NEWTON, MA | June 20, 2002
The Hon. William J. Clinton, former president of the United States, will serve with Egyptian First Lady Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak as co-chair of a major, international, 10-year campaign to expand employment opportunities throughout the world, it was announced today.
The Youth Employment Summit (YES) expected to bring together some 1,500 youth leaders, government officials, scholars and development officials from more than 100 countries from Sept. 7 to 11 at the Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt.
"In every region of the worldbut particularly in developing countriesyoung people are in desperate need of productive employment," said President Clinton. "They want and deserve opportunities to contribute to their communities and to develop their skills."
"The Youth Employment Summit will provide a unique venue for young leaders and entrepreneurs from around the world to work collaboratively with policymakers and researchers to create innovative, long term solutions to the critical problem of youth unemployment," he said.
The goal of the summitYES 2002is to develop and promote programs and policies which will create sustainable employment for young adults, according to Poonam Ahluwalia, YES director.
"There are some one billion youth in the world today85 percent of whom live in developing countries where they have few skills and even fewer opportunities for productive work," Ahluwalia said.
"Without meaningful employment and career opportunities, the thwarted expectations of youth create a breeding ground for poverty, disease, crime, violence and civil unrest, undermining political stability, international security and the effectiveness of capital investment" she said.
Ahluwalia pointed out that many of the world’s most protracted conflicts, from the Middle East, Afghanistan, Kashmir and Sri Lanka to The Congo, Northern Ireland and Colombia, are " fueled and worsened by the frustrations, hopelessness and misdirected energies of unemployed and underemployed youth."
"While the summit won’t solve all the world’s problems in five days, we believe it will be the single largest attempt ever to bring youth from around the world and other key leaders together to launch a carefully planned strategy to deal pro-actively with the scourge of youth unemployment," she said.
The Arab Republic of Egypt will host the summit. The Secretariat putting together the summit is being hosted by EDC.
Organizers Committee members include Dr. Ismail Serageldin, director general Bibliotheca Alexandrina; Jose Maria Figueres, managing director, World Economic Forum; Nahas Angula, minister of education, Namibia; Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, World Food Prize Laureate; Carlos Magarinos, director general UNIDO; Michel Rocard, chairman, European Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, and Janet Whitla, president and CEO, Education Development Center, Inc.