UN Youth Envoy joins young people in Jordan for townhall event

Over 200 young people discuss their experiences, challenges and hopes for the future

18 June 2019

AMMAN, 18 June 2019: The United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, joined a townhall meeting with over 200 young people to listen to their experiences, challenges, and hopes for the future in an event hosted by the Ministry of Youth, UNICEF and Generations for Peace in Amman.

Ms. Wickramanayake engaged with a panel of youth from diverse backgrounds, who shared their hopes for a prosperous, inclusive and stable future for themselves, their communities and their generation. Panelists included Joud Mbaideen, the young novelist and UNICEF Champion for Children, Bodoor, a refugee with ambitions to be the first Syrian woman in space, Ahmad, a keen volunteer and Hasan, a university student of Italian and English languages who is also disability advocate.

“I am extremely impressed by the energy and the talents of the young people I have met in Jordan. When provided with the right opportunities, there are no limits to what they can achieve,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake.

“Jordan’s significant youth population is one of its greatest assets,” said Ettie Higgins, UNICEF Jordan Acting Representative. “UNICEF is working closely with the Ministry of Youth and is proud to support these ambitious young people, especially girls and the most vulnerable, to transition to a successful future by investing in their education, skills development and entrepreneurial talents.”

Jordan has one of the youngest populations in the world – 63 per cent are under the age of 30 – but nearly one in three young people are not involved in employment, education or training. UNICEF is working with the Government and partners in Jordan, including Generations for Peace, to increase the number of young people actively engaging in society and to ensure that every young person – particularly young women, have the education, skills and empowerment they need to participate and thrive.

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, is in Jordan on a four-day visit from 15 to 18 June as part of a regional tour. Ms. Wickramanayake also visited Za’atari Refugee Camp on Monday, where the UN and partners are supporting young refugees with education, protection and youth services.

Media Contacts

Claire McKeever

Communications Specialist

UNICEF Jordan

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