Humanity must take advantage of the youth population to reclaim land lost due to COVID-19 – Awolowo-Dosumu

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As the world grapples with the impacts and disruptive effects of COVID-19, the youth population has been identified as essential for humanity to reclaim lost lands and return to the path of sustainable growth and development during the post-COVID-19 era.

Ambassador Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu identified this while delivering the keynote address at the Model United Nations Society conference at Lead City University in Ibadan, Oyo State, held on Tuesday in the premises of the university.

Describing COVID-19 as a war requiring a holistic approach to recover, Awolowo-Dosumu argued that the world, as the pandemic ends, must think about how to harness activist energy, innovation of youth to pull humanity out of “black”. hole ”of the pandemic.

On specific ways to engage young people in the post-pandemic period, she urged the Nigerian government to seek ways to redirect the energy and material resources of young people towards goals that promote the general well-being of the population. .

In addition, she stressed that young people must be brought into the roles of change makers, innovators of the technology of the future, communicators of the world’s development plans and leave space in the political arena. as leaders.

She stressed that the global population of 1.2 billion young people is an asset that must be harnessed to quickly recover from disruptions in the global economy, education, health, infrastructure and virtually every aspect. of life.

Awolowo-Dosumu, who delivered the lecture on his behalf by Saturday Tribune editor-in-chief Dr Lasisi Olagunju, stressed the importance of conscious youth engagement, strong community action to bring about much needed social change. , especially during the post-pandemic period.

Speaking further, she revealed that the pandemic has also jeopardized the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by increasing investments in health, but reducing the attention given to innovation, climate change and health. supply of drinking water.

She stressed, however, that young people have a tremendous capacity to help in the fight to cover lost ground and help the world avoid its worst threats and challenges to sustainable development.

Awolowo-Dosumu said, “The World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020. Since then, the world has continued to fight its impact and effect. on global welfare.

“As of Sunday, May 9, 2021, COVID-19 has left 158,355,547 people sick and 3,297,744 dead worldwide. The resulting disruption in the global economy, education, the healthcare system and virtually every other aspect of life has been enormous.

“He also put keys in the work of the UN’s Agenda 2030. There are fears that if the world tackles the pandemic by investing heavily in healthcare and its components, this will come at the expense of some SDGs.

“Think about what has become of education, especially in-person teaching and learning over the past year.

“Think about the faltering global economy and the deteriorating infrastructure in the developing world. Think of the reduced attention given to innovation, climate change, and clean water supply. What they are telling us is that the era following this pandemic will be a time of struggle and battle to reclaim lost lands.

“This is a time that will require the energy of the healthy and the strong. The world, according to the UN, is home to 1.2 billion young people representing 16 percent of the world’s population ”.

“Where we engage our young people is not for me to decree, but I must say that COVID-19 has been a war and ending a war requires a holistic approach. The world must consider how to harness and harness the unlimited militant energy of youth to lift humanity out of the pandemic black hole and put it back on the path to sustainable growth and development.

“Here in Nigeria, my suggestion is that the end of the pandemic should see us redirecting the energy and material resources of our young people towards goals that promote the general well-being of everyone. We need our young people as agents of change. We need them as innovators of the technology of the future.

“We need them as communicators of the world’s development plans and agenda. Above all, we need them in the political arena as leaders uncontaminated by the greed and prejudice of the elites. “

The conference on the theme: “Redefining youth activism in global affairs and sustainable development in the post-pandemic era: United Nations 2030 Agenda” also featured contributions from the Vice-Chancellor of the Lead City University, Professor Kabiru Adeyemo; Oyo State Attorney General, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo; Head of the University’s Politics and International Relations Department, Dr Tunde Oseni; staff advisor at the university’s law faculty, Dr Olu Ojedokun and columnist, Dr Festus Adedayo.

In his remarks, the vice-chancellor of the university instructed the young people to mobilize their talents to assume leadership positions, get involved in the activities of non-governmental organizations, local politics, seek international peace and security and use social media to fight disinformation.

For his part, Oyelowo, represented by the Acting Solicitor General of the State, Ms. Folabimpe Segun-Olakojo, accused the young people of having the right attitude, of being persistent in their quest to take charge of the space. political but also to be careful not to be usurped. in political space.

Contributing to the round table, Ojedokun denounced the docility of the young people who entrusted them with creating and maximizing each space of engagement and societal development.

In his own contribution, Adedayo urged young people to realize the power in their hands, enhanced by the availability of information and communication technology tools, to take over political leadership.

Oseni, who moderated the panel discussion, stressed that today’s young people will reach desired leadership positions and make progress across the world if they acquire the required knowledge, skills and attitude.

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