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Building Youth-Focused partnerships to advance Iraq’s Commitments at the ICPD; The Ministry of Youth and Sports assumes leadership

15 September 2020; Baghdad, Iraq -  The Ministry of Youth and Sports, in coordination with UNFPA, held a meeting to follow up on the Iraq’s commitments at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), also known as the Nairobi Summit. The meeting was focused on the engagement and empowerment of young people. With the demographic dividend looming on the horizon, Iraq has a golden opportunity to boost its economy through job creation, and investment in young people. Inaction will lead to an increase in the unemployment rate, which will translate into stagnation in the economic wheel, thus increasing unrest in the country.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the private sector, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Planning. During the meeting, the conveners shared successful experiences regarding youth development and their contribution to the advancement of the Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda, as well as Iraq’s commitment to the Nairobi Summit. 

The participants emphasised the importance of discussing youth engagement in the labour market, given that youth empowerment is cross-sectoral responsibility. They also agreed that developing a strategy for economic empowerment of youth, along with increasing entrepreneurship opportunities for young people is as critical as coaching and mentoring in the field of entrepreneurship. They highlighted the need for access to microloans for business start-ups, and for forming partnerships with companies, are critical for economic empowerment. 

UNFPA Representative to Iraq, Dr Rita Columbia, said: “UNFPA advocates for a comprehensive approach for the development of young people. This approach includes the creation of opportunities for youth employment, better education, youth-friendly services and life-skills building to help young people to stay healthy and well informed for making good choices for themselves”.


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 Ms Salwa Moussa, Communications Specialist,