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Saudi NGO Misk and the UN Join Forces to Promote Youth Empowerment

Founded by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi’s nonprofit Misk organization has teamed with the United Nations in a trailblazing initiative to empower young people worldwide.

Over at the UN’s New York HQ, an agreement was signed by UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, who had previously launched his own campaign to encourage young people to partake in global sustainable development. Saudi Arabia’s Misk partnership with the UN’s objective is to reach around 50 million youths all over the world to support global sustainable development goals (SDG), through the medium of forums and meetings as part of the UN’s Strategy for Youth.

The SDG program exists as a set of targets for future world development, including the elimination of hunger and poverty, education and gender equality, and action on climate change and energy, which all correlate with Saudi Arabia’s own strategies for Vision 2030.

Misk will be the first non-governmental organization to join the campaign, and it’s chairman, Bader Alsaker stated, "The Misk Foundation is committed to helping as many young people around the world realize their potential in the future economy and to encourage active global citizenship. The strategic agreement that we are signing today shows our commitment to this mission. Partnering with the United Nations will greatly enhance its vital work around the world to help young people from all backgrounds to realize their potential and meet the SDGs.”

With Saudi Arabia’s youth (under the age of 25) making up around 60% of the kingdom’s population, Vision 2030’s policies are focused around the need for the nation to increase and encourage better employment for young people.

Sultan Al-Musallam, global ambassador of the Misk Foundation, told the UN: “The core belief held by youth, that our problems can only be solved together, in a way that is blind to race, religion or region, is also the bedrock of the UN.”

A joint statement about the involvement and future of the youth, from the Misk organization and the UN stated, “Misk’s mission is to discover, develop and empower young people to become active participants in the knowledge economy both in Saudi Arabia and globally, through partnerships such as this. Under the initiatives, young people’s leadership, creativity and innovation skills will be harnessed to bolster their ability to be agents for positive change during the run-up to the fifth anniversary of the SDGs in 2020. Adding to the existing Young Leaders for the SDGs initiative, a ‘Youth Gateway’ central knowledge hub on SDGs is planned, including a platform to map existing initiatives and provide opportunities for engagement, aimed at motivating more young people to take action. Tools will be developed to measure and track global indicators on youth development and well-being.”

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