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.”