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OIC body seeks articulation and promotion of youth rights
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 10 - 12 - 2019

JEDDAH — The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), while observing the ‘International Human Rights Day 2019', joins the international community in highlighting that the skill, energy and creativity of youth is vital for strengthening democratic institutions and building peaceful and inclusive societies without discrimination.
The commission underscores that Islam has termed youth as the most important period of one's life as it marks the beginning of the period where together with their inherent rights, they start accountability before Allah Almighty and society for their actions. It is also an age in which all sorts of ideas, including extremism and stereotypes, could be easily indoctrinated in minds, hence the importance of investing in the education and character building of youth.
Fortunately, the OIC region benefits from one of the highest youth concentrations in the world. The youth in the OIC member states are already contributing to the resilience of their respective communities, proposing innovative solutions, driving social progress and inspiring progressive political change. They represent a remarkable demographic potential offering great opportunity for global development and prosperity. In order to capitalize this enormous potential OIC has proposed a ‘Youth Strategy', which includes the necessary steps towards integrating the role of youth in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, with particular focus on alleviating poverty, promoting universal literacy, ensuring gender equity and equality, stimulating economic growth, minimizing inequalities and building peace and justice.
The commission, realizing the importance of youth, held its 2019 annual seminar on the subject of ‘Importance of promoting and protecting the rights of youth for building peaceful democratic societies and sustainable development', in Tashkent in October 2019. A comprehensive outcome document on the subject was issued which can be accessed at www.oic-iphrc.org/en/seminars. The document, inter alia, recommended to intensify international cooperation to address the specific challenges young people face, by articulating and promoting their rights through positive normative framework in the form of an international legal convention on youth rights.
The commission also urges all member states to intensify cooperation with the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development and other international and regional development entities for enhanced policy coherence for sharing of best practices, broadening stakeholder pool and developing interlinkages for cooperation on mutual policy priorities and opportunities.

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