UNDP announces strategy to empower youth for a sustainable future

Mar 31, 2014


“Youth among hardest hit by inequalities but indispensable for sustainable future” - youth strategy outlines vital support for young men and women

Tunis – Calling young people “more connected, better informed and with greater creativity than any previous generation”, UNDP Assistant Administrator Sima Bahous today kicked off a three-day event focusing on UNDP’s work on youth and development with the presentation of UNDP’s first youth strategy entitled “Empowered Youth, Sustainable Future”. 

In response to the worldwide phenomenon of young men and women calling for meaningful civic, economic, social and political participation, including in recent consultations on the post-2015 development agenda, UNDP’s Youth Strategy identifies development challenges and issues facing youth today, and more importantly offers forward-looking recommendations for strategic entry points and engagement of  a broad range of partners , including young people themselves, in addressing youth empowerment issues around the world.

Worldwide, youth face myriad challenges in terms of access to equal opportunities to jobs and having a voice in decisions which affect their lives.  Some of these include:

  • Young people are more prone than adults to be working poor. About 152 million young workers live in households that are below the poverty line (US$1.25 per day).
  • People under the age of 35 rarely occupy formal political leadership positions.
  • 75 million of the world’s 232 million international migrants are under the age of 29.
  • An estimated 780,000 youth aged 15-24 were newly infected with HIV in 2012.

Noting that more than 3 billion of the world’s population is under the age of 25, Bahous said: “Still too many young people are frustrated, with educations that are not quite good enough for the world of today; out of work or with insecure jobs that leave too much beyond their grasp; or with too few opportunities to express themselves, share their values and take part in the decisions that affect their lives.”

The Tunisia event, a springboard to UNDP’s heightened engagement on youth issues, will also include a two-day workshop and forum that brings together a wide breadth of partners including youth, the UN community, government partners, NGOs and the private sector. Interactive sessions will challenge participants to consider and debate innovative approaches and solutions for promoting employment, entrepreneurship and strengthening young people’s participation in political processes and public institutions. The final day will concentrate on the Arab region, home to one of the youngest populations in the world with more than 100 million between the ages of 15 and 29.

Emphasizing UNDP’s fresh approach, Bahous said participants at the event represented a group that “knows what youth for development means”. Young people, she added, “can show us the future they will create for their children, their grandchildren, and so many generations to come”.

Follow the event on Twitter #UNDP4YOUTH

Contact information

In Tunis: Noeman M M AlSayyad Tel: (20 2) 2770 2242 Email: noeman.alSayyad@undp.org

In New York: Dylan Lowthian Tel: +1 (212) 906-5516 Email: dylan.lowthian@undp.org

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