OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen (File Image)
Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – On International Youth Day (IYD), Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed offered his compliments to the young people around the world, especially to those in the Muslim world.
IYD is celebrated every year on 12 August to bring youth related issues to the attention of the international community and to celebrate the potential of youth as active and important partners in the decision making process within the global society.
The following is the full message of the OIC Secretary-General on this occasion, which is commemorated this year under the theme “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health” to highlight the importance of the youth involvement to overcome the global challenges.
On this occasion, I would like to extend my compliments to the young people around the world and particularly to the youth in the Muslim world as well as to young Muslims in non-OIC Member States.
As we all are aware, for more than one and a half year, the world is stunned by the COVID-19 pandemic, which spares no continent, country or social class in our respective societies. Whereas, the most seriously affected people by the COVID-19 epidemic are those aged 65 and above, it should be realized that for young people, and especially for the vulnerable youth, the COVID-19 pandemic poses considerable challenges in the fields of education, employment and disposable income.
To avoid exacerbating intergenerational inequalities and to involve young people in building societal resilience, I would like to emphasize that the OIC and its relevant organs have launched several initiatives aiming at assisting the member states to curb the surge of the pandemic and allowing urgent financial grants to the least developed countries (LDCs) with the objective of containing the effects of the pandemic among their population, especially the youth.
In this regard, I would like to urge all governments, international organizations, NGOs, youth and youth-led organizations, to invest more time and attach greater importance to awareness during this time of COVID-19, to take the recommended vaccines, to practice social distancing, health hygiene and to prevent the propagation of fake news, in particular via social media.
As we are celebrating Youth Day, I would like to call upon young people from all member states as well as Muslim youth from non-OIC countries to sidestep the danger of violent extremism and terrorism, as I call also upon all decision-makers to do their utmost to prevent the creation of fertile grounds for the recruitment by terrorist organizations of young extremists and terrorists for their nefarious activities and destructive ideas based on misguided beliefs that have no connection with Islam. In this respect, it is our individual and collective responsibility to spread and promote the principles of moderation and tolerance that characterize the right image of our Islamic religion.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate my appeal to all the member states of the OIC to intensify efforts in implementing the OIC Youth Strategy in coordination with the Youth Unit established in the General Secretariat and all relevant OIC institutions active in the field of youth.
As mandated by the member states, the OIC will spare no effort to support any project aimed at empowering young people in the Islamic world.