, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 24 – Regional leaders attending the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region special summit have declared youth unemployment a disaster that would undermine and destabilise peace if not addressed.
The leaders who signed the declaration on the fight against youth unemployment called upon the United Nations to address youth employment as a stand-alone priority goal, deliverable in the post 2015 development agenda.
In the declaration, the regional leaders pledged to create a favourable environment for investments and socio-economic development.
They also pledged to harness infrastructure development in order to fast track opportunities for decent jobs and inclusive growth apart from reviewing the education system to promote entrepreneurship and innovation.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the special summit, President Uhuru Kenyatta reaffirmed his government’s commitment to ensure that the youth are at the centre of decision making and policy direction in this region.
“We have been very clear that we must be able to tap into the talent of our young men and women. Indeed we recognize we need to do so in order to ensure peace and stability of our region,” President Kenyatta affirmed.
The president pledged his support towards the ICGLR organization saying, “we will begin not just to continue in dialogue, but we will be able to see what concrete steps we need to take to advance the course of the youth in our region.”
He thanked all the youth who participated in the conference saying he would do everything in his power to ensure they succeeded in improving their livelihoods.
President Kenyatta also commended the outgoing UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Mary Robinson, for spearheading the peace processes in the region.
The president wished Robinson the best of success in her new appointment as the UN Special Envoy for Climate Change.