Launch of International Year of Youth in Timor-Leste
Dili, 12 August 2010 - The official launch of the International Year of Youth took place in Dili, Timor-Leste, today when Secretary of State for Youth and Sports Miguel Manetelo opened a seminar in Dili, the capital, on the theme of "Youth and Globalization". In addition to Secretary of State Manetelo, keynote speakers included acting Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Timor-Leste Finn Reske-Nielsen and UNICEF Representative for Timor-Leste Jun Kukita.
Earlier, Mr. Reske-Nielsen joined Timor-Leste Deputy Prime Minister for Social Issues José Luís Guterres, and the Secretary of State for Youth and Sports, Mr. Manetelo, at the opening of a National Youth Forum organized by the NGO Search for Common Ground.
Both events were designed to allow Timorese youths to share their vision of the future and their aspirations for Timor-Leste.
In his address to participants at the National Youth Forum acting SRSG Reske-Nielsen noted that Timor-Leste, "the youngest country in the world", also has one of the youngest populations of any country in the world.
"Some 50% of Timor-Leste's population is aged under 18, a proportion that is rising. Today and tomorrow at this National Youth Forum you will be the ones doing the talking, taking the lead, trying to plan. This event is about you, your lives, your opportunities, hopes and dreams. So too is the International Year of Youth. Use these platforms well. I can assure you, the UN is listening and will hear your voices."