Delegate: Ms. Kahara
17. Ms. Kahara (Kenya), speaking as a youth delegate, expressed sympathy for those impacted by the Ebola crisis. Emergency situations caused needed resources to be diverted from economic and social development strategies to humanitarian and life-saving initiatives.
18. Kenya had long been a stable hub for regional trade and investment, and had hosted and educated generations of refugees from neighbouring Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia, at major strain to its own social services. There was a very clear link between Kenya’s refugee problem and economic development, environmental degradation and security, all of which had a significant impact on social development.
19. Her Government was working to provide access to quality education, training and skills development; economic empowerment; access to information and to affordable credit; and technology transfer. To that end, it had introduced credit access initiatives that targeted youth, women and people with disabilities to encourage job creation and spur growth, as well as a policy to set aside 30 per cent of all Government contracts for those groups. [*5*]
20. Despite their resilience and capability, many young people were unable to convert their potential into productive livelihoods. The resulting frustration left a significant number of them vulnerable to criminal activity, violence, substance abuse, and sexual exploitation. The international community should not rest until all young people had access to education, training and the capital necessary to pursue a decent living. All young people should be fully mainstreamed into economic development and empowered to realize their civil and political rights. Change should be effected on a global level to ensure the prosperity of future generations.
21. Implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth would ensure increased youth participation and representation. Kenya’s National Youth Council served as a voice for youth and provided a resourced and functional youth engagement framework. The new Constitution provided for youth involvement and participation in socioeconomic and political development, including elective and appointive positions. The number of youths elected and appointed to Parliament and county assemblies in the 2013 general elections had been the highest in Kenya’s electoral history. The United Nations Development Programme in Kenya had partnered with her Government in various youth empowerment programmes including in the areas of governance, political participation and entrepreneurship. Kenya hosted the largest number of United Nations Volunteers in the world. Her Government had established a national volunteer programme modelled on international standards in which university graduates were deployed country-wide to share their expertise and provide service in the areas of health, education and other areas of economic development.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/69/SR.4