Youth activists and civil society leaders from Tunisia and Libya gathered in a three-day forum to put together an action plan promoting youth engagement in peace-building by addressing the most pressing issues young women and men in Libya and Tunisia face today.
The event, held from January 15 – 17, 2016 in Hammamet, Tunisia, was organized by UNFPA Libya in coordination and with assistance from UNFPA Tunis and UNESCO Libya/EU-funded Project (NET-MED Youth).
It brought together 45 Libyan and Tunisian youth active in civil society to formulate a 2-year national action plans for youth in each of their respective countries. These action plans will serve as starting points to develop a multidisciplinary, multi-dimensional national youth strategy for Libya, and to review with government authorities and elaborate upon the existing national youth strategy in Tunis.
Noting the importance of listening to youth voices and ideas in national policies, Dr. Georges Makram Georgi, country Director for UNFPA Libya, emphasized in his opening remarks “We need to take concrete steps, in the form of realistic recommendations, to make youth a central focus in national policies”.
Participants represented a broad range of local civil society organizations from both Libya and Tunisia. In a series of intensive workshops, the participants identified the most relevant obstacles youth face in education, health, the job market, and challenges related to civic engagement, gender equality, peace-building and social cohesion.
“We recognize the role that young people play in promoting a culture of peace”, noted Mr. Chokri Benyahia from UNFPA Tunisia. “We know that it is only possible to do this if we fight against all forms of exclusion and marginalization that leads to violence.”