United Nations

A/RES/50/81


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

14 December 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                   A/RES/50/81
                                                   91st plenary meeting
                                                   14 December 1995
 
                  50/81. World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000
                         and Beyond
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Recognizing that young people in all countries are both a major human
resource for development and key agents for social change, economic
development and technological innovation,
 
      Bearing in mind that the ways in which the challenges and potentials of
young people are addressed by policy will influence current social and
economic conditions and the well-being and livelihood of future generations,
 
      Acknowledging that young women and men in all parts of the world aspire
to full participation in the life of society,
 
      Recognizing that the decade since the observance of International Youth
Year: Participation, Development and Peace has been a period of fundamental
political, economic and socio-cultural change in the world,
 
      Acknowledging the contribution that non-governmental youth organizations
could make in improving dialogue and consultations with the United Nations
system on the situation of youth,
 
      Recalling its resolution 45/103 of 14 December 1990, in which it
requested the Secretary-General to prepare a draft world youth programme of
action towards the year 2000 and beyond,
 
      Recalling also its resolution 49/152 of 23 December 1994 on the
International Youth Year, in which it requested the Commission for Social
Development at its thirty-fourth session to consider further the draft world
programme of action for youth towards the year 2000 and beyond,
 
      Having considered the report of the Economic and Social Council,
 
      1.    Adopts the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000
and Beyond, annexed hereto, as an integral part of the present resolution,
including the ten priority areas identified therein, namely, education,
employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment, drug abuse, juvenile
delinquency, leisure-time activities, girls and young women and the full and
effective participation of youth in the life of society and in
decision-making;
 
      2.    Invites Governments, with the support of the international
community, non-governmental organizations and the public and private sectors,
as well as youth organizations in particular, to implement the Programme of
Action by undertaking the relevant activities outlined therein;
 
      3.    Requests the Secretary-General to report to it at its fifty-second
session, through the Commission for Social Development and the Economic and
Social Council, on the progress made in the implementation of the Programme of
Action, taking into account the promotion of integrated reporting;
 
      4.    Invites Member States, once again, to include, whenever possible,
youth representatives in their delegations to the General Assembly and other
meetings of relevant United Nations bodies, with a view to stimulating the
participation of young women and men in the implementation of the Programme of
Action.
 
 
 
                                     Annex
 
                      WORLD PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR YOUTH
                          TO THE YEAR 2000 AND BEYOND
 
 
                                   CONTENTS
 
                                                              Paragraphs
 
PREAMBLE ...................................................   1 - 2
 
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE .......................................   3 - 4
 
 I.   UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION OF INTENT ON YOUTH:
      PROBLEMS AND POTENTIALS ..............................   5 - 8
 
II.   DEVELOPMENT SETTING ..................................  9 - 12
 
III.  STRATEGIES AND POLICY SPECIFICS .....................  13 - 17
 
IV.   PRIORITY AREAS ......................................  18 - 107
 
      A. Education ........................................  21 - 32
 
      B. Employment .......................................  33 - 39
 
      C. Hunger and poverty ...............................  40 - 47
 
      D. Health ...........................................  48 - 63
 
      E. Environment ......................................  64 - 72
 
      F. Drug abuse .......................................  73 - 85
 
      G. Juvenile delinquency .............................  86 - 90
 
      H. Leisure-time activities ..........................  91 - 97
 
      I. Girls and young women ............................  98 - 103
 
      J. Full and effective participation of youth in the
         life of society and in decision-making ........... 104 - 107
 
 V.   MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION ............................  108 - 143
 
      A. National level ................................... 112 - 115
 
      B. Regional cooperation ............................. 116 - 120
 
      C. International cooperation ........................ 121 - 143
 
 
                                   PREAMBLE
 
1.   The decade since the observance of International Youth Year:
Participation, Development, Peace has been a period during which the world
experienced fundamental political, economic and socio-cultural changes.  These
changes will inevitably affect at least the first decade of the twenty-first
century as well.
 
2.   Young people represent agents, beneficiaries and victims of major
societal changes and are generally confronted by a paradox:  to seek to be
integrated into an existing order or to serve as a force to transform that
order.  Young people in all parts of the world, living in countries at
different stages of development and in different socio-economic settings,
aspire to full participation in the life of society.
 
 
                             STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
 
3.   The World Programme of Action for Youth provides a policy framework and
practical guidelines for national action and international support to improve
the situation of young people.  It contains proposals for action to the year
2000 and beyond, aiming at achieving the objectives of the International Youth
Year and at fostering conditions and mechanisms to promote improved well-being
and livelihood among young people.
 
4.   The Programme of Action focuses in particular on measures to strengthen
national capacities in the field of youth and to increase the quality and
quantity of opportunities available to young people for full, effective and
constructive participation in society.
 
 
          I.  UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION OF INTENT ON YOUTH:
              PROBLEMS AND POTENTIALS
 
5.   The States Members of the United Nations have agreed to work towards
achievement of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United
Nations, inter alia, the promotion of higher standards of living, full
employment and conditions of economic and social progress and development.
Young people in all parts of the world, living in countries at different
stages of development and in different socio-economic situations, aspire to
full participation in the life of society, as provided in the Charter,
including:
 
     (a) Attainment of an educational level commensurate with their
aspirations;
 
     (b) Access to employment opportunities equal to their abilities;
 
     (c) Food and nutrition adequate for full participation in the life of
society; 
 
     (d) A physical and social environment that promotes good health, offers
protection from disease and addiction and is free from all types of violence;
 
     (e) Human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race,
sex, language, religion or any other forms of discrimination;
 
     (f) Participation in decision-making processes;
 
     (g) Places and facilities for cultural, recreational and sports
activities to improve the living standards of young people in both rural and
urban areas.
 
