Sharjah: Young people hold the key to our future. We can either shape them to be instruments of peace and development or leave them to drown in extremism, Shaikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has said.
Shaikha Jawaher, who is also the chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) and Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), made these comments ahead of the ‘Investing in the Future’ MENA conference (IIFMENA 2018).
She called on youth from around the world, future leaders, experts and international organisations to participate at the IIFMENA Conference, which will be held in Sharjah on October 24-25.
“Our efforts to build a ‘tomorrow’ starts today; at this very moment. The youth’s role in leading the future depends on the care and opportunities they can be offered, and will be a direct outcome of our engagement with their needs and aspirations,” Shaikha Jawaher said.
“The voice of young refugees who were forced out of their countries should be heard. No one understands their situation better than they do — they must be part of the solution building process,” she added.
IIFMENA 2018 will be a global platform for engagement between the youth and world organisations to explore how collaborative action to overcome their critical challenges can be strategised and practicable solutions can be shaped to offer the region’s youth better opportunities to develop their skills, build their communities and shape their future.
Shaikha Jawaher has strongly called on world governments and international organisations to reach a consensus on charting a roadmap that will lead to building a future where the rights of children are protected and their opportunities are not compromised.
The TBHF Chairperson has lauded the efforts of the United Nations and partnering organisations who continue to work relentlessly to ensure that the youth can overcome crisis to become agents of positive change, progress and development.
The conference, themed ‘Youth — Crisis Challenges and Development Opportunities’, is being organised by TBHF in collaboration with the United Nations.
The conference will be held at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC) in Sharjah, and will bring together more than 60 speakers, 500 senior officials and young experts from around the world.