The coronavirus pandemic pushed challenges faced by young people to “new extremes,” the Saudi chair of the Youth 20 (Y20) Engagement Group said at the G20 International Media Center in Riyadh on Wednesday.
“COVID-19 pushed challenges to new extremes, they [young people] are affected in terms of employment, access to education, and quality of education,” Othman al-Moammar, the Saudi chair of the Y20, said at a media briefing titled: ‘Youth Matter: The Most Important Resource of the 21st Century.’
“Why young people? Why not address the challenge [such as unemployment] itself? Why talk to young people?” he asked.
Al-Moammar said that “50 percent of the world population is younger than 30 years old, 90 percent of them live in developing countries.”
“Depression, anxiety, and stress have risen due to the pandemic,” al-Moammar said, adding that the Y20 focuses on getting the voice young people heard at G20.
“Young people, in general, are overall optimistic,” he said.
“G20 is about global citizenship and international cooperation,” according to al-Moammar, which is why the Y20 is an important part of the G20.
Next week, Saudi Arabia will virtually host the G20 leaders’ summit, where world leaders of the 20 biggest economies will meet. G20 Engagement Groups have been working throughout the year on securing their perspective on G20 areas of focus, according to a press release.
The G20 The Engagement Groups, such as the Y20, are independent collectives that are led by civil society organizations from the host country, according to the G20 website.