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Jean Victor Nkolo (GA President Spokesperson) on Youth, Ebola, Iraqi Cultural Heritage, UN Nelson Mandela Prize
29 May 2015 -  1) Today, the OPGA is organizing with the Special Envoy for Youth an event to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the World Programme of Action for Youth.
The international community must take into account the unique needs and enormous potential of the billions of young people around the globe.
It is hoped that the discussions of today will give renewed impetus to our efforts to further the objectives envisioned in the World Programme of Action and ensure that young people are given every opportunity to prosper in the future. It is encouraging to witness the presence of some many young people from around the world here today.

2) On 1 June the PGA is convening a High-level Event on the Demographic Dividend and Youth Employment with the support of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and the International Labour Organization. Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Executive Director, will participate and brief the press on that day.
The event is designed to raise awareness of the urgent need to empower, educate and employ the world’s largest generation of young people in order to realize a demographic dividend – the economic benefits that can arise when a population has a relatively large proportion of working-age people. Policymakers, business, civil society and youth groups will explore strategies and best-practices to unleash the power of the world’s 1.8 billion young people, to support their development and the realization of their full potential.

3) 2 June Ebola Briefing
It is particularly heartening to see that major progress has been made through the involvement of so many in the Ebola affected countries. The reported cases in Guinea and Sierra Leone have declined significantly and Liberia was formally declared “Ebola free” on 9 May 2015.
Major progress has been achieved. However, challenges remain. We still need to fully contain the outbreak and avoid any recurrences and setbacks. Community-based, national and international efforts cannot be relaxed at this time. Our collective efforts must be sustained and even scaled up, to ensure zero new cases.
This year is vital in preparing for a transformative post-2015 development agenda and the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year is also crucial in preparing for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD), which will take place in Addis Ababa next month. In this context, it is important to emphasize the interlinkages between global human health and the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

4) General Assembly Plenary with Resolution on Protection of Iraqi Cultural Heritage.
On 28 May, the PGA stated at the Plenary that It was deeply concerning to witness the destruction of irreplaceable artefacts of humanity’s shared cultural heritage. Such barbaric and senseless attacks are taking place with alarming frequency not only in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan, Syria, Mali and elsewhere.
Cultural heritage is of exceptional value and interest to all peoples of the world and must be preserved. In this context, it is incumbent that the international community work together to protect elements of cultural heritage in Iraq and elsewhere. The PGA praised the fforts made by UNESCO in this regard.

5) Update on the United Nations Nelson Mandela Prize
In accordance with resolution A/RES/69/269, on 14 May 2015 the PGA convened the first meeting of the Selection Committee to determine nominations and selection of the two awardees for the inaugural Nelson Mandela Prize. The deadline for submission of nominations by Member States, civil society and other stakeholders was 18 May and more than 200 nominations were received by DPI (in its capacity as the Secretariat of the Committee). The PGA will convene the next meeting of the Committee on 1 June 2015 to shortlist and finalize the nominees for the Prize. The Permanent Representatives of Algeria, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Latvia, Sweden and South Africa are members of the Selection Committee with the PGA as the Chair.
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