UNSMIL Statement on the International Youth Day -12 August 2022
TRIPOLI, 12 August 2022 - The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) joins the world in commemorating International Youth Day, celebrated annually on 12 August to bring youth issues to the forefront and celebrate youth potential to drive peace and development.
Youth in Libya are at the center of the protracted crisis and are among those most critically impacted by it. Despite historical political marginalization, they have expressed unprecedented interest in public and political affairs and are actively contributing to building a freer, more socially just and democratic society. More than half of those who registered to vote in 2021 were between the ages of 18 and 30, and a number of youth have put themselves forward as candidates for the parliamentary and presidential elections, that was scheduled to take place in 24 December 2021.
“On International Youth Day, the UN urges political leaders to put in place practical mechanisms for youth inclusion in the decision-making process and heed their call not only for elections, but also for stability and all the economic and social growth that comes along with it,” said Acting Head of UNSMIL, Raisedon Zenenga. “Youth, both male and female, are Libya’s best hope for stability.”
UNSMIL has been engaging and will continue to engage with all segments of Libyan society, including the young women and men who constitute the country’s future. The Mission echoes UN Security Council resolution 2250 (2015) on Youth, Peace and Security, in recognizing the importance of empowering young people in the political process and to contribute to peace and security. It is critical that youth are heard and are given opportunities to meaningfully contribute to the decision-making process.
“The Mission’s top priority now is to provide assistance and expertise to Libyan parties to address the political stalemate and move forward to credible and inclusive national elections as soon as possible, based on a solid constitutional framework,” said Mr. Zenenga. “It is time for all – including youth – to put differences aside and come together for a brighter and prosperous future for Libya.”