Dear Youth delegates,
[All protocol observed]
The launch of this new -and first- UN Youth Strategy marks the beginning of a new era for the UN. I join everyone in congratulating UN entities, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, and youth organisations involved, for the excellent collaboration in developing it and commend UNICEF for this new “Generation Unlimited” partnership, which we highly value.
The five priority areas of the Strategy are in line with our mandate and corporate vision and highly relevant to our comprehensive portfolio of projects and programmes. As part of our youth global programme, “Youth GPS”, launched in response to the 2030 Agenda, we have already supported 60+ countries in promoting youth civic engagement, political participation and economic empowerment, young people’s role as peacebuilders and young people’s meaningful engagement in the 2030 Agenda.
Focusing on priority areas 4 and 5, let me say that UNDP strongly believes that creating safe spaces for youth and promoting their agency and effective role in governance and decision-making is a sine qua non if we are to achieve sustainable development and peace. We would like to propose the convening of a global network of young political actors (young local council members, parliamentarians, mayors, etc.) which would champion sustainable development and peace.
UNDP has a long track-record in partnering with a broad range of institutions, including electoral management bodies, parliaments, municipalities, etc. to ensure that young women and men meaningfully participate in public life and influence decision-making. We will explore the deployment of a cohort of young volunteers supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with a focus on Goal 16.
We will also continue to proudly support powerful joint advocacy efforts on the positive role of youth in peacebuilding, in the context of Security Council resolutions 2250 and 2419, including via Youth4Peace global knowledge platform, implement a new generation of youth-centered programmes, including with the support of the UN Peacebuilding Fund, assist countries in developing national coalitions and roadmaps, and be guided by recommendations of “Frontlines”, our recent research initiative on Youth and PVE.
Please count on our full commitment and support.