6.   While the peoples of the United Nations, through their Governments,
international organizations and voluntary associations, have done much to
ensure that these aspirations may be achieved, including efforts to implement
the guidelines for further planning and suitable follow-up in the field of
youth endorsed by the General Assembly in 1985, it is apparent that the
changing world social, economic and political situation has created the
following conditions that have made this goal more difficult to achieve in
many countries:
 
     (a) Claims on the physical and financial resources of States, which have
reduced the resources available for youth programmes and activities,
particularly in heavily indebted countries;
 
     (b) Inequities in social, economic and political conditions, including
racism and xenophobia, which lead to increasing hunger, deterioration in
living conditions and poverty among youth and to their marginalization as
refugees, displaced persons and migrants;
 
     (c) Increasing difficulty for young people returning from armed conflict
and confrontation in integrating into the community and gaining access to
education and employment;
 
     (d) Continuing discrimination against young women and insufficient access
for young women to equal opportunities in employment and education;
 
     (e) High levels of youth unemployment, including long-term unemployment;
 
     (f) Continuing deterioration of the global environment resulting from
unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, particularly in
industrialized countries, which is a matter of grave concern, aggravating
poverty and imbalances;
 
     (g) Increasing incidence of diseases, such as malaria, the human
immunodeficiency virus and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS),
and other threats to health, such as substance abuse and psychotropic
substance addiction, smoking and alcoholism;
 
     (h) Inadequate opportunities for vocational education and training,
especially for persons with disabilities;
 
     (i) Changes in the role of the family as a vehicle for shared
responsibility and socialization of youth;
 
     (j) Lack of opportunity for young people to participate in the life of
society and contribute to its development and well-being;
 
     (k) Prevalence of debilitating disease, hunger and malnutrition that
engulfs the life of many young people;
 
     (l) Increasing difficulty for young people to receive family life
education as a basis for forming healthy families that foster sharing of
responsibilities.
 
7.   These phenomena, among others, contribute to the increased
marginalization of young people from the larger society, which is dependent on
youth for its continual renewal.
 
8.   We, the peoples of the United Nations, believe that the following
principles, aimed at ensuring the well-being of young women and men and their
full and active participation in the society in which they live, are
fundamental to the implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth
to the Year 2000 and Beyond:
 
     (a) Every State should provide its young people with opportunities for
obtaining education, for acquiring skills and for participating fully in all
aspects of society, with a view to, inter alia, acquiring productive
employment and leading self-sufficient lives;
 
     (b) Every State should guarantee to all young people the full enjoyment
of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Charter of the
United Nations and other international instruments related to human rights;
 
     (c) Every State should take all necessary measures to eliminate all forms
of discrimination against young women and girls and remove all obstacles to
gender equality and the advancement and empowerment of women and should ensure
full and equal access to education and employment for girls and young women;
 
     (d) Every State should foster mutual respect, tolerance and understanding
among young people with different racial, cultural and religious backgrounds;
 
     (e) Every State should endeavour to ensure that its policies relating to
young people are informed by accurate data on their situation and needs, and
that the public has access to such data to enable it to participate in a
meaningful fashion in the decision-making process;
 
     (f) Every State is encouraged to promote education and action aimed at
fostering among youth a spirit of peace, cooperation and mutual respect and
understanding between nations;
 
     (g) Every State should meet the special needs of young people in the
areas of responsible family-planning practice, family life, sexual and
reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infection and AIDS
prevention, consistent with the Programme of Action adopted by the
International Conference on Population and Development in September 1994, the
Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action
adopted by the World Summit for Social Development in March 1995, and the
Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth World
Conference on Women in September 1995;
 
     (h) Environmental protection, promotion and enhancement are among the
issues considered by young people to be of prime importance to the future
welfare of society.  States should therefore actively encourage young people
and youth organizations, to participate actively in programmes, including
educational programmes, and actions designed to protect, promote and enhance
the environment;
 
     (i) Every State should take measures to develop the possibilities of
education and employment of young people with disabilities;
 
     (j) Every State should take measures to improve the situation of young
people living in particularly difficult conditions, including by protecting
their rights;
 
     (k) Every State should promote the goal of full employment as a basic
priority of its economic and social policies, giving special attention to
youth employment.  They should also take measures to eliminate the economic
exploitation of children;
 
     (l) Every State should provide young people with the health services
necessary to ensure their physical and mental well-being, including measures
to combat diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, and to protect them from
harmful drugs and the effects of addiction to drugs, tobacco and alcohol;
 
     (m) Every State should place people at the centre of development and
should direct their economies to meet human needs more effectively and to
ensure that young people are active participants and beneficiaries in the
process of development.
 
 
                           II.  DEVELOPMENT SETTING
 
9.   In 1995, the world youth population - defined by the United Nations as
the age cohort 15-24 - is estimated to be 1.03 billion, or 18 per cent of the
total world population.  The majority of the world youth population (84 per
cent in 1995) lives in developing countries.  This figure is projected to
increase to 89 per cent by 2025.  The difficult circumstances that people
experience in many developing countries are often even more difficult for
young people because of limited opportunities for education and training,
viable employment and health and social services, and because of a growing
incidence of substance abuse and juvenile delinquency.  Many developing
countries are also experiencing unprecedented rates of rural-urban migration
by young people.
 
10.  Apart from the statistical definition of the term "youth" mentioned
above, the meaning of the term "youth" varies in different societies around
the world.  Definitions of youth have changed continuously in response to
fluctuating political, economic and socio-cultural circumstances.
 
