Vincenzina Santoro Chief United Nations Representative – American Family Association of New York has drawn attention to the latest initiative within the United Nations to claim to represent the voice of the world’s youth.
In January, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed the first “Envoy on Youth” who made his debut yesterday (March 27th) at a “Youth Forum” that was attended by a sizable group of young people from a number of countries. Some were chosen to participate on panels to describe what sort of “innovations” they had come up with through research and development in their chosen fields. The Secretary-General, in his opening remarks, asked (rhetorically of course!) “Has the UN done enough for youth?” A resounding “no” followed. Then he asked if the UN could do more and the audience duly shouted “yes!”None of the youth presenters cited the UN as a source of inspiration but went on to describe how their ideas bore fruit, either in research in academia or in their own small businesses started to carry out their dreams, work and livelihood. There was a lesson in all this, although few observers might have thought of it, namely that the private sector made it possible for the youths’ ideas to be transformed into businesses that produced goods and services for which there is a market and this is the essence of “development” which the UN is so eager to promote! Yet the business world, corporations and the private sector in general are maligned at many UN events.One presenter even called attention to this week’s announcement of a 17-year old who sold the news app he created to Yahoo and became an instant millionaire. (See the front page Financial Times article “Teen makes the news with $30 million Yahoo deal” March 26, 2013.) He sure did not need the UN!The closing address was delivered by the chosen “Envoy on Youth” Ahmad Alhindawi, a 29-year old from Jordan, to advocate for youth at the UN. More important to note is the following from the press release at the time of his appointment:Mr. Alhindawi also served as Team Leader for the National Youth Policy Project in Iraq, Youth Programme Associate at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Iraq office and Emergency Programme Officer at Save the Children. He also provided support for the Danish Youth Council’s projects in the Middle East and North Africa, as regional consultant.The UNFPA, Save the Children and Denmark advocate over and over for the same pro-choice agenda that may have prevented the birth of who knows how many budding scientists, technology inventors and others with great promise.We should keep in mind that the UN “Envoy on Youth” is a product of the pro-choice world.