Posted on May 22, 2016

Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) is set to participate in a number of discussions on youth inclusion in global humanitarian efforts during the inaugural World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), which is taking place from 23rd to 24th May in Istanbul, Turkey.

Convened by United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, the World Humanitarian Summit aims to bring together United Nations (UN) Member States, key decision-makers and members of civil society to address the five core responsibilities outlined in Ban’s‘Agenda for Humanity’.

Essa Al Mannai, Executive Director, ROTA, will deliver an address during a special session entitled‘Transforming Humanitarian Action with and for Young People’, which will highlight the need for widening youth participation in tackling pressing global humanitarian issues. The session is set to be attended by a number of government officials including HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qatar, and Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, the UK’s Foreign Secretary.

“I am looking forward to participating in the inaugural World Humanitarian Summit. It will be a great honour to be able to present and highlight ROTA’s initiatives relating to youth inclusion in humanitarian dialogue on this significant global platform,” Al Mannai said.“The youth of today are the future leaders of tomorrow who will go on to inform future humanitarian policies and strategies, it is therefore imperative for international leaders to invest in empowering youth to assume leadership roles in a humanitarian context.”

Sahar Al Ansari, a ROTA volunteer participating in the upcoming summit, said, “I am incredibly grateful to ROTA for laying the foundation and making it possible for youth to join the global humanitarian discussion. Thanks to ROTA, we have been given the opportunity to voice our opinions and play an active role in addressing humanitarian challenges. It is deeply fulfilling to know that our participation will significantly contribute to the WHS outcomes and reshaping the humanitarian agenda.”

During the first day of the summit, Essa Al Mannai will attend the ‘Youth as Actors: Volunteering in Humanitarian Settings’ side event.Organised by ROTA, it will include a panel discussion, as well as a youth roundtable,to further explore how to engage youth in humanitarian efforts.Co-organised by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) and the Metropolitan Municipality Youth Assembly, Mr Sultan Barakat, Director of Research at the Brookings Doha Center, will also participate as a speaker during the side event.

On the second day of the summit, a signing ceremony will take place to officially declare the ‘Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action’. The result of the ‘Doha Youth Declaration on Reshaping the Humanitarian Agenda’, it was drafted during the World Humanitarian Summit – Global Youth Consultation (WHS-GYC) hosted by ROTA in Doha last year. The compact outlines the inclusion of youth in United Nations humanitarian dialogue, and has already been adopted by a number of organisations.

Additionally, on the sidelines of the WHS, Essa Al Mannai will moderate the Qatar Charity-organised event entitled,‘The Role of Education in Enhancing Social Reconciliation in Post-Conflict Areas’.

ROTA, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF),has spearheaded a number of youth empowerment initiatives including the annual EMPOWER youth-led conference. Launched in 2009, the conference aims to grant youth a voice on global issues and empower them to assume active roles in building their communities.