Millions of young people in Arab countries suffer exclusion in many areas. The aspects of this exclusion include rising unemployment, low qualifications, exacerbated illiteracy and the decline of social and political participation. Those conditions impede the progress of young people and reduce the possibility of their integration in society. They also hinder taking advantage of the ‘demographic window’ in the countries of the region and of the varied human potential that youth represents, consequently leading to slowing national and regional development.
New short and medium-term policies are needed and specific goals and targets must be defined, in order to promote the participation of youth in developing their countries and building their future. In formulating those policies, it is important to refer to international initiatives for guidance, such as the World Programme of Action for Youth, and to successful experiences in other parts of the world. It is also essential to determine the needed tools for their implementation and assessment. All this cannot be achieved without the involvement of youth in the various phases of the development of such policies and programmes.