Town hall with Students of Elbasan University on "Future We Want" public Consultations

04 Feb 2013

Ms. Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative

Dear Ms. Kushi, Dean of the Faculty of Economy

Dear Students,

I am very pleased to be here with you today to talk about a very exciting initiative launched by the United Nations called: “The Future We Want”.

I am particularly pleased to speak about this subject with you—the youth- the students- who represent a transformative force and inspire the change of a nation.

As some of you may recall, in 2000, all countries pledged to meet eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - from halving extreme poverty, halting the spread of HIV / AIDS to providing universal primary education - all by the 2015 deadline. I hear Elbasan has been extensively involved with the UN on the MDG front.

Progress towards reaching the goals has been uneven. Some countries have achieved many of the goals, while others are not quite well on track to realize them. Albania is well on its way to achieving most of them, but challenges remain in areas like gender equality and environment.

All countries, including Albania need to review their performance. New Goals have to be decided and agreed collectively. What are the next ones beyond 2015? What does the next world development agenda look like?

 For this purpose, the UN has initiated an unprecedented consultation process in several countries of the world to design new development priorities which will take us beyond 2015.  Albania is one of them.  The national consultations here are being organized around three themes: youth employment, inequalities and environmental sustainability.

Our teams are having extensive consultations with communities, especially youth in Librazhd, Lezhe, Vlore, Korce, Fier.They are generating excellent feedback which, we believe will influence the design of the renewed agenda beyond 2015.

Besides face to face consultations, in Albania we are also using our social media platforms to capture citizens’ feedback on what kind of world they would like to live in and what actions should be taken. Our goal is to engage as many citizens as possible from all walks of life to tell us how they want their future to look like.

WE have been encouraging people to be part of these national consultations. The Future we Want campaign provides a brilliant opportunity to say loudly and clearly how you want to see the world beyond 2015—your voice today counts more than ever. Please use it and tell us how you want to live. Today you will discuss the vital issue of youth employment. I am sure you will voice your concerns and provide excellent feedback on what kind of future you want. I look forward to hearing about it.

Thank you!