Press Release


12 August 2022

The United Nations in Palestine is celebrating International Youth Day 2022 with Palestinians of all ages. Only with solidarity and collaboration can the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) be reached.

In Palestine, 60% of the population is under the age of 24. Globally, and in Palestine, young people can play a central role in fostering solidarity with other generations. Young people want to contribute to their communities, propose innovative solutions and drive social progress. But Palestinian youth face tremendous challenge accessing their rights, including to quality education, healthcare and decent work. Youth unemployment remains high with stark regional differences: 68.9% in the Gaza Strip and 27.8% in the West Bank. Data shows that less than 1 percent of the Palestinian youth work in decision-making positions.

Despite the challenges, every day I witness creativity and determination of young Palestinians.   Yaqeen, 20 years old from Salfit, is a computer engineering student and he designed the “Breadcrumbs Initiative” to reuse leftover bread to produce fodder for local livestock and poultry farmers.

Raghad, 22 years old from Hebron, has followed her passion for design, drawing and handiwork and recently became a goldsmith and designer. After participating in a TVET training program she now works at one of Hebron's largest companies.

Salah, 21 years old and a law student from Gaza's Al-Nseerat refugee camp, recently ranked among the four winners of the Social Enterprise Hackathon with her Gaza Children Cinema Initiative.

Ghada, a Palestine refugee of 22 years old, is one of 97 technicians from the first class of a solar energy course at the UNRWA Gaza Training Centre (GTC). She is breaking barriers in a field dominated globally by men while addressing the impact of climate change.

The United Nations in Palestine is committed to work for and with young people to promote civic participation, socio-economic engagement, and leadership across communities.  Efforts to promote interaction between people of different generations to reduce intergroup prejudice and stereotypes will continue.

We must all use International Youth Day to remind ourselves that all generations – young and old – can be changemakers. Better together!

Lynn Hastings

Lynn Hastings

UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator, Deputy Special Coordinator
UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Ms. Lynn Hastings as Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, where she will also serve as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Ms. Hastings brings to this position over twenty years of experience in humanitarian affairs, development coordination and political affairs. Since 2018 she has served as Deputy Director in the Operations and Advocacy Division of OCHA in New York. Previously, she was Senior Adviser in the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (2014-2018), Country Director for Pakistan in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) (2011-2014) and Chief of Staff in the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) (2003-2011). Ms. Hastings has also served as United Nations representative to the Office of the Middle East Quartet Envoy for the Gaza Disengagement, and in senior roles in the United Nations peacekeeping missions in Kosovo and East Timor, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Prior to joining the United Nations, she practiced law in the private sector and conducted legal research for the International Commission of Jurists. Born in Canada, Ms. Hastings holds a Master of Laws from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Windsor as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Windsor in Canada.

UN entities involved in this initiative

The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process

Goals we are supporting through this initiative