Delegate: Ms. Kenewendo
23. Ms. Kenewendo (Botswana), speaking as a youth delegate, said that the major challenges facing the youth of Botswana included high levels of poverty and unemployment, a deficit of technical skills, lack of participation in decision-making, crime and alcohol abuse. However, since youth represented nearly 40 per cent of the population, resolving those problems meant addressing system-wide issues.
24. Young people recognized the importance of private-sector-led growth and diversification as a viable long-term economic strategy and had a leading role to play in achieving those goals. Moreover, although globalization had substantially changed the job market, youth capacity-building together with enhanced collaboration with the private sector and civil society could lead to more sustainable growth and increased youth employment.
25. In Botswana, the political will to respond to the needs of youth was revealed by a National Youth Policy that addressed issues of youth development and empowerment, and provided significant budgetary allocations for health and education, and a Youth Development Fund for youth enterprises. Young people in Botswana were interested in youth economic empowerment partnerships, mentoring and private micro-enterprises; youth community-based projects; establishment and equipping of business clinics, and also peer counselling projects to reinforce training; consequently, they appreciated programmes such as the [*5*] Youth Employment Network. Nevertheless, such opportunities alone would not solve their problems. Social ills such as alcohol and drug abuse, violence and crime hindered social development and Member States were urged to take steps to deal with juvenile delinquency and help curb abuse by introducing effective rehabilitation schemes. Youth participation in the General Assembly led to better policy responses to the problems facing youth and strengthened communication and cooperation between Governments and young people.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/65/SR.4