11.  Young people in industrialized countries comprise a relatively smaller
proportion of the total population because of generally lower birth rates and
longer life expectancy.  They comprise a social group that faces particular
problems and uncertainties regarding its future, problems that relate in part
to limited opportunities for appropriate employment.
 
12.  Young people in all countries are both a major human resource for
development and key agents for social change, economic development and
technological innovation.  Their imagination, ideals, considerable energies
and vision are essential for the continuing development of the societies in
which they live. Thus, there is special need for new impetus to be given to
the design and implementation of youth policies and programmes at all levels.
The ways in which the challenges and potentials of young people are addressed
by policy will influence current social and economic conditions and the
well-being and livelihood of future generations.
 
 
                     III.  STRATEGIES AND POLICY SPECIFICS
 
13.  In 1965, in resolution 2037 (XX), the General Assembly endorsed the
Declaration on the Promotion among Youth of the Ideals of Peace, Mutual
Respect and Understanding between Peoples.  From 1965 to 1975, both the
General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council emphasized three basic
themes in the field of youth:  participation, development and peace.  The need
for an international policy on youth was emphasized as well.  In 1979, the
General Assembly, by resolution 34/151, designated 1985 as International Youth
Year:  Participation, Development, Peace.  In 1985, by resolution 40/14, the
Assembly endorsed the guidelines for further planning and suitable follow-up
in the field of youth. The guidelines are significant for their focus on young
people as a broad category comprising various subgroups, rather than a single
demographic entity.  They provide proposals for specific measures to address
the needs of subgroups such as young people with disabilities, rural and urban
youth and young women.
 
14.  The themes identified by the General Assembly for International Youth
Year: Participation, Development, Peace - reflect a predominant concern of the
international community with distributive justice, popular participation and
quality of life.  These were reflected in the guidelines, and they represent
overall themes of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and
Beyond as well.
 
15.  The Programme of Action also builds upon other, recent international
instruments, including the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,
adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on
Human Rights, the Programme of Action of the International Conference on
Population and Development, the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development
and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, and
the Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women.
 
16.  The Programme of Action is drawn from these international instruments
generally and specifically related to youth policies and programmes.  The
Programme of Action is significant because it provides a cross-sectoral
standard relating to both policy-making and programme design and delivery.  It
will serve as a model for integrated actions, at all levels, to address more
effectively problems experienced by young people in various conditions and to
enhance their participation in society.
 
17.  The Programme of Action is divided into three phases:  the first phase
focused on analysis and on drafting the Programme of Action and on its
adoption by the General Assembly at its fiftieth session, in 1995; the second
phase is concerned with world-wide implementation of the Programme of Action
to the year 2000; the third phase, covering the period 2001 to 2010, will
focus on further implementation and evaluation of progress made and obstacles
encountered; it will suggest appropriate adjustments to long-term objectives
and specific measures to improve the situation of young people in the
societies in which they live.
 
 
                              IV.  PRIORITY AREAS
 
18.  Each of the ten priority areas identified by the international community
is presented in terms of principal issues, specific objectives and the actions
proposed to be taken by various actors to achieve those objectives.
Objectives and actions reflect the three themes of International Youth Year:
Participation, Development, Peace; they are interlinked and mutually
reinforcing.
 
19.  The ten fields of action identified by the international community are
education, employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment, drug abuse,
juvenile delinquency, leisure-time activities, girls and young women and the
full and effective participation of youth in the life of society and in
decision-making.  The Programme of Action does not exclude the possibility of
new priorities which may be identified in the future.
 
20.  Implementation of the Programme of Action requires the full enjoyment by
young people of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and also requires
that Governments take effective action against violations of these rights and
freedoms and promote non-discrimination, tolerance, respect for diversity,
with full respect for various religious and ethical values, cultural
backgrounds and philosophical convictions of their young people, equality of
opportunity, solidarity, security and participation of all young women and
men.
 
 
                                 A.  Education
 
21.  Although progress towards universal basic education, beginning with
literacy, has been impressive in recent times, the number of illiterate people
will continue to grow and many developing countries are likely to fall short
of universal primary education by the year 2000.  Three main concerns
regarding current systems of education may be expressed.  The first is the
inability of many parents in developing countries to send their children to
schools because of local economic and social conditions.  The second concerns
the paucity of educational opportunities for girls and young women, migrants,
refugees, displaced persons, street children, indigenous youth minorities,
young people in rural areas and young people with disabilities.  The third
concerns the quality of education, its relevance to employment and its
usefulness in assisting young people in the transition to full adulthood,
active citizenship and productive and gainful employment.
 
22.  To encourage the development of educational and training systems more in
line with the current and future needs of young people and their societies, it
would be helpful to share experience and to investigate alternative
arrangements, such as informal arrangements for the provision of basic
literacy, job skills training and lifelong education.
 
23.  Opportunities for young people to pursue advanced or university
education, engage in research or be trained for self-employment should be
expanded in developing countries.  Given the economic problems faced by such
countries and the inadequacy of international assistance in this area, it is
difficult to provide appropriate training for all young people, even though
they are a country's chief economic asset.
 
24.  Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations are
called upon to assist young people from developing countries to obtain
education and training at all levels in developed as well as in developing
countries, as well as to participate in mutual academic exchanges among
developing countries.
 
