UNDP: Pakistan has largest youth population in country’s history

Minister of Interior Ahsan Iqbal launched the Pakistan National Human Development Report. (Photo courtesy: Ahsan Iqbal/Twitter)
Updated 04 May 2018
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UNDP: Pakistan has largest youth population in country’s history

  • NHDR notes that 64 percent of Pakistan’s total population is below the age of 30 while 29 percent is between 15 and 29 years old
  • Pakistan is the “second youngest in South Asian region after Afghanistan.”

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pakistan launched its National Human Development Report (NHDR) that focuses on youth, primarily because Pakistan currently has the largest generation of young people recorded in its history.

The NHDR report said that 64 percent of the total population is below the age of 30, and 29 percent is between the ages of 15 and 29.

“It is currently one of the youngest countries in the world and the second youngest in the South Asian region after Afghanistan,” the report said.

The report title “Unleashing the potential of a Young Pakistan” was launched in Islamabad on Wednesday. It seeks to understand Pakistan’s human development challenges for the future.

“It focuses on how to improve human development outcomes — by empowering young people, addressing the root causes of the obstacles they face, and by proposing innovative ways to surmount these challenges,” UNDP said in a statement.
 
The report examined three key drivers of youth empowerment: quality education, gainful employment and meaningful engagement.

Written by Dr. Adil Najam, dean at Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and Dr. Faisal Bari, associate professor of economics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), the Pakistan NHDR accentuates the critical role played by quality education, steady employment and meaningful engagement.
 
The report uses the Human Development Index (HDI) to measure overall achievement, emphasizing three main aspects in a country’s policy-making: people, opportunities and choices.

Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Interior and Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, who attended the launch of the report, said: “It is essential to include young people at all levels of decision-making, because voice and participation are a key part of the human development approach and important for long term policy-making.”
 
Neil Buhne, the UN resident coordinator, said: “Never have the opportunities for social, economic and political progress been so great. Nor have the challenges facing us ever been more pressing. Being aware of this opportunity, the United Nations in line with the Government of Pakistan’s Vision 2025, has prioritized working with youth as a key pillar of our work across the board.”
 
Dr. Adil Najam, co-lead author of the NHDR, said: “The future of Pakistan — one way or the other — will be determined by those who are between age 15 and 29 today. The single most useful thing that the rest of us can do is to create meaningful opportunities in education, employment and engagement that can empower our young to unleash their potential.”


Australian nun who angered Duterte wins stay in deportation

Updated 18 June 2018
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Australian nun who angered Duterte wins stay in deportation

  • Sister Patricia Fox, 71, was briefly detained in April after Duterte ordered her arrest
  • The nun was accused of political activism that violated the rules of her visa

MANILA: An Australian nun ordered to leave the Philippines after angering President Rodrigo Duterte won a reprieve on Monday from imminent deportation but is still subject to proceedings to expel her.
Sister Patricia Fox, 71, was briefly detained in April after Duterte ordered her arrest, accusing her of political activism that violated the rules of her visa.
The move came as the government cracked down on foreign critics of his human rights record.
The immigration service had canceled her visa and directed Fox to leave the Philippines by Monday, but the justice department nullified the order as having no legal basis.
“What the (immigration service) did in this case is beyond what the law provides, that is why it has to be struck down,” said a statement from Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who oversees immigration matters.
The decision gave Fox a reprieve but the department also ordered the immigration authorities to hear a case on her visa’s cancelation along with pending deportation proceedings.
“Until a final resolution of the... proceedings is reached, or until the expiration of her missionary visa, whichever comes first, Sister Fox may continue to perform her duties as a missionary in the Philippines,” the statement said.
Fox, who declared herself relieved after the decision, said her visa was valid until September 9.
“We are very pleased actually, because we weren’t sure what would happen,” she told AFP. “I was just so relieved.”
Fox, who has been living in the Philippines since 1990, attracted Duterte’s wrath after joining a fact-finding mission in April to investigate alleged abuses against farmers — including killings and evictions by soldiers fighting guerrillas in the southern Philippines.
Duterte, 73, has also launched a deadly crackdown on drugs and has railed against human rights critics, especially foreigners whom he accuses of meddling in his nation’s affairs.
In April Duterte accused Fox of “disorderly conduct.”
“Don’t let her in because that nun has a shameless mouth,” he said then.
A missionary of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, Fox has denied engaging in politics, saying her actions were part of her work to advocate for justice and peace. She adds she enjoys freedom of expression.
Before Monday’s decision was released Fox said she would fight moves to deport her.
“It’s more of looking at getting due process for myself (and) this happening to others,” she told ABS-CBN television.
“I’m thinking if there’s no due process when I am high profile, how much more in the provinces where people are being arrested?“