Press Release

Iraq Celebrates International Youth Day

12 August 2016
Iraq Celebrates International Youth Day

Baghdad, 12 August 2016 - The Ministry of Youth and Sports in Iraq in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organized the celebration of International Youth Day on 11 August 2016 at the Rasheed Hotel in Baghdad. The event was under the auspices of H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi and with the participation of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (DSRSG) and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande.

In his welcome address, H.E. Minister of Youth, Mr. Abdul- Hussien Abtan, commended young people for their heroism in defeating Daesh and praised their creativity and steadfastness despite the challenges they face every day. He reiterated the commitment of the government of Iraq to support young people and urged the international partners to support the Government of Iraq in this endeavour. 

H.E. Prime Minster Dr. Haider Al Abadi highlighted the key role of young people in reconstruction. He condemned those continuously depicting a negative image of Iraq and urged young people to see the positive aspects and bright potential of the country. H.E. Dr. Al-Abadi decried corruption and invited young people to support him in his fight against corruption, asking them for their trust so that the efforts of those who have the interest of Iraq at heart are not ignored because of the few corrupt. H.E Dr. Al-Abadi underscored the importance of volunteerism and a job well done in bringing prosperity to Iraq.

DSRSG Lise Grande pointed to the importance of having youth at the center of reconciliation and reform to build a modern, inclusive Iraq. DSRSG Grande further stressed that involving youth could be the “smartest investment” to be done and warned that excluding youth may result in them gravitating in the direction of those who oppose reform. She further highlighted the role of UNFPA as leading United Nations’ work on youth, acknowledging the role of UNICEF, ILO and UNDP. Lastly, DSRSG Grande reiterated UN’s commitment to stand in solidarity with Iraq and the youth of Iraq as they rebuild their country and embrace reconciliation.
The ceremony was concluded with a number of young people receiving awards from H.E. Dr. Al-Abadi, for their exceptional performance in academics and athletics.

The event was attended by more than 400 persons, including representatives of Embassies, national and international organizations and youth organizations. 

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UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact:
Ahmed Malah, Humanitarian Officer, malah@unfpa.org