 
Proposals for action
 
         1.  Improving the level of basic education, skill training and
             literacy among youth
 
25.  Priority should be given to achieving the goal of ensuring basic
education for all (beginning with literacy), mobilizing for that purpose all
channels, agents and forms of education and training, in line with the concept
of lifelong education.  Special emphasis should also be given to the reform of
education content and curricula, especially curricula that reinforce
traditional female roles which deny women opportunities for full and equal
partnership in society, at all levels, focusing on scientific literacy, moral
values and learning of skills, adapted to the changing environment and to life
in multi-ethnic and multi-cultural societies.  The importance of the
development of information skills, that is skills for researching, accessing
and using information, and informatics should be emphasized along with the
importance of distance education. Non-governmental youth organizations and
educational organizations should develop youth-to-youth programmes for basic
education, skills training and literacy.  Consideration should be given to
developing programmes enabling retired and elderly people to teach literacy to
young people.  Particular attention should be given to specific groups of
youth in distressed circumstances, including indigenous, migrant and refugee
youth, displaced persons, street children and poor youth in urban and rural
areas, as well as to special problems, including literacy problems, for blind
youth and youth with other disabilities.
 
 
          2.  Cultural heritage and contemporary patterns of society
 
26.  Governments should establish or strengthen programmes to educate young
people in the cultural heritage of their own and other societies and the
world.  Governments should institute, in cooperation with non-governmental
youth organizations, travel and exchange programmes and youth camps to help
youth understand cultural diversity at both the national and international
levels, develop intercultural learning skills and participate in the
preservation of the cultural heritage of their own and other societies and the
world around them.  The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization, in cooperation with interested Governments and non-governmental
organizations, is requested to expand international programmes, such as youth
camps, by which young people, particularly those from developing countries,
with different cultures, may help restore major international cultural sites
and engage in other cultural activities.
 
 
         3.  Promoting mutual respect and understanding and the ideals of
             peace, solidarity and tolerance among youth
 
27.  Programmes aimed at learning peacemaking and conflict resolution should
be encouraged and designed by Governments and educational institutions for
introduction to schools at all levels.  Children and youth should be informed
of cultural differences in their own societies and given opportunities to
learn about different cultures as well as tolerance and mutual respect for
cultural and religious diversity.  Governments and educational institutions
should formulate and implement educational programmes which promote and
strengthen respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms and enhance
the values of peace, solidarity, tolerance, responsibility and respect for the
diversity and rights of others.
 
 
                   4.  Vocational and professional training
 
28.  Governments and educational institutions, in cooperation with regional
and international organizations, could establish or enhance vocational and
technical training relevant to current and prospective employment conditions.
Youth must be given the opportunity to access vocational and professional
training and apprenticeship programmes that help them acquire entry-level jobs
with growth opportunities and the ability to adjust to changes in labour
demand.
 
 
                     5.  Promoting human rights education
 
29.  Governments should ensure that the United Nations Decade for Human Rights
Education, which began in 1995, is adequately observed in schools and
educational institutions.  In order to make youth aware of their civil,
cultural, economic, political and social rights, as well their societal
responsibilities, and in order to develop harmonious inter-community
relations, mutual tolerance and respect, equality between women and men, and
tolerance for diversity, Governments should develop human rights education
strategies targeted at youth, taking particular account of the human rights of
women.
 
 
                    6.  Training for enterprise programmes
 
30.  Governments, in cooperation with regional and international
organizations, should formulate model training programmes for youth in
individual and cooperative enterprises.  They are encouraged to establish
self-contained enterprise centres where young people may plan and test their
enterprise venture concepts.
 
 
        7.  Infrastructure for training youth workers and youth leaders
 
31.  Governments should assess the adequacy of facilities and programmes to
train youth workers and youth leaders, including the adequacy of curricula and
staff resources.  On the basis of such assessments, Governments should plan
and implement relevant training programmes.  Non-governmental youth
organizations should be encouraged and assisted in formulating and
disseminating model training courses for use by member organizations.
 
32.  Interested organizations should investigate possibilities of
strengthening international youth worker and youth leadership training, with
priority given to accepting participants from developing countries.  In
cooperation with concerned organizations that provide training opportunities
for youth, including internships and volunteer programmes, establishment of an
inventory of such programmes could also be explored.
 
 
 
                                B.  Employment
 
33.  Unemployment and underemployment among youth is a problem everywhere.  It
is, indeed, part of the larger struggle to create employment opportunities for
all citizens.  The problem has worsened in recent years because of the global
recession which has affected developing countries the most seriously.  The
disturbing fact is that economic growth is not always accompanied by growth in
employment.  The difficulty of finding suitable employment is compounded by a
host of other problems confronting young people, including illiteracy and
insufficient training, and is worsened by periods of world economic slow-down
and by overall changing economic trends.  In some countries, the influx of
young people into the employment market has brought with it acute problems.
According to estimates of the International Labour Organization, more than one
hundred million new jobs would have to be created within the next twenty years
in order to provide suitable employment for the growing number of young people
in the economically active populations of developing countries.  The situation
of girls and young women, as well as of young people with disabilities,
refugee youth, displaced persons, street children, indigenous youth, migrant
youth and minorities warrants urgent attention, bearing in mind the
prohibition of forced labour and child labour.
 
34.  The crisis of youth unemployment deprives young people of the opportunity
to secure independent housing or the accommodations necessary for the
establishment of families and participation in the life of society. Advances
in technology and communications, coupled with improved productivity, have
imposed new challenges as well as new opportunities for employment. Young
people are among the most severely affected by these developments. If
effective solutions are not found, the cost to society will be much higher in
the long run.  Unemployment creates a wide range of social ills and young
people are particularly susceptible to its damaging effects: the lack of
skills, low self-esteem, marginalization, impoverishment and the wasting of an
enormous human resource.
 
