U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today said the young of people of Tunisia will determine the future of the country after the revolution.
Uncertainties have surfaced after the revolution wherein the young people of Tunisia started the protest due to unemployment and lack of opportunities given to young people.
The Tunisian Revolution was marked with an intensive campaign of civil resistance, including a series of street demonstrations taking place in Tunisia. After weeks of civil unrest that began in protest on Decemner 2010 of the country’s high level of corruption and unemployment and became a referendum on the President himself, Tunisian President Ben Ali fled the country. After the former president fled Tunisia, it led to a thorough democratization of the country.
On her meeting with the Tunisian youth, Ms. Clinton she is not only impressed how inspiring the revolution in Tunisia has been, but how determined the people of Tunisia are about the future they are seeking.
“Now, the future is always somewhat uncertain, but what is certain to me is that it will be the young people of Tunisia who determine what the future will be.” -Ms. Clinton
She notes that it is an exciting but also challenging time for her to be in Tunisia. She says the riot police are gone, and the pepper spray no longer fills the air.
She cites that it is true that building a sustainable democracy and a modern economy, guaranteeing the universal rights of all Tunisians, the freedom of speech, the freedom of press, the freedom of religion, the freedom of association, all of that takes time to firmly establish.
She pointed out that building a modern economy that is open to the world, that takes advantage of Tunisia’s strategic location also takes time.
“And many have asked: Why after so many years did change finally come to Tunisia and that change here in Tunisia spark change across the Arab world? And why did young people here in Tunisia strike the first blows for freedom and opportunity?” -Ms. Clinton
She underlines that that the rights and dignity of human beings cannot be denied forever, no matter how oppressive a regime may be.
She stresses that the spirit of human rights and human dignity lives within each of us, and the universal aspirations have deep and lasting power.
“The youth belong to a remarkable generation of young people, not only here in Tunisia, but across the world. It is an optimistic, innovative, impatient young people that I see everywhere I travel. “ -Ms. Clinton
She adds that are underlying dynamics that are affecting young people everywhere like changes in demographics and technology, economics and politics that are bringing together this unique moment in history.
She says young people are at the heart of today’s great strategic opportunities and challenges, from rebuilding the global economy to combating violent extremism to building sustainable democracies.
She reports that the world ignores youth at its peril, because just look at the demographics. From Latin America to the Middle East to Sub-Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia, we are seeing what experts call a youth bulge.
She cites that there are now more than 3 billion people under the age of 30 in the world. Ninety percent of them live in the developing world. She adds the numbers continue to grow.
“So as expectations are rising, what is being done to meet them? We are making progress politically, but more needs to be done economically.” -Ms. Clinton
She notes that young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than older people. She adds that more than 100 million young people are scraping by with part-time employment and insufficient wages.
She points out that in Tunisia, there are many young people who are not yet fully employed, productively employed.
“So the global economy is connecting us more than ever, but young people are finding, even with graduate degrees, they may not have the skills that the global marketplace is seeking. So there is this gap.” -Ms. Clinton
She states that young people in many countries are combining technologies and ethics to reinvigorate grassroots public service. They stand up against corrupt governments.
“So what do we do? How do we link up the energy and innovation of young people with the changes that are so necessary?” -Ms. Clinton
She stresses that regional Arab leaders must act quickly enough to offer young people a better vision for the future, their regimes would sink into the sand.
To address the employment need of the young people of Tunisia, the United States is forming youth councils at its embassies and consulates to have direct contact with young people like yourselves, because for every problem, we want to seek a solution.
The United States has also created an Office of Global Youth Issues in Washington to ensure ways to partner with you.
“We’re going to build a momentum by organizing a Global Youth Jobs Alliance to bring in more partners and reach more people.” -Ms. Clinton
She reports that the U.S. government wants to expand university educational exchange programs between the United States and Tunisia.
On March 2011, Ms. Clinton said the Tunisian revolution marks the beginning of democracy for the Tunisian people.
Before the election in Tunisia, the country has confronted a long list of challenges to the creation of a democratic system. Expectations for swift and wide-ranging reforms are very high among a population hungry for change after decades of harsh authoritarian rule.
Tunisian society and its institutions are deeply degraded after years of repression, corruption, and mismanagement. A system that developed over the last two decades to accommodate personalistic rule and rampant graft cannot be transformed overnight into a transparent and accountable model of democratic governance.