Y20 summit gives platform for voice of global youth

A combination of screen grabs from the virtual Y20 Summit are shown in this image.
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Updated 18 October 2020

Y20 summit gives platform for voice of global youth

  • A Y20 Summit communiqué was submitted to the Saudi education minister to be given to the G20

RIYADH: The three-day virtual Summit of the Youth 20 (Y20) engagement group of the G20 concluded on Saturday with a call on the world’s biggest economies to sustain efforts to empower the youth.

A communiqué prepared by the Y20 delegates included the following key policy recommendations to G20 leaders:

• Reform educational frameworks for upskilling the young workforce;

• Develop an entrepreneurial mindset through accessible resources;

• Representation, participation and inclusion in decision-making bodies; and

• Environment sustainability and combatting discrimination

Y20 Chair Othman Almoamar handed over the communiqué to Saudi Minister of Education Hamad Bin Mohammed Al-Shaikh, for him to pass on to the G20.

The Y20 Summit is one of eight official engagement groups under the G20 umbrella. It brought together a diverse range of speakers including Y20 delegates from around the world, the UN secretary-general, senior executives from leading corporations, NGOs, academic institutions, leaders from major intergovernmental organizations and pro-youth celebrities.

During the online ceremony on Saturday, Y20 Chair Almoamar said: “Within the Y20, we have completely changed the game this year. We looked at how to be innovative in a time when COVID-19 has created more restrictions than anything we’ve faced before.”

He noted that the “really tough advocacy work” of the delegates had resulted in at least one policy being accepted by the G20.

Speaking to what he termed “one of the most resilient generations ever… the future torch-bearers” he added that “we need to make sure that young people actually have a voice and are heard at the tables of decision-makers”, concluding that “you cannot wait for the world to come with their changes, you need to change the world yourself.” 

Earlier in the day, in a keynote speech, Saudi Arabia’s Y20 Sherpa Sarah Alkhedheiri noted that “nobody becomes a global citizen – we simply all are already global citizens.”

Speaking about how young people can become a “community of active global citizens” she urged young people to “take action – start where you are with what you have, and build from there.”

Alkhedheiri concluded that the Y20 delegates have “shown us the perfect example of active global citizens from all around the world.”

During each day of the Y20 Summit, the participants explored a different key theme that has been a focus of Y20 delegates throughout the year, and that complements the work of the G20.

Triple Olympic Gold winner Usain Bolt took part in a video Q&A with young people from around the world.

Bolt noted that “young people don’t have a voice” and urged that we “focus and believe in them, build them up, to make sure the world will be in safe hands.”

He noted the importance of young people gaining a good education.

As with the first two days, leaders from the United Nations spoke on Saturday.

In a session on sustainable recovery, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN Habitat, noted that “one small step is to envision a better normal."

Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Managing Director and Deputy to the Director General, Directorate of External Relations and Policy Research, UNIDO, spoke of his concern that “almost 80% of youth employees are employed in informal jobs – zero hours contracts, temporary jobs.

They don’t have any social protection and the COVID-19 crisis is forcing the majority of young people to become further disempowered and disenfranchised.”

The summit was the culmination of work by the Y20 throughout 2020. The work of the Y20 began with a Y20 Inception event in Riyadh in March, which launched the group’s plans to be an active and impactful platform between young leaders and the leadership of the G20.

The Y20 working task forces prepared several white papers that explored key issues in more depth and developed a set of recommendations that G20 leaders should take to mitigate specific negative effects that COVID-19 is causing young people globally, particularly relating to education and the labor market.

Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

Updated 6 min 57 sec ago

Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

  • One civilian injured by shrapnel after Saudi-led coalition intercepts four flying bombs launched from Yemen

JEDDAH: Houthi militias and their Iranian backers were condemned on Sunday after the Saudi-led coalition intercepted four explosive-laden drones in two attacks launched from Yemen targeting the south of the Kingdom.

Three of the drones were destroyed early on Saturday and a fourth on Sunday. Shrapnel that fell in Sarat Abidah governorate injured a civilian, and damaged five homes and three vehicles, said civil defense spokesman Capt. Mohammed Abdu Al-Sayed.

Iran was increasing its support to the Houthis to undermine efforts for peace, Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, the political analyst and international relations scholar, told Arab News.

“They want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.”

Iranians want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, political analyst and international relations scholar

Al-Shehri said the situation in Yemen would remain the same unless the legitimate government was returned to Yemen, Security Council Resolution 2216 was put into practice and the Houthi militia were removed.

“Without these things, the Yemen crisis will not end and the whole region will remain in tension.”

The Houthis did not differentiate between military sites and civilian locations, he said.

“Their objective is to damage all places they can reach in Saudi Arabia, and their latest attempts to attack a populated area are nothing new.

“They have also targeted airports and some Aramco oil facilities. If the Aramco attack had not been contained, the damage would have affected the whole Eastern region. They have also attempted to target Makkah, where pilgrims and worshippers were performing their rituals.

“They don’t care. If you look back at what the Revolutionary Guards did at the Grand Mosque, you will realize it is not strange that the Houthis are trying to destroy everything in Saudi Arabia. The strange thing is the silence of the world toward what is happening.”