 
Proposals for action
 
                     1.  Opportunities for self-employment
 
35.  Governments and organizations should create or promote grant schemes to
provide seed money to encourage and support enterprise and employment
programmes for young people.  Businesses and enterprises could be encouraged
to provide counterpart financial and technical support for such schemes.
Cooperative schemes involving young people in production and marketing of
goods and services could be considered.  The formation of youth development
banks could be considered.  The Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of
Cooperatives is encouraged to develop models for cooperatives run by youth in
developed and developing countries.  Such models could include guidelines for
management training and training in entrepreneurial techniques and marketing.
 
 
       2.  Employment opportunities for specific groups of young people
 
36.  Within funds designated to promote youth employment, Governments should,
as appropriate, designate resources for programmes supporting the efforts of
young women, young people with disabilities, youth returning from military
service, migrant youth, refugee youth, displaced persons, street children and
indigenous youth.  Youth organizations and young people themselves should be
directly involved in the planning and implementation of these programmes.
 
 
               3.  Voluntary community services involving youth
 
37.  Where they do not already exist, Governments should consider the
establishment of voluntary service programmes for youth.  Such programmes
could provide alternatives to military service, or might constitute a required
element in educational curricula, depending on national policies and
priorities.  Youth camps, community service projects, environmental protection
and inter- generational cooperation programmes should be included among the
opportunities offered.  Youth organizations should be directly involved in
designing, planning, implementing and evaluating such voluntary service
programmes.  In addition, international cooperation programmes organized
between youth organizations in developed and developing countries should be
included to promote intercultural understanding and development training.
 
 
                  4.  Needs created by technological changes
 
38.  Governments, in particular those of developed countries, should encourage
the creation of employment opportunities for young people in fields that are
rapidly evolving as a result of technological innovation.  A subset of the
employment data compiled by Governments should track the employment of youth
into those fields marked by newly emerging technologies.  Measures should be
taken to provide ongoing training for youth in this area.
 
39.  Special attention should be paid to developing and disseminating
approaches that promote flexibility in training systems and collaboration
between training institutions and employers, especially for young people in
high-technology industries.
 
 
                            C.  Hunger and poverty
 
40.  Over one billion people in the world today live in unacceptable
conditions of poverty, mostly in developing countries, particularly in rural
areas of low- income countries in Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Latin America
and the Caribbean and the least developed countries.  Poverty has various
manifestations; hunger and malnutrition; ill health; limited or lack of access
to education and other basic services; increased morbidity and mortality from
illness; homelessness and inadequate housing; unsafe environments; and social
discrimination and exclusion; it is also characterized by a lack of
participation in decision-making and in civil and socio-cultural life. Poverty
is inseparably linked to lack of access to or loss of control over resources,
including land, skills, knowledge, capital and social connections.  Without
those resources, people have limited access to institutions, markets,
employment and public services.  Young people are particularly affected by
this situation.  Therefore, specific measures are needed to address the
juvenilization and feminization of poverty.
 
41.  Hunger and malnutrition remain among the most serious and intractable
threats to humanity, often preventing youth and children from taking part in
society.  Hunger is the result of many factors:  mismanagement of food
production and distribution; poor accessibility; maldistribution of financial
resources; unwise exploitation of natural resources; unsustainable patterns of
consumption; environmental pollution; natural and human-made disasters;
conflicts between traditional and contemporary production systems; irrational
population growth; and armed conflicts.
 
 
Proposals for action
 
          1.  Making farming more rewarding and life in agricultural
              areas more attractive
 
42.  Governments should enhance educational and cultural services and other
incentives in rural areas to make them more attractive to young people.
Experimental farming programmes directed towards young people should be
initiated and extension services expanded to maintain improvements in
agricultural production and marketing.
 
43.  Local and national Governments, in cooperation with youth organizations,
should organize cultural events that enhance exchanges between urban and rural
youth.  Youth organizations should be encouraged and assisted in organizing
conventions and meetings in rural areas, with special efforts to enlist the
cooperation of rural populations, including rural youth.
 
 
           2.  Skill-training for income-generation by young people
 
44.  Governments, in cooperation with youth organizations, should develop
training programmes for youth which improve methods of agricultural production
and marketing.  Training should be based on rural economic needs and the need
to train young people in rural areas in techniques of food production and the
achievement of food security.  Attention should be given in such programmes to
young women, youth retention in rural areas, youth returning to rural areas
from the cities, young people with disabilities, refugee and migrant youth,
displaced persons and street children, indigenous youth, youth returning from
military service and youth living in areas of resolved conflicts.
 
 
                       3.  Land grants for young people
 
45.  Governments should provide grants of land to youth and youth
organizations, supported by financial and technical assistance and training.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the
International Labour Organization are invited to document and disseminate
information about national experience with land-grant and settlement schemes
for use by Governments.
 
46.  Governments, consistent with their rural development schemes and with the
assistance of international organizations, as appropriate, are encouraged to
work with volunteer youth organizations on projects which enhance and maintain
the rural and urban environments.
 
               4.  Cooperation between urban and rural youth in
                   food production and distribution
 
47.  Non-governmental organizations should organize direct-marketing groups,
including production and distribution cooperatives, to improve current
marketing systems and to ensure that young farmers have access to them.  The
aim of such groups should be to reduce food shortages and losses from
defective systems of food storage and transport to markets.
 
                                  D.  Health
 
48.  Young people in some parts of the world suffer from poor health as a
result of societal conditions, including such factors as customary attitudes
and harmful traditional practices and, in some cases, as a result of their own
actions.  Poor health is often caused by an unhealthy environment, by missing
support systems in everyday life for health promoting patterns of behaviour,
by lack of information and by inadequate or inappropriate health services.
Problems include the lack of a safe and sanitary living environment,
malnutrition, the risk of infectious, parasitic and water-borne diseases, the
growing consumption of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, unwarranted risk-taking and
destructive activity, resulting in unintentional injuries.
 
