13 August 2012 - International Youth Day 2012 was celebrated throughout Afghanistan with speeches and discussion among youth leaders and senior politicians. In Kabul an event was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at the hall of National Radio and Television. The theme of the event was “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth”.
According to the estimates from the Central Statistics Organization, Afghanistan has a population of 26.5 million out of which 68 percent is under 25 years of age.
The Minister for Information and Culture, Sayed Makhoom Raheen, told a crowd of several hundred youth, including girls, that Afghan youth face enormous problems and difficulties but have made significant progress in all walks of life particularly in education and sports.
“This is the achievement of your generation that Afghanistan gained the honour of winning a medal in Olympic Games,” said Minister Raheen.
The Minister called youth the country's precious asset and urged them to help the political leadership to ensure democracy, human rights, women rights and good governance.
Earlier, the Deputy Minister for Youth Affairs, Temor Shah Ishaqzai, said a five year strategic plan has been created to ensure active and widespread participation of young Afghans in social, economic and cultural development of Afghan society.
Minister Ishaqzai informed participants that a draft of the National Policy of Youth has been prepared by the Ministry of Information and Culture and will soon be submitted to the national cabinet for approval.
The Ministry of Information and Culture last year created the National High Commission of Youth. The Commission is headed by the Minister of Information and Culture and functions to promote the welfare of youth. Other speakers included Nasrullah Istanikzai, an advisor to the president, and members of parliament.
The UNFPA Afghanistan Representative, Dr. Laurent Zessler, said that a priority of his organization is ensuring that every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
“To celebrate young men and women of Afghanistan, UNFPA states the importance to end gender discrimination against girls,” said Dr. Zessler.