Marking International Youth Day on 12th August, the Arab Youth Centre (ATC) has renewed its commitment to empowering the Arab youth and enhancing their leadership across various fields.
The centre aims to help shape a generation of young Arab leaders who can shape a brighter future for the Arab world, through organising initiatives, events and programmes that refine their capabilities, maximise their potential, and encourage them to participate in driving change and leaving a positive impact on their communities.
The day has gained special significance in the Arab region, especially with the Arab League's declaration of 2023 as the "Arab Youth Year" to boost awareness about Arab youth and their aspirations and future directions and encourage youth to constructively engage with the community.
H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the Arab Youth Centre, said that empowering youth and giving them the tools required for success and excellence is a path that the UAE has taken, following in the footsteps of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who prioritised human development.
He added that sustaining these efforts and initiatives has boosted the country’s status among youth as a preferred hub for living and working, highlighting the close partnerships between national institutions and youth and their regional counterparts, to invest in unleashing the potential of youth and directing it towards development, while also strengthening their national identity, pride in their language and sense of patriotism.
He also stressed the centre’s commitment to developing the capacities of youth, who have set positive examples in volunteering and serving their nations, as well as to improving their skills and capabilities, particularly in areas related to the green economy, which help drive sustainable development.
Sheikh Theyab urged Arab youth to continue their hard work to achieve their ambitions, as well as benefit from the initiatives, programmes and projects launched by the centre and its partners.
From UAE to Arab World
This year saw the launch of a series of initiatives from the UAE to the Arab World, including the Youth Development Delegates Programme in the Arab region, a joint initiative launched by the Arab Youth Centre (AYC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to embed young Arabs in 13 UNDP offices to acquire new skills, develop their knowledge and networks, and harness their learning experiences to implement initiatives that benefit them, their countries, and the whole Arab region.
The AYC and the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre established the Arabic Language Youth Council to encourage and engage youngsters to enhance their connection with the language, and to promote the use of Arabic among new generations across various aspects of life and work. The Council also aims to broaden their understanding of the language and enable them to participate in its development for the future.
The Arab Youth Council for Climate Change (AYCCC), a non-profit, youth-led initiative by the AYC, aims to achieve a qualitative leap in the interaction of Arab youth with environmental issues, support youth climate action, and engage young Arabs in developing innovative and sustainable solutions to the climate change challenge. AYCCC engaged in significant activities including its contribution to the organisation of the Road to COP28.
Additionally, the AYC was selected as an official co-host for the upcoming 18th edition of the Conference of Youth (COY18).
To be held in November in the UAE in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28), COY18 serves as a platform for climate advocacy, capacity building and policy development training to prepare the youth for their participation in international climate discussions and events.
With the participation of more than 3,000 young men and women from across the world, COY18 will focus on youth contributions to the conference’s three major components—policy document, capacity building, skill-building, and workshops, which synthesises the collective demands of children and youth across the world.
The AYC is harnessing its regional partnerships to build capacities by providing opportunities for personal development and skills through specialised training programmes and forums. It also aims to promote positive and active citizenship and heighten youth’s awareness of their responsibility towards the future and their homelands.