Sharm El Sheikh - 14 December 2019: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated on Sunday the third edition of the World Youth Forum (WYF 2019) was inaugurated in South Sinai’s capital Sharm El Sheikh dubbed the City of Peace.
President Sisi announced the launching of the third edition of WYF 2019 saying, “We are here to continue the dream of Egyptian youth.”
Director General of UNIDO Li Young delivered the first speech saying that the adoption of youths’ views is mandatory and that is why the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda prioritizes the inclusion of youth in the decision-making process.
The increase in unemployment rates has pushed forward a new wave of economic development, UNIDO Director General stated. Young added that the forum aligns with the UN efforts deployed to promote global peace and security.
In a recorded statement, UN Secretary General António Guterres addressed youth saying, "We want your meaningful participation” in strategies being set and measures taking place to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals. Guterres stated that a global dialogue on SDGs will be held next year marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
World's first armless Pilot Jessica Cox delivered the second speech showcasing how she had trained to achieve her goal and fly with her feet.
Young man from Democratic Congo called Michel told his story when he was abducted as a child to become a soldier in the civil war. However, he managed to flee to Ghana with his family and become refugees. “There are 250,000 child soldiers all over the world. Around 40 percent of those are girls,” Michele said stressing the necessity to tackle the spread of small arms.
Halima Aden, first veiled contestant in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, told her journey from Somalia to the United States as a refugee child. Aden stated that people in the fashion industry have given her support saying that her motto in life is “Don’t change yourself. Change the game.”
Four-time child cancer survivor Zane Yousef said he has chosen as motto “Never Ever Give Up.” Yousef stated that he shares his story to inspire others to overcome the obstacles they face. President Sisi asked Yousef to shake hands after the child had delivered his speech.
A mini-documentary was aired to tell the stories of the 28 Ancient Egyptian obelisks located in various countries around the world. The majority of obelisks were taken from Egypt by colonizers. The mini-documentary also displayed what people from different countries think about tolerance, accepting the Other, and respect for civilizations.
Actor Ahmed Helmy talked about humanity and how racial, gender, and religious differences do not count when treating an individual as a human being.
The song of the opening ceremony describes the seven pillars of the Egyptian identity reflecting the affiliation to Ancient Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Coptic, Islamic, Mediterranean, African, and Arab civilizations.
Prior to the ceremony, the president had welcomed chiefs of states attending the forum. The number of participants is 7,000, who were admitted out of 300,000 applicants.
Over the past two days, parallel workshops were held for participants to exchange views on the topics that will later be discussed by panelists on Sunday and Monday. The 16 panel discussions consist of seven sessions on technology, three sessions on the Mediterranean, two sessions on Africa, one session on women, one session on climate change, one session on peace and security, and one session on arts. The closing of WYF 2019 will be Tuesday evening.
The first edition was attended by 3,200 participants from 113 countries while the second had 5,000 participants from 169 states.