United Nations Secretary General’s Youth envoy to visit Gambia

Friday, February 02, 2018

United Nations Secretary General’s Youth Envoy Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake will be visiting The Gambia from the 4th to 7th February, 2018.   The visit is part of a 5 country mission facilitated by UNFPA, her first to Africa.

Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26. In this role, Jayathma works to expand the UN’s youth engagement and advocacy efforts across all four pillars of work – sustainable development, human rights, peace and security and humanitarian action – and serves as a representative of and advisor to the Secretary-General.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Ms. Wickramanayake has worked extensively on youth development and participation, and has played a key role in transforming the youth development sector in her home country.

Prior to taking up her post, Ms. Wickramanayake was instrumental in creating the movement for civic and political engagement of young people, especially young women in Sri Lanka named “Hashtag Generation”. Previously, she advocated for global youth development on an international level including as the first ever Sri Lankan Youth Delegate to the United Nations and as the youth lead negotiator and member of the International Youth Task Force of the World Conference on Youth 2014 where she played a critical role in mainstreaming youth in the Post-2015 Process and in the establishment of World Youth Skills Day.

During this very important maiden visit, Ms Wickramanayake will engage with the Gambian Leadership, key development partners, Civil Society Organizations and the media. She will also visit the Gambia Songhai Initiative in Chamen in the North Bank Region and engage with Gambian Youth in a Town Hall meeting

During this maiden visit to Africa, Ms Wickramanayake will use her good office to galvanize youth action and participation through advocacy on the African continent and contribute to the momentum that is steadily building.

The Key objectives of the Youth Envoy’s visit include:

• Positioning the United Nations as a catalyst for creating equal opportunities for young people in order to have an exponentially positive impact on economies, communities and nations.

•           Re-emphasizing the fact that adolescent girls and young women are pivotal to the health and wealth of society, and to advancing human development and economic growth.