Let me extend my good wishes and metta to all the distinguished guests and youths from all over the country who are attending today’s online event for launching the Myanmar National Strategic Plan for Youth Policy (2020 – 2024).
Today’s event is being conducted online due to the challenge of COVID-19. Since more youths are using online services, we could consider this as a good opportunity and advantage.
Let me say first of all how grateful and proud I am for all the volunteers from various organizations and all the youths who are joining in actively to support the COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment activities regardless of whatever tasks they have been assigned to perform.
At this time the fact that we are facing the difficulties arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic by helping each other with empathy and understanding is a testimony that there exists a community in our country capable of helping each other, depending upon each other and trusting each other. I trust that youths will carry on these good traditions.
Natural resources exist in every country more or less. Although it took years for these natural resources to come into being, it is very easy and takes very little time to extract and use them. That is why each and every country has begun drawing up advance plans for the sustainable use of these natural resources. At the same time, they have come to understand and accept the fact that only human resources are a limitless resource. They are, therefore exerting great efforts and using all kinds of ways and means to develop human resources. It is the same for our country. In striving for the goal of national development, we need to adopt systematic plans for the sustainable use of our limited natural resources. For sustainable national development, we need to develop and upgrade the human resources of our citizens on a continuous basis. At a fundamental level, what we can depend on are our youths.
We need to nurture our youths so that each young person not only has knowledge and skills but is also highly qualified and capable of independent and deep thinking. As we train and nurture these youths, we must strive to ensure that they are imbued with qualities such as understanding and caring for each other, forbearance and forgiveness, willingness to sacrifice, and capable of being a team player; these qualities should be embedded deep in their hearts. Furthermore, they should be capable of exerting strenuous efforts with determination and indomitable spirit when faced with difficulties till the goal is successfully reached.
For the development and advancement of a country, the Union Government and the entire people, including the youths, must all join hands and work together. Just as youths and middle-aged people comprise the main labour force of a country, the youths of today will become the middle-age and elderly segment of the population and as such will have to shoulder heavy responsibilities. Therefore to the extent that we are able to nurture our youths to be highly skilled and competent, we would have fully qualified professionals, entrepreneurs, and workforces capable of working for the interest of the country not only for the present but also for the future. That is why it is necessary to use all kinds of methods for the physical and mental development of our youths; at the same time, it is very important to nurture our children who will soon become youths at an early age for their physical and mental development.
Youths of today have many opportunities because of new technologies and changes in the political landscape of the world. At the same time, they have to face many difficulties and challenges. They are facing climate change, conflicts born out of extremism within communities lacking social harmony and pandemics such as COVID-19 which emerge unexpectedly. Furthermore, another challenge that the youths are facing is the migration for work.
To confront and solve the above difficulties and challenges, our country has drafted and adopted the youth affairs policy; to practically implement this policy we have launched the National Strategic Plan for Youth Policy (2020-2024) today. Implementation of this policy is aimed for youths to play a major role in striving for the emergence of a Democratic Federal Union with multi-sectoral development that meets international standards which is essential for the young generations.
If we look at how populations have changed and developed, it may be seen that the number of youths has exceeded that of other age levels in most of the developing countries. I wish to urge the ministries, departments, investors and all youths to work towards taking advantage of this opportunity.
Creating employment opportunities and promoting the education sector plays a crucial role in the effective use of youth power for the development of a country. The government also needs to nurture and develop the youths so that they become human resources capable of independent thinking, and assessment, and are highly productive. Youths should also develop their capacity depending on the emerging situations and opportunities as our country being a developing country has limited resources.
Easier and faster access to information about global issues and technologies compared to previous times is an important opportunity. There are now many websites to study courses of the world’s top universities free of charge, and there are many opportunities to learn any subject or skill in great depth. A certain level of the English language proficiency is required to study the courses as most of them are conducted in English. However, free courses for learning English are available on many websites and YouTube channels. I wish to urge youths to use the internet not only to spend time on social networks and games but also for their personal capacity building.
At present, the world countries, including Myanmar, are putting emphasis on measures to prevent the collapse of their respective economies due to the impact of COVID-19. In doing so, they have started using Digital systems and other E-commerce platforms in the business sector.
Our youth needs to monitor and study changes in the global and our national economy continuously and strive to create new and reliable digital platforms trusted by the public. They should also work hard to engage in new businesses on the current platforms with increased momentum to make them succeed.
I wish to urge the youths to work together with the Union government for the emergence of a digital-oriented economic market system which promotes fair and proper competition.
The young people might experience not only the advantages of technological development but also various forms of bullying and hate speech on social media. These could turn into major challenges in the long-term social and cultural sectors, causing losses in our efforts to promote peace and development. I would also like to urge youths to help each other, to have good sense and awareness in developing a social environment that supports a culture of helping each other, and equality. I urge you all to join in and collaborate to wipe out ideas that fuel hatred and words and usage that promote hatred.
In conclusion, I urge all the Union Ministries, the Union Territory Nay Pyi Taw Council, region/local governments, local/foreign NGOs and civil society organizations to practically implement the youth development programmes in the National Strategic Plan for Youth Policy (2020-2024) together with the youths in line with the present needs.
May you all enjoy the Christmas season. And also in the coming New Year may you all have good health and happiness and may all your good wishes be fulfilled.
Thank you all.
(Translated by Kyaw Myaing, Aung Khin)