February 9, 2013: Department of Tourism, Sports, Youth and Culture, the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) has signed a Memrendum of Understanding with Bargad-Organization for Youth Development to initiate the process of youth policy development in the region.
The MoU was signed between Secretary Tourism, Youth, Sports and Culture, Mr.Syed Akhtar Hussian, and Executive Director Bargad, Ms. Sabihha Shaheen. Bargad and UNFPA will provide technical assistance to the Department.
The ceremony took place at Islamabad hotel in which Ms. Sadia Danish, Advisor for Tourism, Sports and Culture-GB, chaired the session. She said that it is the need of the hour to have a comprehensive youth policy that can channelize youth energies and the government can provide best environment for youth development. She also told that Bargad has been selected after a very competitive process on merit basis because of organization’s expertise and experience on the issue.
Mr. Wazir Shakeel, Minister Law said that the government will lead and facilitate in the formulation and approval of the policy and its implementation. Mr. Syed Akhtar Hussain said that the demographic transition and considerable youth population of the province needs a policy to empower youth and the current process will keep into consideration the diversity and culture of different districts of the province. Ms. Sabiha Shaheen informed that the youth policy formulation process will be participatory in which youth groups, youth organizations, media and related stakeholders will be taken on board and also welcomed all civil society organizations and media to be the part of the policy and to support the process.
Dr. Shahbaz, while presenting the process explained that along with formal consultative sessions with youth, youth groups, Civil Society Organizations, Media, parliamentarians and related stake holders in all districts of the GB, in-depth interviews and survey will also be conducted to map out youth issues, rights, responsibilities and entitlements. Input of hundreds of youth will be taken during the process and the policy will truly reflect the needs of youth and will be framed for social, economic and political empowerment of youth in the province. The ceremony was also attended by civil society organizations and representatives of the Agha Khan Foundation and media.