Peoples Digest Online- The Federal Government has requested the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to pass a resolution to create Commission for Global Youth Engagements within the organisation. The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Solomon Dalung, made the request on Thursday at the ongoing 39th Session of General Conference of UNESCO in Paris.
Dalung said the proposed commission would help to practically engage youths into activities of UNESCO and build their confidence in the international system. The minister faulted the present UNESCO model of engaging youths, describing it as ‘‘theoretical and sermonising. “We believe the world should move from sermonising youth issues to practical engagements.
“The UN has been sermonising for 72 years on youth issues and there is no single commission established in the UN to address the issues. “What the youth needs today is not preaching, not conferences and lectures but guaranteed
future. “The only way they can do that is to engage them, give them a sense of belonging, build confidence in them and give them access to participation. “Once that is achieved, the youth will begin to identify with it and mobilise themselves, believing that there is hope in the future.”
In achieving this, the minister called on the UN body to adopt the Nigeria National Youth Parliament (NYP) model of youth engagement. He said “the NYP is a platform that provides opportunities for youths to participate in governance, decision making and to acquire experience in governance.’’ Dalung said that the NYP which was established by the Nigerian Government in 2008 had helped to build political leaders for the country and beyond.
“The first Speaker of the NYP is today the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. “The second Speaker was a National Youth Leader of the PDP, while the Chief Whip was elected the Chairperson of Commonwealth Youth Forum. “We have so many members of NYP that by virtue of their participation are now actively involved in politics.”
The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Tony Anwuka, also in Paris, presided over a meeting of the Commonwealth Education Ministers at the UNESCO General Session. Mrs Mariam Katagum, the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Nigeria to UNESCO, is the Chairperson of the Commonwealth group. At the end of the meeting, Anwuka told NAN that the meeting discussed the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers scheduled to hold in Fiji from Feb. 19 to Feb. 23, 2018. He said the conference would advance the attainment of inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all across the commonwealth.