The third edition of ‘Investing in Future’ (IIFMENA) conference has got off to an impactful start on Wednesday with comments from His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah; Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF); on how the international community must reintegrate efforts to alleviate the sufferings of the youth in the region, save them from becoming prey to violence and extremism, and offer them a real chance to participate in peacebuilding and community building efforts.
Addressing the 3,000 attendees at the opening ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi said: “Dear participants, we are pleased to have you here at the third edition of the Investing in the Future conference, which dedicates itself to the challenges and opportunities of the youth in MENA region. Girls and boys are the pivots of development in the world. It is our duty to protect their rights, save them from the negative influences of extremist forces, and offer them an environment that supports their growth and allows them the right opportunities to build their futures. We can make peace and prosperity the reality for future generations.”
His Highness Sheikh Sultan added: “IIFMENA will explore the best ways to promote short-term and long-term rehabilitation and promotion of youth skills and opportunities in the region. Today’s world competes to acquire and use knowledge to further growth and prosperity. This conference seeks to do the same by focusing on protecting youth interests and find the best practicable solutions for their problems.”
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi thanked and welcomed participants through a recorded message. She said: “It is time to invest more efforts to shape the youth’s potential, intellectual capabilities and, most of all, regain their confidence in us – the international community. This confidence can be furthered when we show them through our efforts that we are with them; when we believe in their ability to lead change and give them the right opportunities to do so.”
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher added: “I pay special tribute to all young people here. This conference is your platform to express yourself freely, and Sharjah is your city. We call upon all of you to be our partners in decision-making. Tell us how you want to shape the future of your world because no one knows better how these wars and conflicts impact you. No one knows how to defend your rights better than you do.”