Comprehensive youth policy is critical to national development

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The involvement of youth in nation building has been the centre of serious discussions aimed at national development. Apart from the current and future workforce of the country, the recognition of their role as the leaders of tomorrow and the partners of today has gained widespread acceptance. It is, therefore, safe to say that young people are crucial agents of change and progress in an inclusive democracy.
On the one hand, it is undeniable that the involvement of young people in gangs and crimes is not small, but on the other it is possible to excuse their wrongful behaviour as youthful exuberance, considering their substantial contribution, devotion and commitment to the future development of the country. Simply put, youth is a phase of life in which revolutionary and creative thoughts spring to mind. It is, therefore, necessary to channel their enthusiasms into the constructive use by encouraging them through motivation and education to realise their full potential in turning the country into a better, safer place.
At the third Myanmar Development Cooperation Forum in Nay Pyi Taw last February, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) urged the previous government to develop a national youth policy to ensure the sustainable development of the country. According to the UN agency, Myanmar is one of 31 countries worldwide that still has no national youth policy.
Statistics show that young people account for an estimated 30% of the population. No doubt, they will fulfill their role as decision makers in next ten to fifteen years. It is absolutely vital for the government and the parliament to soon adopt a comprehensive youth policy on engaging the young generation in enhancing social cohesion, economic growth and political stability in a democratic way.

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