North Africa

Egypt President calls for dialogue as he launches 4th edition of World Youth Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh

“The minds of young people are inexhaustible from innovative ideas,” Guterres said.

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has launched the fourth edition of the World Youth Forum (WYF) in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

The four day forum has been well attended, with presence of thousands of attendees from over 196 countries, including heads of state, high profile officials, and international youth leaders.

In his opening remarks, El Sisi said: “The World Youth Forum has become a platform for dialogue and communication among young people, and a tool for exchanging visions between the entire world, especially at this crucial moment in human history.”

El Sisi added that it makes it imperative to realise the importance of dialogue and managing differences between people, especially those from different backgrounds.

“It is also important to believe and be sure that the Creator’s wisdom and secret in the universe is for us to be different without discrimination,” El Sisi added.

He stressed that humanity cannot overcome its current crises and challenges to survive without sincere intentions to end conflicts, manage differences, and work jointly in the interests of humanity and peace.

The World Youth Forum is an annual event, which Egypt inaugurated in 2017 to bring the world’s youth together to promote dialogue and discuss development issues. The forum made its return this week, after a one-year pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will be running from 10-13 January.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and Jordan’s Crown Prince Al-Hussein bin Abdullah II attended the opening ceremony.

The fourth edition of the forum is being held under the theme of ‘Back Together’.

In a recorded video speech, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the forum is “a great” opportunity for youth to exchange expertise, create a better future, and improve health.

“Most of the world’s population is young people under the age of 30, The future is within their hands, and they are facing the challenges of today and tomorrow, including climate change, pollution, health and others,” he added.

The opening ceremony also saw a recorded speech by UN Secretary-General António Guterres who said the pandemic resulted in negative psychological impacts. However, youth will manage to overcome this experience successfully.

“The minds of young people are inexhaustible from innovative ideas,” Guterres said.

A number of different panel discussions are expected to be held over the four days, and the recommendations will be sent to the Egyptian government, world leaders and stakeholders.

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