Delegate: Thomas Nyarko Ampem (27 years)
Mr. Ampem (Ghana): May I express my gratitude for the opportunity to address the General Assembly on behalf of the young people of Ghana. May I also congratulate the United Nations on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond and on the successes in overcoming the challenges regarding its implementation thus far.
Ghana as a country has drawn much inspiration from the World Programme of Action for Youth since its adoption in 1995, and has been taking bold steps towards the development of Ghanaian young people. A revised national youth policy, which was developed on the basis of the 10 priority areas identified in the World Programme of Action for Youth, is under active consideration. Youth organizations under the coordination of the Ghana National Youth Council have also developed a national youth charter to express our priorities as Ghanaian young people. It should be given attention by all.
In order to further reduce unemployment among young people in the country, the Government has established the National Youth Fund, which is aimed at assisting the countrys young people with funding to establish small-scale enterprises.
Another modest achievement thus far worth mentioning is the introduction of free primary education in the country, which we hope will increase enrolment.
Like many others in the African region, but unlike their counterparts in developed countries, Ghanaian young people benefit the least from todays globalization. Issues regarding unfair trade and competition must be seriously addressed if we are genuinely committed to the full integration of the worlds economies and societies, as defined by the World Programme of Action for Youth.
We also ask for well-coordinated and intensive exchange programmes between young peoples organizations in the North and the South in order to facilitate the exchange of ideas and the spread of innovation. May I take this opportunity to commend the National Council of Swedish Youth Organizations (LSU) for taking a bold initiative in that regard. A case in point is the cooperation between the LSU and the National Union of Ghana Students.
Ghana strongly supports the call for youth-led development, but would like to advise that we not lose sight of the need to tap the rich experiences gained by older generations over the years. There should be a blend of youthful zeal and the experiences of older persons.
It is gratifying to note that the international community is committed to solving the problem of youth unemployment in the world. We wish to propose that we ensure that the lions share of the resources meant to achieve that are directed to regions of the [*27*] world where there is a larger percentage of young people such as Asia and Africa and where youth unemployment is also the highest.
In conclusion, I wish to emphasize that the successful implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth and the Millennium Development Goals will depend to a large extent upon the vibrancy of our civil societies. Developing nations must therefore be encouraged and assisted to develop their civil societies and non-governmental organizations, particularly those related to youth development.
UN Doc.: A/60/PV.28