The UN Resident Coordinator, Dr Edward Kallon said UN system in Nigeria would establish an advisory panel on mentorship to create more opportunities for Nigerian youths.
The resident coordinator made this known while briefing newsmen on the three-days working visit of UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ms Jayathma Wickramanayake, to Nigeria.
The envoy arrived Nigeria for a three-day working visit from Feb.8 to 10, as part of a five-country official visit to Africa.
Kallon assured youths that that from now on onward a lot of emphasis would be placed on youths so that they can be fully integrated into the working of the UN system in Nigeria.
According to her, the envoy’s visit is an august opportunity for UN country team in Nigeria.
“August opportunity because she actually fired us with issues on opportunities for youth in Nigeria,
“She is leaving us with the awareness on our mind on ensuring that young people are at the centre of our work in Nigeria.
“We are going to treat this very seriously although the issue of youth has been the centre of all type of programmes we are supporting the government to implement in Nigeria,’’ she said.
She said that it was high time to start focusing on the theme of the envoy’s visit to Nigeria which is opportunities for the young people.
Kallon said at the UN country meeting had agreed and assigned madam Diane Keita UNFPA Country Representative to lead the UN efforts towards creating more opportunities for the youths.
She added that the UNFPA country representative would also integrate the thematic area of youths in the collective UN delivery as one approach in Nigeria.
According to her, average employment age in the UN system is around 40 years, and I have told my colleagues that some youths may not have all the opportunities.
“But let us look at internship opportunities and mentorship opportunities and through mentorship we will be able to have the best of the best to be part of the system.
“The youth will bring a new way of doing business and new way of thinking about youths,’’ he said.
Kallon started her mission in Senegal, Gambia, Ghana now in Nigeria and it would end in South Africa.
The envoy said she would wrap the mission in South Africa with a meeting with some of the principals of the UN System.
She, however, noted that her visit to Nigeria was a refreshing experience; Nigerian youth are bringing new innovations and solutions to the country.
The envoy said on the evening of her first day, she had a town hall meeting with youth who gave her recommendations and suggestions on how to shape her role as UN Youth Envoy.
She added that she would take the suggestions back to New York to ensure that those concerned heard the young caucus discussions and negotiations on the UN system.