The UN senior envoy in Somalia on Tuesday called on the country’s youth to build on progress made to date in enshrining human rights as a vital foundation of their society.
James Swan, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, said this in a statement issued to mark Human Rights Day.
Swan said the promotion and protection of human rights were a key element in a country’s path to peace and stability.
“Somalia has made progress in this area. With youth making up the majority of the country’s population, the onus will lie with them to ensure that Somali society continues in this direction,” Swan said.
He said the UN was encouraged by the steps made by the Somali government this year to increase the protection of human rights and to uphold its international obligations.
This progress, the UN envoy said, includes the government’s re-engagement with international human rights mechanisms, and the passing of the Women’s Charter for Somalia.
“I encourage the youth to advocate for their rights and the rights of others.
“Our hope is that they — together with Somalis of all ages and backgrounds — can build a better future,” said Swan.
According to UN estimates, people under 30 years of age represent more than two-thirds of Somalia’s population – one of the largest demographic youth bulges in the world.