President Uhuru Kenyatta was unanimously endorsed as the global Champion of the Young People’s Agenda on Monday.
The President joined other world leaders on during the launch of an ambitious global partnership through which the UN seeks to get every young person into quality education, training or employment by 2030.
The new initiative, a partnership between the United Nations Youth Strategy 2030 and Generation Unlimited, aims at catalysing pro-youth actions to address the dreams, ambitions and hopes of 1.8 billion young people globally.
The new initiative, under the aegis of the United Nations children’s Fund (UNICEF) was launched at the Trusteeship Chambers, UN Headquarters, New York, on the side-lines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.
President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, accepted the position.
Speakers at the launch who included UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres were optimistic the new partnership will tackle the global education and training crisis currently holding back millions of young people and threatening progress and stability.
The leaders said without urgent investment in education and skills training, the rapidly growing global population of adolescents and young people, expected to reach two billion by 2030, will continue to be unprepared and unskilled for the future workforce. The global leaders were in agreement that there can never be peace and stability if the interests of the youth were not urgently addressed.
Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana, which were represented by their Heads of State, were the first countries in Africa to embrace the new partnership.
In his acceptance speech as the global champion of the youth agenda, President Kenyatta said progress for the youth means progress for the entire humanity.
“We do not champion the cause of youth opportunity and hope as a favour, but rather as the necessary, undeniable, embrace of our collective future,” he said.
President Kenyatta applauded the Unicef leadership for defining an ambitious agenda which he said was equal to the urgency of the moment.
“We must give young people education, and employment opportunities if our societies are to live up to their full promise,” he said and promised the youth of his full support as he champions their cause.
“On your part, embrace your chance to lead by seizing opportunity and turning it into tangible achievement. You must stand up, offer yourselves, dedicate yourselves, shoulder responsibility, and carry the world into the future,” he told the youth who were adequately represented at the launch.