49.  The reproductive health needs of adolescents have been largely ignored.
In many countries, there is a lack of information and services available to
adolescents to help them understand their sexuality, including sexual and
reproductive health, and to protect them from unwanted pregnancies and
sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
 
 
Proposals for action
 
                    1.  Provision of basic health services
 
50.  All young people should have access to basic health services in the
interest of all and of society as a whole.  It is the indispensable
responsibility of each Government to mobilize the necessary awareness,
resources and channels.  These measures should be supported by a favourable
international economic environment and by cooperation.
 
51.  Efforts should be expedited to achieve the goals of national
health-for-all strategies, based on equality and social justice, in line with
the Declaration of Alma Ata on primary health care adopted on 12 September
1978 by the International Conference on Primary Health Care, by developing or
updating country action plans or programmes to ensure universal,
non-discriminatory access to basic health services, including sanitation and
drinking water, to protect health, and to promote nutrition education and
preventive health programmes.
 
52.  Support should be provided for stronger, better coordinated global
actions against major diseases which take a heavy toll of human lives, such as
malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid fever and HIV/AIDS; in this context,
support should be continued for the Joint and Co-sponsored United Nations
Programme on the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency
syndrome (HIV/AIDS).
 
53.    Poor health is often caused by lack of information and lack of health
services for youth, mostly in developing countries.  The resulting problems
are, among others, sexually transmitted diseases, including infection with
HIV; early pregnancies; lack of hygiene and sanitation, leading to infection,
infestation and diarrhoea; genetic and congenital diseases; psychological and
mental diseases; narcotic and psychotropic drug abuse; misuse of alcohol and
tobacco; unwarranted risk-taking and destructive activity, resulting in
unintentional injuries; malnutrition; and poor spacing of births.
 
 
                      2.  Development of health education
 
54.  Governments should include, in the curricula of educational institutions
at the primary and secondary levels, programmes focusing on primary health
knowledge and practices.  Particular emphasis should be placed on the
understanding of basic hygiene requirements and the need to develop and
sustain a healthy environment.  These programmes need to be developed in full
awareness of the needs and priorities of young people and with their
involvement.
 
55.  Cooperation among Governments and educational and health institutions
should be encouraged in order to promote personal responsibility for a healthy
lifestyle and provide the knowledge and skills necessary to adopt a healthy
lifestyle, including teaching the legal, social and health consequences of
behaviour that poses health risks.
 
 
            3.  Promotion of health services, including sexual and
                reproductive health and development of relevant
                education programmes in those fields
 
56.  Governments, with the involvement of youth and other relevant
organizations, should ensure the implementation of the commitments made in the
Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and
Development, as established in the report of that Conference, in the
Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action of
the World Summit on Social Development, and in the Beijing Declaration and the
Platform for Action for the Fourth World Conference on Women, as well as in
the relevant human rights instruments, to meet the health needs of youth.  The
United Nations Population Fund and other interested United Nations
organizations should continue to take effective steps on these issues.  The
reproductive health needs of adolescents as a group have been largely ignored
to date by existing reproductive health services.  The response of societies
to the reproductive health needs of adolescents should be based on information
that helps them attain a level of maturity required to make responsible
decisions.  In particular, information and services should be made available
to adolescents to help them understand their sexuality and protect them from
unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and the subsequent risk of
infertility.  This should be combined with the education of young men to
respect women's self-determination and to share responsibility with women in
matters of sexuality and reproduction.  This effort is uniquely important for
the health of young women and their children, for women's self-determination
and, in many countries, for efforts to slow the momentum of population growth.
Motherhood at a very young age entails a risk of maternal death that is much
greater than average, and the children of young mothers have higher levels of
morbidity and mortality.  Early child-bearing continues to be an impediment to
improvements in the educational, economic and social status of women in all
parts of the world.  Overall for young women, early marriage and early
motherhood can severely curtail educational and employment opportunities and
are likely to have a long-term adverse impact on the quality of life of young
women and their children.
 
57.  Governments should develop comprehensive sexual and reproductive health-
care services and provide young people with access to those services
including, inter alia, education and services in family planning consistent
with the results of the International Conference on Population and
Development, the World Summit for Social Development and the Fourth World
Conference on Women.  The United Nations Population Fund and other interested
United Nations organizations are to be encouraged to continue assigning high
priority to promoting adolescent reproductive health.
 
 
                 4.  HIV infection and AIDS among young people
 
58.  Governments should develop accessible, available and affordable primary
health care services of high quality, including sexual and reproductive health
care, as well as education programmes, including those related to sexually
transmitted disease, including HIV/AIDS, for youth.  Continued international
cooperation and collective global efforts are necessary for the containment of
HIV/AIDS.
 
 
            5.  Promotion of good sanitation and hygiene practices
 
59.  Governments, in cooperation with youth and volunteer organizations,
should promote the establishment of youth health associations to promote good
sanitation and hygiene programmes.
 
 
               6.  Prevention of disease and illness among youth
                   resulting from poor health practices
 
60.  Governments, in cooperation with youth organizations, should promote
healthier lifestyles and, in this context, should investigate the possibility
of adopting policies for discouraging drug, tobacco and alcohol abuse,
including possibly banning the advertisement of tobacco and alcohol.  They
should also undertake programmes to inform young people about the adverse
effects of drug and alcohol abuse and tobacco addiction.
 
61.  Programmes should be instituted, with the appropriate assistance of the
United Nations bodies and organizations concerned, to train medical,
paramedical, educational and youth work personnel in health issues of
particular concern to young people, including healthy lifestyles.  Research
into such issues should be promoted, particularly research into the effects
and treatment of drug abuse and addiction.  Youth organizations should be
enlisted in these efforts.
 
