Aug 12, Colombo: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka launched the third Sri Lanka National Human Development Report (NHDR) at a ceremony held at the BMICH in Colombo today coinciding with the International Youth Day with the participation of Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dullas Alahapperuma as the chief guest.
The National Human Development Report, a major vehicle for policy development and implementation in Sri Lanka was launched as a collaborative effort of UNDP Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development and the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
Sri Lanka's third NHDR in 2014 examines the pivotal role of Sri Lankan youth. "Youth and Development: Towards a More Inclusive Future" considers the opportunities and challenges youth face as the nation progresses through the 21st century.
Addressing the occasion, Minister Alahapperuma noted that 2014 has been a remarkable year for the Sri Lankan youth with the launch of the first National Youth Policy, hosting of the World Conference on Youth 2014 that led to an outcome statement : Colombo Declaration on Youth being jointly agreed upon by the policy makers and youth delegates for the first time in the history, declaration of the National Skills Day, establishment of the first ever Commonwealth Youth Council Secretariat in Sri Lanka and now the launch of the NHDR on Youth.
He said the findings and recommendations of NHDR could be used as key policy tools as "it provides a new platform for policy development and reforms in youth development which would serve as a strong advocacy tool for promoting youth empowerment and human development in Sri Lanka."
Speaking at the event, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Subinay Nandy noted that the UNDP firmly believes that this report will serve as a platform for strengthening collaboration between the Government and non-governmental actors, and importantly youth themselves, towards revitalizing and prioritizing the implementation of key existing policies that benefit youth and the country at large.
The Report also looks to inform the formulation of strategies and a national action plan to give effect to the Youth Policy 2014, he added.
"We hope that Sri Lankan youth will take ownership of the report, and realize their full potential as catalytic agents of change," Mr. Nandy remarked.
Sending a special message on the occasion of the launch of the Sri Lanka NHDR, Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi said although Sri Lanka has pioneered programs in facilitating youth participation, empowerment and skill development, continuing to invest in youth and understanding and helping them address specific challenges they face will be vital to ensure that youth are able to realize their true potential.
The youth envoy noted that during his visit to Sri Lanka to attend the World Conference on Youth in May this year, he first hand witnessed the commitment from the Government of Sri Lanka and United Nations System to address the challenges young people face.
"Also, I saw the energy and enthusiasm of the Sri Lankan youth, their desire to be part of the mainstream and be part of the solution," he said.
Alhendawi noted, that "Globally, the UN is committed to listening to young people, engaging them in our work and providing them platforms to realize their full potential".
The Full Report can be found here .