South Korea event

Prime minister highlights initiatives for youth empowerment at the third democracy summit

BAGHDAD — At the third Democracy Summit in South Korea, attended by nine countries, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani emphasized Iraq’s commitment to empowering its youth. Speaking via video conference, Al-Sudani highlighted the challenges to development opportunities, particularly for the youth, due to past dictatorial regimes’ engagement in destructive wars.

Al-Sudani noted that with 60% of Iraq’s population being young, it’s essential to harness this demographic’s potential. “Our government has laid out plans and programs to absorb the youth and utilize their energy in rebuilding Iraq after years of combating ISIS terrorism,” Al-Sudani said.

He detailed the formation of the Supreme Council for Youth last year, which he chairs, to design plans and programs for engaging the youth. “We launched an initiative to sponsor 5,000 students to the world’s best universities to acquire modern sciences,” he announced, adding that the first batch of 400 students from various regions of Iraq departed last month.

The prime minister also touched on the National Strategy for Education and Training until 2031, aimed at modernizing education, and reforms to develop the private sector and provide jobs for young graduates. “We launched several operational initiatives for the youth, such as the Entrepreneurship Initiative and initiatives by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs,” he added.

Al-Sudani called for a coalition to combat drug abuse affecting young people and highlighted the ongoing situation in Gaza, urging the international community to take a responsible ethical stance.