NEW YORK - National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairperson and CEO Cariza "Aiza" Seguerra presented the Philippine Youth Development Plan at the United Nations ECOSOC Youth Forum, held from January 30 to 31 in New York.

This is the first time that the Chairperson of the National Youth Commission has attended the annual Youth Forum, which brings together government ministers in charge of youth issues together with civil society and youth organizations.

Chairperson Seguerra declared that his "participation here today is an affirmation of the commitment of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Philippine government to enable our Filipino youth to fulfill their vital role in nation-building and in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals."

He added that "youth comprise 30% of the Philippine population and as such we want to ensure that their views and needs are prioritized in our national development plan."

He announced that the priority spheres of the Plan are health, education, economic empowerment, security, governance and active citizenship, environment, global mobility, and social inclusion and equity.

Chairperson Seguerra advocated for increased access to education and health, especially in rural areas during the interactive discussions with fellow youth ministers on challenges facing the youth in the Asia-Pacific region,. He also stressed the need to ensure adequate and regular funding for the implementation of programs for the youth.

Chairperson Seguerra also met with Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the UN Secretary-General's Envoy on the Youth and with Mr. Simon Bland, Director of the UNAIDS Office in New York.

Mr. Alhendawi recalled his visit to Manila and Zamboanga in 2015, and expressed his keen interest in continuing to work with the National Youth Commission when he assumes his new post as Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM).

Chairperson Seguerra informed Mr. Bland that the NYC will officially launch on Valentine's Day their new information campaign initiative on HIV/AIDS entitled "Kung mahal mo, protektahan mo" ("Protect the one you love"), which aims to address the communication and knowledge gap on HIV/AIDS among the youth.

Mr. Bland noted that the Philippines is one of the HIV/AIDS "hotspots" in the Asia-Pacific region and welcomed the NYC's initiatives to raise awareness of and combat HIV/AIDS among the youth. END

Source: Republic of Philippines Department Of Foreign Affairs