On Monday dated 05/05/2008 at the National Planning Institute in Cairo, Egypt, a workshop organized by the World Bank (WB) Office in Egypt, in addition to a WB delegation from Washington DC, specialist in sustainable development, in order to launch WB MENA sustainable development report of 2007 that focused in an appropriate part thereto on youth in this MENA region.
Frankly speaking, Mrs. Nehal El-Kouesny the WB information Bank Officer here in Egypt did her best in order to invite a lot of youth who represent the youth groups and youth NGOs to discuss a lot of matters and problems that belong to youth before launching this report and subject it to the formal party that represent the government and the formal responsible here in Egypt.
We really want to send our best regards to Ms. Yaa Oppong and Mr. Gregorio Bettiza representing the WB Washington for their efforts as socio-economic specialists, to get it made, and also for their efforts that we heard through performing their report and their experience in Upper-Egypt, as a result of touching a lot of real problems and dilemmas that belong to youth especially in this MENA region.
The duration of this interactive workshop supposed to take a couple of hours; however it took more than 4 hours of discussions and smart proposals from youth, so that the delegation did not expect a very hot discussion like that, because we are as youth aware enough for our real problems, as we survive it daily.
I was really surprised when the report submitted by WB delegation came in some sort of similarity with my Commentary on the WB Report 2007 Concerning Youth and Development (https://intellecto.wordpress.com/2007/06/13/a-commentary-on-wb-report-2007-concerning-development-youth/ ), therefore, during my comments I shed the light on that, because this report covered many places of shorts that belong to the real youth problems in MENA or in south in general.
I really advised the World Bank to take a step in holding a big regional conference or a meeting under its umbrella and collecting all the kings, presidents and decision makers in MENA as one party, and the other party should collect the youth active players who represent the youth organizations, NGOs and human rights groups, in order to put an end for this dilemma, because until now we could not achieve any progress in youth agenda of the UN Millennium Goals, because the youth are not even a main party in making their national youth policies in their societies which containing at least 65% youth population, moreover, until now this fortune is not exploited in the right way, or at least misused. (The role of WB in this proposal shall be the arbitrator, and the resolutions taken have to be executed)
As youth, we still insist that there are common problems such as:
1) Education, pre and post university “one of the most important milestones in reforming any society”, the mistake to focus on just the high school diploma and marginalizing the vocational education and nursing, the later, that shall help the youth in having some sort of micro business, and regarding nursing can make some sort of women empowerment in society firstly, as a needed job, secondly, the female nurses can play a very strong role in changing society especially in conservative communities like ours, because of her exposure to women in societies daily, as we know that the woman is a turning-key in any society.
Furthermore, in respect of the university, the absence of the academic freedom and the real scientific research that really needs a political decision to change its out of date system entirely.
2) Civil society is very important factor, but we still having a very big lag in that respect, effected from the laws that regulating the civil society or parties, and the limited number of it, because for example USA having about one billion NGOs and parties, Austria having about 21 million civil associations and parties, that means at least 3 associations and parties for each citizen over-there, here in Egypt, for example, with exaggeration having only 35 thousands of civil societies and parties, even though our population reaching about 75 million of citizen, civil society is important to grow the spirit of participation in decision making in any society.
3) One of the most important factors that helping youth in active participation is both Media and Transparency, because, the world became as a small village, so a simplest matter taking place in Egypt, both Japanese and Australian citizens can know it in the same time, through the internet and satellite channels, moreover, a lot of youth right now globally can have their own TV channels and broadcastings on internet, or at least can make a live YouTube in respect of any event, that matter more common used right now, so, if such a regime or government can distort or obscure the truth or the figures through its formal channels, the citizens can know the truth through the media, therefore, reviewing the resolution of Arab Media Charter “that regulating satellite Broadcasting” again is a good step, because all the international freedom of expression and human right associations and International organizations and other global bodies mentioned in their latest reports, that was a backward in freedom of expression, in addition to detaining journalists or bloggers “especially from youth” is also a genuine breach and a violation in that respect, provided with all human rights treaties and declaration.
4) Neutral independent justice and equity is the most important factor, because development cannot be sustained without fair justice keeping and preserving equal rights for all, and it is considered also, as one of the factors that makes peoples trust their governments.
5) One last thing, is the immigration, because immigration is one of the human rights, however, it is not really discussed in the right way over conferences and meetings, because MENA is considered as one of the biggest regions exporting manpower, especially to Europe through the Mediterranean sea whether by legal, or illegal ways, so the WB should adopt a conference in that respect discussing the real problems of migrants, how to regulate the immigration and how to qualify migrants who intend to migrate to the west, the matters that never been discussed before in that way, hence, conferences should be broader to digest decision makers, international organizations like your goodselves as WB, human rights organizations, civil society and both multinational companies, investors and businessmen.
Finally, we have a dream as youth “inspired from Martin Luther King”, to change the world, but we just need your support and trust.
Hope my written proposal submitted to the WB delegation shall be carried out through our common efforts.
Socio-economic Specialist/Researcher/Legal Translator at (www.eldib.com.eg)
Human Rights Activist/Blogger/Youth Trainer
International Law Association (ILA) Coordinator in Egypt
Work Tel: 002-03-4950000