe drought that hit the country in recent years, the UN in Zimbabwe has put together a humanitarian response plan with a total requirement of US$352 million for April 2016 to March 2017.
Of the total requirement, with the support of developmental and humanitarian partners, over US$215 million has been committed to support 3.1 million people affected by drought at the peak of the hunger season.