The program “Reach Out To Asia” (ROTA), one of the Education Above All Foundation programs, was launched yesterday in the Annual Youth Empowerment Conference (Empower 2020) in its twelfth edition by visual communication. The program’s slogan is “Empowering youth to integrate into consolidating security and peace,” and will be held 15-19 July, 2020 with the participation of HE Mr. Salah bin Ghanem Al-Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, HE Ambassador Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani, permanent representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy for youth, and Mr. Achillik Christian, Commonwealth Coordinator for the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors group. In the light of COVID-19 pandemic, this year the Youth Empowerment Conference will be online for 5 days and will include varied seminars, panel discussions, stimulating speeches, workshops and a digital exhibition.
During the opening session, HE Salah bin Ghanem Al-Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, praised the pivotal role of youth in nations building/  “Our youth today have reached an appreciative intellectual and behavioural level,” He emphasized, “This is particularly evident in their consciousness of the most prominent issues and challenges facing the Qatari and international community as well. Youth are the hope of the world, with all its realistic conditions and future aspirations, and their rapid response to finding solutions and initiatives in creative ways confirm their true role as the focus of investment and future capital. Thus, the continuation of youth empowering is a fundamental option for the progress and prosperity of society, so let’s continue in this path.”
Her Excellency Ambassador Sheikha Alia bint Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani expressed her appreciation for the role of youth. “I am pleased to participate today via this monitor,” She stressed, “in the events of the Empower Youth Conference 2020, which has become one of the most important youth conferences in the world. It is characterized by the leadership role that is held by the youth in its organization and management, as well as in conclusion of its results.”
“I would like to express my appreciation,” she added “to the ROTA program for the successful selection of the topic of this year’s conference, namely, “Empowering youth to integrate in the consolidation of security and peace,” as well as for choosing the appropriate time to hold it during this period, serving as a preparatory platform for the convening of the high-level global comprehensive peace youth conference, which Doha will host next year.”
For her part, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanaki, UN Secretary-General for Youth said that “This challenge (Covid-19) has proven that this generation of youth is the most populated in history, with 1.8 billion young men and women. Therefore, they will be meaningfully engaged in order to re-build the world in the aftermath of this pandemic.”
During the global conference, discussions about the challenges and opportunities for young people will be held, to establish safety and peace in the post-epidemic world. International and national organizations participated in managing the sessions, such as the strategic partner, Qatar Fund for Development, the Global Coalition for Youth, Peace and Safety, Silatech Foundation, Legacy and Projects Committee in Qatar, UNHCR, United Nations Development Program, Georgetown University in Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Parsha Foundation, Doha Film Institute and other high-level foundations.
Empower Youth Conference 2020, which runs until July 19, aims to spread awareness and knowledge and acquiring skills in order to promote integration, peace and safety on four levels: media and technology, sport and art, nation building, environment and climate change. Furthermore, the conference aims to confirm the strong belief of the Education Above All Foundation in the necessity of relying on the strengths of young people in order to make sustainable development to reach peace, integration, cultural diversity and mutual understanding.

“The Empower Youth Conference adds great value to the vision of the Education Above All Foundation in providing new opportunities in life, inspiring hope and improving the lives of young people.” Said Mr. Abdullah Al-Abdullah, Acting Executive Director of the ROTA Program. “It provides a platform for young people from around the world to communicate with Qatari youth. They exchanged ideas and presented their views and projects that could contribute to addressing domestic requirements and global issues. We reaffirm the Foundation’s confidence in releasing human energies and encouraging cooperation, through its efforts to achieve the fourth goal of the Sustainable Development Plan in Education.”
“The Empower Conference 2020 seeks to enhance the importance of involvement and partnership with youth in the development and implementation of peace-building strategies in cooperation with international organizations and UN agencies,” He added.
The ROTA Program is based on a firm belief that this subject holds the potential for providing strong and meaningful experiential learning opportunities for young participants at the Youth Empowerment Conference, Empower 2020. More importantly, it adds tangible and important values to the efforts made to achieve the vision of the Education above All Foundation. This vision is centred on providing new life opportunities and real hope for improving the lives of children and young people around the world.