 
                7.  Elimination of sexual abuse of young people
 
62.  As recommended by the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,  the
International Conference on Population and Development, the World Summit for
Social Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women, and bearing in
mind that young women are specially vulnerable, Governments should cooperate
at the international level and take effective steps, including specific
preventive measures to protect children, adolescents and youth from neglect,
abandonment and all types of exploitation and abuse, such as abduction, rape
and incest, pornography, trafficking and acts of paedophilia, as well as from
commercial sexual exploitation resulting from pornography and prostitution.
Governments should enact and enforce legislation prohibiting female genital
mutilation wherever it exists and give vigorous support to efforts among
non-governmental and community organizations and religious institutions to
eliminate such practices.
 
 
                 8.  Combating malnutrition among young people
 
63.  Governments should promote post-primary-school and out-of-school health
projects by individuals and youth organizations, emphasizing information on
healthy eating practices.  School lunch programmes, provision of food
supplements and similar services should be available whenever possible to help
ensure a proper diet for young people.
 
 
                                E.  Environment
 
64.  The deterioration of the natural environment is one of the principal
concerns of young people world wide as it has direct implications for their
well- being both now and in the future.  The natural environment must be
maintained and preserved for both present and future generations.  The causes
of environmental degradation must be addressed.  The environmentally friendly
use of natural resources and environmentally sustainable economic growth will
improve human life.  Sustainable development has become a key element in the
programmes of youth organizations throughout the world.  While every segment
of society is responsible for maintaining the environmental integrity of the
community, young people have a special interest in maintaining a healthy
environment because they will be the ones to inherit it.
 
 
Proposals for action
 
         1.  Integration of environmental education and training into
             education and training programmes
 
65.  Emphasis should be given in school curricula to environmental education.
Training programmes should be provided to inform teachers of the environmental
aspects of their subject-matter and to enable them to educate youth concerning
environmentally friendly habits.
 
66.  The participation of youth groups in gathering environmental data and in
understanding ecological systems and actual environmental action should be
encouraged as a means of improving both their knowledge of the environment and
their personal engagement in caring for the environment.
 
 
 
        2.  Facilitating the international dissemination of information on
            environmental issues to, and the use of environmentally sound
            technologies by, youth
 
67.  The United Nations Environment Programme, in cooperation with Governments
and non-governmental youth organizations, is invited to intensify production
of information materials illustrating the global dimension, its origins and
the interrelated effects of environmental degradation, describing the outcome
of initiatives undertaken in developing and developed countries as well as
countries with economies in transition.  The United Nations Environment
Programme is requested to continue its efforts to disseminate information to
and exchange information with youth organizations.  Governments should
encourage and assist youth organizations to initiate and develop
youth-to-youth contacts through town-twinning and similar programmes in order
to share the experience gained in different countries.
 
68.  Relevant United Nations organizations and institutions and Governments of
technologically advanced countries are encouraged to help spread the use of
environmentally sound technologies in developing countries and in countries
with economies in transition and to train youth in making use of such
technologies in protecting and conserving the environment.
 
 
          3.  Strengthening participation of youth in the protection,
              preservation and improvement of the environment
 
69.  Governments and youth organizations should initiate programmes to promote
participation in tree planting, forestry, combating desert creep, waste
reduction, recycling and other sound environmental practices.  The
participation of young people and their organizations in such programmes can
provide good training and encourage awareness and action.  Waste management
programmes may represent potential income-generating activities which provide
opportunities for employment.
 
70.  As recognized by the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, the involvement of youth in environment and development decision-
making is critical to the implementation of policies of sustainable
development.  Young people should be involved in designing and implementing
appropriate environmental policies.
 
 
               4.  Enhancing the role of the media as a tool for
                   widespread dissemination of environmental
                   issues to youth
 
71.  Governments should, to the extent consistent with freedom of expression,
encourage the media and advertising agencies to develop programmes to ensure
widespread dissemination of information on environmental issues in order to
continue to raise awareness thereof among youth.
 
72.  Governments should establish procedures allowing for consultation and
possible participation of youth of both genders in decision-making processes
with regard to the environment, at the local, national and regional levels.
 
 
                                F.  Drug abuse
 
73.  The vulnerability of young people to drug abuse has in recent years
become a major concern.  The consequences of widespread drug abuse and
trafficking, particularly for young men and women, are all too apparent.
Violence, particularly street violence, often results from drug abuse and
illicit drug networks.
 
74.  As the number of psychotropic drugs increases steadily and their effects
and appropriate prescriptive uses are often not fully known, some patients may
not be adequately treated and others may become over-medicated.  Abuse of
prescription drugs, self-medication with tranquillizers, sleeping-pills and
stimulants can also create serious problems, particularly in countries and
regions where distribution controls are weak and habit-forming drugs are
purchased abroad or diverted from licit channels of distribution.  In this
context, the vulnerability of young people raises a particular problem and
specific measures are therefore needed.
 
75.  The international community places particular emphasis on reducing the
demand for and supply of illegal drugs and preventing abuse.  Supply reduction
includes combating international illicit drug trafficking.  Drug abuse
prevention initiatives range from discouraging people from taking drugs, thus
preventing involuntary addiction, to helping those who are abusing drugs to
stop doing so.  Treatment programmes need to recognize that drug abuse is a
chronic relapsing condition.  It is essential for programmes to be adapted to
the social and cultural context and for there to be effective cooperation
between various approaches to treatment.  To this end, national initiatives
and measures to combat illicit drug trafficking should be fully supported and
reinforced at the regional and international levels.
 
