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Press release: UNAOC-EFE Foundation event at UN headquarters, New York
Press release: UNAOC-EFE Foundation event at UN headquarters, New York
The substantial challenges posed by high youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa require urgent action to create job opportunities that can pave the way for more stable and prosperous societies. This is one of the key issues discussed at a session entitled "Building Meaningful Partnerships for Youth Employment in the Middle East/North Africa" at UN headquarters in New York .
Saturday, June 13,2009 02:08
Efefoundation.org

The substantial challenges posed by high youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa require urgent action to create job opportunities that can pave the way for more stable and prosperous societies. This is one of the key issues discussed at a session entitled "Building Meaningful Partnerships for Youth Employment in the Middle East/North Africa" at UN headquarters in New York .

 

Organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the Education For Employment Foundation (EFE), the event explored strategies to tackle youth joblessness in the Middle East and North Africa region, which - at more than 25 percent - is the highest in the world. The session was held one week after US President Barack Obama"s speech in Cairo , in which he appealed for a new era of peace and cooperation between the Muslim world and the West based on mutual respect, trust and partnership.

 

"Youth unemployment is a scourge that hampers social progress and threatens stability and social cohesion. We must redouble our efforts to provide youth with the opportunities they need to contribute to growth in their communities and to lead fulfilling lives," said Marc Scheuer, Director of the Alliance of Civilizations Secretariat, which was established in 2005 by the governments of Spain and Turkey , under the umbrella of the United Nations. The organization works with governments, international and regional organizations, civil society groups, foundations, and the private sector to improve understanding and cooperation among diverse nations and peoples, and to help counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism.

 

"Giving young people the tools to build careers and livelihoods for themselves, and enlisting businesses in creating the qualified workforce they need to expand and develop are the keys to promoting stable, flourishing societies," said Ron Bruder, founder and CEO of EFE. "With renewed attention being paid to relations between the West and the countries of the Middle East and North Africa , now is the time to make these crucial investments in improving the future for the next generation" he added.

 

The EFE network of non-profit foundations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the US and Europe works with businesses, education institutions and civil society organizations across the MENA region to give jobless youth practical training tailored to the specific needs of the marketplace, and to place them in jobs.

 

At the UN session, representatives of EFE"s affiliate foundations based in Morocco , Egypt , Yemen , Jordan , and the West Bank/Gaza stressed the importance of building broad partnerships to create job opportunities for youth and to affect educational reform to make formal schooling more relevant to the needs of the marketplace.

 

Steen Jorgensen, Director of Human Development for MENA of the World Bank, Diana Alarcon of the United Nations Development Programme, Ariadne Papagapitos of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Edit Schlaffer of Women without Borders were also expected to participate.

 

The U.N. session builds on the work of the UNAOC Forum in Istanbul in April, attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the leaders of Spain and Turkey , and 83 nations and 17 international organizations. At presentations there, EFE focused attention on the crucial issue of youth joblessness by bringing together key players from around the globe with the ability to create change in the region. EFE was also selected to present its activities during the "Marketplace of Ideas" session, which showcased innovative and successful grassroots projects aimed at transcending cultural divides and promoting peace.

 The Source


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