THE United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has urged more youth engagement in global development.
Also the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Country Representative in Nigeria, Daouda Toure, has decried the lack of opportunities for Nigerian youths to correctly participate in the political process.
The concerns by Ban and Toure were expressed at the commemoration of the International Youth Day in Abuja, yesterday.
The event was organised by the Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) of the UNDP.
According to them, the world was fast losing grip of youth potential for economic, political and social development spreading underdevelopment through “low-wage, dead-end work and record levels of unemployment.”
Ban, whose message was delivered by the Deputy Country Director of the UNDP in Nigeria, Ade Mamonyane-Lekoetje, stressed further that, “the global economic crisis has hit youth the hardest and many are understandably discouraged by rising inequalities. A large number have no immediate prospects and are disenfranchised from the political, social and development processes in their countries without urgent measures, we risk creating a lost generation of squandered talent and dreams.”
Speaking on the theme for this year’s anniversary: “Youth Political Participation: Setting an Agenda for Good Governance and Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria, Toure said: “The youth constitute over 50 per cent of the voting population in Nigeria. However, inadequate and deliberate measures to actively engage them in the electoral process have largely hindered their input in the nascent electoral democracy in Nigeria.”
The UNDP chief listed some of the “obvious shortcomings” in youth involvement in Nigeria’s political process to include “somehow low participation of youths in the election of political leaders at all levels, relatively limited political parties youth leaders, lack of effective representation of youths in the political governance structure of the country and the political manipulation of youths for undesirable ends.”
On the way forward, he said: “Undoubtedly, there is a dire need for greater social investment in young people to promote active citizenry to develop tolerance and commitment to peace, justice and human rights in Nigeria and to develop their full potential for creative leadership in democratic governance.”
Though, the social media are largely not regulated, they have succeeded in giving development voices to the indigenous communities, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), has said.
In commemoration of the 2012 edition of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which has the theme, “Indigenous media, empowering indigenous voices”, the ILO said social media and radio had indeed uplifted the development strides of the people.
With about half of the world’s indigenous people living in cities – where connection to the wired world is comparatively easy, electronic media is playing a growing role in promoting their rights.
“Thanks to the Internet, it only takes a couple of seconds for news related to indigenous communities to travel from one part of the world to the other,” said Karmen Ramirez Boscan, who runs a community website.