Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The UN Presents the Cambodian Youth Situation Analysis

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Phnom Penh has hosted the United Nations Day 2009 and launched the Situation Analysis of Cambodian Youth to mark the signing of the United Nations Charter in 1945, highlighting the achievements and aspirations of the organization; and also to draw attention to the situation of young people. The event was supported by Ministry of Education Youth and Sport, in cooperation with UNESCO, UNFPA, ILO, UNIFEM and UNICEF.

The Celebration of the United Nations Day 2009 and Launching of the Situation Analysis of Youth was held on October 23 at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh with the participation of 500 people including, UN and NGOs’ representatives, Cambodian government’s officials and students.

Douglas Broderick, United Nations Resident Coordinator, said that the youth of Cambodia represent the future. Their vibrancy signifies a key opportunity for Cambodia to move a head as a nation. He said that the young people have enormous potential and they are also Cambodia’s most valuable resources.

“This year the United Nations Country Team in Cambodia is extremely proud to delicate UN day to the needs, values and aspiration of young people. We recognize that young people are both the beneficiaries and drivers of growth in Cambodia. Thus, our goal is to bring the voice of young people into this development and our achievement will be to work with you to address the barriers which prevent young people from reaching their full potential,” he said during opening remark delivered to the United Nation day 2009.

Douglas pointed out that since 2007 the 23 agencies of the United Nations Country Team have increasingly turned their attentions towards youth and young people. This is because the young people in Cambodia like other young people around the world face a unique set of opportunities and challenges.

According to the Situation Analysis of Cambodian youths 2009, only half of all young people Cambodian complete primary school education; unemployment among youth is higher than for any other age group; gender-based and drugs related violence is a growing concern; a third of young people live in poor household; and youth voices are left out of planning and decision-making in Cambodia.

Douglas stated that over 30 percent of Cambodian population is aged between 10 and 24; the major industrial sectors of manufacturing, tourism, construction, and agriculture are dominated by young workers; and there are over 300,000 young people enter the labor market each year.

“The United Nations sees this document as a first step which reviews the situation of young people ever taken in this country. It is the first compilation of data, and is not, by any means, the final word on youth issue. Already we realize that we will need to continue to build on the information presented, to keep the analysis alive and constantly useful for all of us,” he said.

The situation analysis of youth in Cambodia was designed by the UN Country Team and conduced by the Cambodian Development Research Institute (CDRI). The process involved contributions from UN youth specialists and UN Youth Advisory Panel. It concluded consultations with key line ministries including the Ministry of Education youth and Sport, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, and Ministry of Social Affairs Veterans and Youth.

“We expect that this report will generate and inspire further research, particularly where information gaps have been identified,” he said. “We hope that it will stimulate action. The findings clearly show that young people are facing enormous challenges in the areas of education, employment, health, participation, rights and vulnerability.”

Douglas stated that United Nations repeats its commitment to assist the Cambodian government to advance the effective National Youth Policy and it will remain as active partner to ensure that this policy development is as consultative as possible.

“We will actively collaborate with all partners to make live better for young people, to deliver greater results and to target our work. We will encourage and exchange ideas with the members of our UN Youth Advisory Panel. And most importantly we speak less…listen more and learn more from all youths and young people,” he said.





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