WHO EMRO 2014: Statement on Youth Involvement

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World Health Organization
 61st Session of the Regional Committee for Eastern Mediterranean 
 October 19th - October 22nd 2014 | Tunis, Tunisia

Statement of International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations on: Youth Involvement Honorable health leaders, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, The IFMSA is the biggest network of medical students worldwide, representing medical students from 116 countries, some of which are from this region. Youth delegates have stood out at the WHO EMRO 61st Regional Committee, advocating for better global health policies and demonstrating boldness and honesty with our opinion. Despite being the largest generation in history, with 1.8 billion young people aged 10-24 today, young people, and especially young women and marginalized groups of youth, struggle with limited opportunities to participate in decision-making processes. Young people, including medical students, are already leaders in their communities and are working to advance health outcomes both amongst their peers and through intergenerational partnerships. They are showing governments that fostering the knowledge and skills base of young people ensures more appropriate and sensitive health programming for young people. On behalf of the IFMSA I would like to call for meaningful youth involvement in the member states’ delegations to this and other high-level meetings. Including medical students and young people in advocacy and decision-making is an investment in their education to tackle the major health issues today and in the coming years. Engaging young people in the development and implementation of health programming leads to improved health outcomes for those young people and they are less likely to participate in activities or behaviours that will negatively impact their health. Enabling young people to come together brings out fresh perspective and fruitful and concrete motions resulting in the spark of attention by governments. The potential of these young global health leaders would flourish if governments and other agencies invested more, financially and by mandating their inclusion in national delegations to the international meetings. We urge the member states that they all include at least one young person who is an active member of the delegation and is involved in the decision making processes and provide them with necessary financial support to be able to attend. We need to ensure the youth voice is heard. Thank you for your attention. Contact
 Zahra Zeinali
 IFMSA Regional Coordinator for Eastern Mediterranean 
 rcemr@ifmsa.org | www.ifmsa.org

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