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Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar – The launching ceremony of Myanmar National Strategic Plan for Youth Policy (2020-2024) was held in Nay Pyi Taw. It was organized virtually by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The ceremony was attended by Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr. Win Myat Aye, Union Minister for Education Dr. Myo Thein Gyi, Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr. Myint Htwe, high level officials from respective departments, development partners, youth-led organizations and UNFPA.

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in her Video Message at the opening of the event highlighted, “Implementation of this policy is aimed for youths to play a major role in striving for the emergence of a Democratic Federal Union with multi-sectoral development that meets international standards which is essential for the young generations. If we look at how populations have changed and developed, it may be seen that the number of youths has exceeded that of other age levels in most of the developing countries. I wish to urge the ministries, departments, investors and all youths to work towards taking advantage of this opportunity.”

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has supported the Government of Myanmar in formulating the Myanmar Youth Policy Strategic Plan - through a youth-led process. This Youth Policy Strategic Plan represents not only a collaborative effort of thousands of young people for the development of Myanmar but also an important step that will guide the implementation of the Myanmar Youth Policy.

“The Youth Policy Strategic Plan takes Myanmar one step closer to achieving this double dividend, and we at UNFPA are committed to support both the Government and young people in this regard. Indeed, this Youth Policy Strategic Plan also provides a compass for the Government of Myanmar, for Myanmar’s young people, and for stakeholders who must now work closely together toward the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals”, said Mr. Ramanathan Balakrishnan, UNFPA Representative for Myanmar.

Myanmar’s young people play a critical role in combating COVID-19 pandemic. Not only as frontline volunteers, they actively participate in different roles in prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19. During the pandemic, Myanmar youth show their strength, leadership and unity through their actions and commitments. Kaung Sithu, a youth volunteer from FXB Myanmar said, “We, young people of Myanmar, have set of innovative skills and ideas to build the nation’s future. We have power to change the community. We have the voice to make everyone heard and be united. What we need is a space to show that we are the future!”

In delivering its mandate of Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights, within the overarching framework of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action and its follow-up convention of ICPD+25, promoting youth leadership and participation is one of the key areas of UNFPA’s work. UNFPA supports and advocates for the inclusion of youth from diverse backgrounds and identities in Myanmar including the disadvantaged and marginalized to fulfill every young person’s potential and achieve sustainable peace and development for the country.