RAISING THE PLIGHT OF IRAQI YOUTH AT A GLOBAL LEVEL: SRSG KOBLER AT THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL

Former SRSG Martin Kobler with a group of Iraqi youth at International Youth Day celebrations, Baghdad, August 2012 [Photo: UNAMI PIO] Former SRSG Martin Kobler with a group of Iraqi youth at International Youth Day celebrations, Baghdad, August 2012 [Photo: UNAMI PIO]

In his final address to the UN Security Council in New York on 16 July 2013, Mr. Martin Kobler, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, dedicated a special section of his speech to the challenges faced by Iraqi youth.

 

The depth, Madam President, of my concern for Iraq's youth is now a familiar topic for the Council. I would like to raise their plight with more urgency than ever.

 

I have spoken of the devastating death toll that Iraq has seen in past months. Terror and violence have a deep and troubling impact on young people. Iraq has now seen decades of conflict and fear. Yet another generation is confronted now with trauma and bloodshed. Traumatised children and young people of today are traumatised adults of tomorrow. 

 

Insecurity is just one of the reasons they feel powerless. Young Iraqis want education and opportunities, but cannot find jobs. Young Iraqis are dynamic and political, but have no representation and no platform to raise their voices.

 

Fear. Frustration. Helplessness. These feelings plague the youth of Iraq and run contrary to the spirit of hope, optimism, ambition, that fuels their deep belief in their country.

 

Young Iraqis seek a better life outside, because hope and optimism are fading. I believe that they would stay if they could just have a chance to shape their own futures in the land where they were born.

 

Leaders need to act now to keep the promising youth population in Iraq. The National Youth Strategy should not remain a piece of paper, it must be filled with life.”

 

Read SRSG Kobler’s full speech to the Security Council here: 

http://unami.unmissions.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=s-pv-l_IaW8%3d&tabid=2792&mid=5079&language=en-US

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