UN to engage Somalis on priorities as it marks 75th anniversary

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The United Nations said on Wednesday it will hold an online dialogue with Somalis later this week to hear from the citizens on what priorities the world should focus on in the coming years as the world body turns 75 (UN75).

James Swan, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia said the UN family in Somalia will hold an online dialogue live-streamed on social media on Sunday with members of the UN Youth Advisory Board for Somalia to prompt discussion and obtain perspectives from Somalis.

“Your responses will help to inform global priorities, both now and going forward,” Swan said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

He said Sunday’s conversation is especially timely and relevant as the government and the UN family in Somalia are defining the priorities for the world body’s operations in the country for the coming five years as part of the 2021-2025 Cooperation Framework.

“This enables Somalis’ views to be fed into both the global and local approaches of the United Nations,” he added.

The UN said the 75th anniversary provides a much-needed opportunity to reflect on the direction of the UN and ensure it is built to address the global challenges of the 21st century.

“For UN75 discussions to be meaningful, young people, in particular, must be at the forefront. Somali youth have a key role to play as Somalia has one the world’s youngest populations, approximately 60 percent of the country’s estimated population of 15.9 million people is under the age of 30,” said Swan.

He said survey feedback from around the world will be presented to world leaders and senior UN officials, noting that there will be a high-level meeting of Heads of State and Government dedicated to the 75th anniversary on Sept. 21.

In this event, Swan said, the world leaders will adopt a forward-looking political declaration on “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism.”

He encouraged all Somalis to add their voices to the online dialogue which will impact both Somalia and the rest of the world in the years to come.

Swan said the UN family has worked with Somalis in a range of areas, from humanitarian and development work to political support and peacebuilding.

There are 27 UN agencies, funds and programs supporting Somalis’ efforts on their path to peace and stability, said Swan.

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