AHDR 2016 examines challenges and opportunities facing youth in the Arab region, especially since 2011, and seeks to provide an overview on youth in the region and stimulate a broad dialogue between youth and key stakeholders on the future of development in the region, focusing on the role of youth as critical partners at this very point in time.
The point of departure of the report is the demographic fact that the current youth generation is the largest youth cohort this region has had over the past 50 years, making up 30% of its population of 370 million. The report argues that Arab countries can achieve a great leap forward in development, reinforce stability and secure such gains in a sustainable manner, if they adopt policies that give youth a stake in shaping their societies and put them at the centre—politically, socially and economically.
The AHDR 2016 calls upon Arab countries to invest in their young people and empower them to engage in the development process as an urgent and critical priority in its own right and prerequisite to achieving sustainable development –a call that is particularly timely as Arab countries embark on formulating their plans to meet the goals of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. The report also calls for a youth-oriented development model that focuses simultaneously on building young people’s capabilities and expanding opportunities available to them, considering the achievement of peace and security at national and regional levels as a prerequisite for a future fit for youth.