I thank you for convening today’s high-level debate on enhancing youth mainstreaming in crime prevention policies.
The world today is home to 1.8 billion young people, the largest youth population in human history. Connected to each other like never before, young people can contribute immensely to building peaceful societies. Their productive engagement in achieving sustainable development can be a critical tool for the prevention of crimes and violence & harnessing their full potentials in productive work & nation building.
In Bangladesh, youth constitute 33 percent of our population. Youth have been placed at the center of all national development policies in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s signature initiative “Digital Bangladesh” is particularly aimed at integrating the potential of young people in our journey towards transformative development. We have adopted the National Skills Development Policy 2011 and the National Youth Policy 2017 to better utilize the skills, inputs, and ideas of young people in national policymaking.
At the international level we emphasize on the full and effective implementation of UNCAC and UNTOC, and their review mechanisms, and for enhanced tailor-made capacity-building and technical assistance, particularly for the LDCs and countries in transition, taking into account the needs and challenges of young population in those countries.
We reiterate our support to the Kyoto Declaration and its potential to advance youth-responsive policy and operational measures as well as partnerships on crime prevention and criminal justice.
Allow me to briefly share some thoughts in this regard:
First: We believe that Education is the most effective medium in building long-term approaches to countering crime and violence. Education is the passport for the future for a decent job & livelihood. During the pandemic, young people especially in the global South have suffered greatly due to closure of schools and universities leaving many vulnerable to crimes, including cybercrimes. We must invest in efforts to scale up actions in the areas of technical and higher education, accompanied by opportunities of decent job or self-employment. We expect the upcoming Transforming Education Summit this fall, to address some of these issues, and we hope that this session will have concrete recommendations in this regard.
We also welcome the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for our youth, which we are happy to be part of.
Second: New technologies hold enormous potential in facilitating youth’s civic participation. Access to these technologies by all young people across the globe will create additional opportunities for education, access to information, dialogue and communication. We need to invest more in modern technology to reap the full benefit of youth.
In this regard, we call upon the developed countries and international financial institutions, to provide both financial and technical assistance to the developing countries [particularly for LDCs]. The private sector can also play an important role in this regard.
Third: participation of young people in contemporary issues of global importance is a critical enabler for their productive engagement. Our policies and programmes to address climate change, food security, conflicts and other global challenges must be youth-responsive. We must factor the impacts of those challenges on young people and make them integral part of the solution. The YPS agenda needs to be fully integrated in our policies & activities.
Finally: We must build a culture of lawfulness as recognized by the Kyoto Declaration where the public, in general, respect the law and its enforcement. At the same time, we must ensure that our criminal justice system has enough space for reformative and correctional programme, particularly for the youth. This is particularly relevant in the areas of narcotic and drug problems, where young people continue to remain the worst victims.
I thank you, Mr. President.