CAIRO – 12 January 2021: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said changing situations by force can lead to uncontrollable destruction as he addressed a session titled 'International Responsibility for Post-Conflict Areas Reconstruction' during the World Youth Forum (WYF).
The fourth edition of the WYF started on Monday in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh with the participation of a large number of youth and figures from across the world. The forum will be concluded on Thursday.
In his remarks, Sisi said the region has paid a lot due to others' interference in its affairs, affirming that Egypt, a home for 100 million people, could have been a state of crises, which people would watch and donors would aid.
Conflicts must stop
Sisi said conflicts must stop in order for the European Union, the UN, and the Civil Society groups to implement reconstruction in countries in conflicts.
Ongoing efforts, made in parallel with conflicts in the countries, only seek to mitigate the impact of the crises but conflicts must stop so that the reconstruction process can be implemented in a right way, Sisi said.
“In the name of the youth of the WYF, we call for countries in conflicts and concerned leaders to adopt a different perspective that leads to settling those crises and mitigate their impact,” he added.
The president underscored Egypt’s readiness to play a positive role regarding conflicts in other countries, saying peace and building are constants to Egypt.
Egypt never interferes in other states' affairs and always call for non-interference in our affairs so that we can resolve our own crises by ourselves apart from conflicts and fighting, Sisi said.
During his speech, Sisi said Gaza surely needs far more than the $500 million Egypt allocated in May for the reconstruction of the enclave, affirming that Egypt will continue to urge donors to never abandon UNRWA.
The Egyptian state will move to ensure its message is delivered powerfully and effectively in support of UNRWA to fulfill its role, Sisi added.
Speaking during the session, Sahar Al-Jobury, Chief of UNRWA Representative Office in Cairo, said Sisi is the first Egyptian president to call for the international community to fund UNRWA in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Jobury said Palestinian refugees experience several tragedies including long war in Syria, economic collapse in Lebanon, violence of Israeli settlers in West Bank, and the pandemic in Jordan.
There are currently 5.8 million Palestinian refugees recorded by UNRWA, she added.
UNRWA has been suffering from financial pressures since 2015 in addition to political pressures to eliminate the UNRWA and undermine the issues of the Palestinian refugees, Jobury said.
She highlighted the pivotal Egyptian role to end war, consolidate ceasefire, open the Rafah crossing, and support UNRWA, saying this role has been a “spark of hope” for Palestinian refugees.
Crisis in Yemen
Yemeni youth's ambassador to the Arab African Council For integration and Development (AACID) Tareq Al-Nomani spoke in details about the crisis in Yemen that has lasted for seven years.
Over the past 7 years in Yemen, 4,000 schools were closed, 4 million children lost the chance to have education, 3.1 million children have been suffering from malnutrition, Nomani said.
The number of displaced people over the past 7 years in Yemen totaled almost 4 million. We are now living in the worst economic and health conditions the Yemen has suffered in its history, he added.
Nomani said 377,000 Yemeni people have died during the Yemeni war, 60 percent of which died collaterally due to the conflict.
Nomani said the UN expects 1.3 million Yemeni deaths by 2030, 70 percent of which for reasons other than the conflict, including poverty and malnutrition.
Every nine minutes, a Yemeni child dies, which means that 10 Yemeni children would be dead by the end of our current session, Nomani said.
He added that Yemen lost $126 billion of its GDP and there are 20 million citizens, representing half of the population, under the poverty threshold.
Aid worth around $25 billion has reached Yemen, while $30 billion is required for reconstruction only, Nomani said.
Nomani called for the international community to urgently intervene in Yemen to save the country and implement reconstruction in parallel with the ongoing conflict.
Youth and children are the groups who mainly paid the cost of the Yemeni conflict and delay of reconstruction, he said, noting that Youth have lost their “dreams, future, and ambitions.”