The United Nations (UN) member states, private sector and civil society joined on Monday the Secretary-General António Guterres’ call to enhance the role of the world’s 1.8 billion young people in driving global efforts to promote a peaceful, just and sustainable world, a statement by the UN said.
According to the press release, Gueterres launched on Monday Youth 2030: The United Nations Youth Strategy at a high-level event of the 73rd session of the General Assembly, in New York.
The newly announced strategy "seeks to strengthen and increase commitments at the global, regional and national level to meet young people’s needs, help them realize their rights, and recognize their positive contributions as agents of change."
The statement said it is also "based on lessons learned from youth programmes around the world, and stresses the need to engage young people so they can more meaningfully contribute to the work of the United Nations, and seeks to ensure the UN can benefit from their views, insights and ideas"/
“All of our hopes for a better world rest on young people,” Guterres said, adding that sustainable development, human rights, and peace and security can only be achieved if the UN empower these young people as leaders and enable them to unleash their full potential.
Commitments to the Youth Strategy were voiced throughout the event, with Denmark being the first partner to make a direct financial contribution towards its implementation.
”If we want real change for the better, we need to ensure development not just for young people – but with and by young people” Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, said as he spoke alongside Denmark’s Youth Delegate. Misk Foundation’s Sultan AlMusallam also spoke out in support of the Strategy.
The Foundation will sign a partnership on Tuesday with the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth making it the first non-government organization to make a concrete pledge to Youth 2030.
The majority of the world’s 1.8 billion young people live in developing countries, and their numbers are expected to continue growing, according to the statement.
While the UN describes the current generation as ‘largest and most connected, tech-savvy generation the world has ever known’, it still points that young people face tremendous challenges, including poor acess to quality education and struggle to secure decent work.
Other youth lack adequate health care, including for sexual and reproductive health.
“Today marks the beginning of a reset and reorientation of the UN system’s commitment to ensure that young people are not only heard, but understood; not only engaged, but empowered; and not only supporting, but leading global, regional and national efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and build a better world for generations to come,” Jayathma Wickramanayake, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth said.
The strategy has five priority areas: youth engagement, participation and advocacy; ensuring informed and healthy foundations through education and health care; economic empowerment/
The The UN says the 2030 strategy will bring young people together with a wide range of partners, including governments, the private sector, academia, international and civil society organizations to create, fund and scale up innovative solutions and expand opportunities.