76.  Drug control strategies at the national and international levels
consistently emphasize initiatives aimed at reducing drug abuse among young
people.  This is reflected in the resolutions of the Commission on Narcotic
Drugs and in the demand reduction programmes of the United Nations
International Drug Control Programme.
 
 
Proposals for action
 
         1.  Participation of youth organizations and youth in demand
             reduction programmes for young people
 
77.  To be effective, demand reduction programmes should be targeted at all
young people, particularly those at risk, and the content of the programmes
should respond directly to the interests and concerns of those young people.
Preventive education programmes showing the dangers of drug abuse are
particularly important.  Increasing opportunities for gainful employment and
activities which provide recreation and opportunities to develop a variety of
skills are important in helping young people to resist drugs.  Youth
organizations can play a key role in designing and implementing education
programmes and individual counselling to encourage the integration of youth
into the community, to develop healthy lifestyles and to raise awareness of
the damaging impact of drugs.  The programmes could include training of youth
leaders in communication and counselling skills.
 
78.  Government entities, in cooperation with relevant agencies of the United
Nations system, non-governmental organizations, particularly youth
organizations, should cooperate in carrying out demand reduction programmes
for illicit drugs, tobacco and alcohol.
 
         2.  Training medical and paramedical students in the rational
             use of pharmaceuticals containing narcotic drugs or
             psychotropic substances
 
79.  The World Health Organization, associations of the medical, paramedical
and pharmaceutical professions and pharmaceutical corporations and medical
faculties and institutions could be asked to develop model training courses
and disseminate information material for young medical and paramedical
students on the proper handling of drugs and the early identification and
diagnosis of substance abuse.
 
         3.  Treatment and rehabilitation of young people who are drug abusers
             or drug-dependent and young alcoholics and tobacco users
 
80.  Research has been undertaken into the possibility of identifying
medication to block cravings for specific drugs without creating secondary
dependency, but much remains to be done in this area.  The need for medical
and social research in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse as well
as rehabilitation, has become more urgent, particularly with the world-wide
increase in abuse and addiction among young people.  In such research,
emphasis should be given to the fact that intravenous substance abuse raises
the risk of contracting communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS and
hepatitis, arising from the sharing of needles and other injection equipment.
The fruits of all such research should be shared globally.
 
81.  Research on issues such as the medical treatment and the rehabilitation
of young drug abusers, including the combination of different types of
treatment, the problem of recidivism and the administrative aspects of drug
treatment, and the inclusion of students in the relevant faculties in such
research, should be encouraged.
 
82.  In cooperation with the institutions of civil society and the private
sector, drug abuse prevention should be promoted, as should preventive
education for children and youth and rehabilitation and education programmes
for former drug and alcohol addicts, especially children and youth, in order
to enable them to obtain productive employment and achieve the independence,
dignity and responsibility for a drug-free, crime-free productive life.  Of
particular interest is the development of treatment techniques involving the
family setting and peer groups.  Young people can make significant
contributions by participating in peer group therapy to facilitate the
acceptance of young drug-dependent persons and abusers upon their re-entry
into society.  Direct participation in rehabilitation therapy entails close
cooperation between youth groups and other community and health services.  The
World Health Organization and other world-wide medical and mental health
organizations could be requested to set guidelines for continuing research and
for carrying out comparable programmes in different settings, whose
effectiveness could be evaluated over a given period of time.
 
 
          4.  Care for young drug abusers and drug-dependent suspects and
              offenders in the criminal justice and prison system
 
83.  Authorities should consider strategies to prevent exposure to drug abuse
and dependence among young people suspected or convicted of criminal offences.
Such strategies could include alternative measures, such as daily reporting to
police stations, regular visits to parole officers or the fulfilment of a
specified number of hours of community service.
 
84.  Prison authorities should cooperate closely with law enforcement agencies
to keep drugs out of the prison system.  Prison personnel should be
discouraged from tolerating the presence of drugs in penal institutions.
 
85.  Young prisoners who are already drug-dependent should be targeted as
priority candidates for treatment and rehabilitation services and should be
segregated as appropriate.  Guidelines and standard minimum rules should be
prepared to assist national authorities in law enforcement and prison systems
in maintaining the necessary controls and initiating treatment and
rehabilitation services.  Action along these lines constitutes a long-term
advantage to society, as the cycle of dependence, release, repeated offences
and repeated incarcerations constitutes a heavy burden on the criminal justice
system, quite apart from the wasted lives and personal tragedies which result
from drug dependence and criminal behaviour.
 
                           G.  Juvenile delinquency
 
86.  Juvenile crime and delinquency are serious problems all over the world.
Their intensity and gravity depend mostly on the social, economic and cultural
conditions in each country.  There is evidence, however, of an apparent
world-wide increase in juvenile criminality combined with economic recession,
especially in marginal sectors of urban centres.  In many cases, youth
offenders are "street children" who have been exposed to violence in their
immediate social environment, either as observers or as victims.  Their basic
education, when they have it, is poor; their primary socialization from the
family is too often inadequate; and their socio-economic environment is shaped
by poverty and destitution.  Rather than relying solely on the criminal
justice system, approaches to the prevention of violence and crime should thus
include measures to support equality and justice, to combat poverty and to
reduce hopelessness among young people.
 
 
Proposals for action
 
                      1.  Priority to preventive measures
 
87.  Governments should give priority to issues and problems of juvenile
delinquency and youth criminality, with particular attention to preventive
policies and programmes.  Rural areas should be provided with adequate
socio-economic opportunities and administrative services which could
discourage young people from migrating to urban areas.  Youth from poor urban
settings should have access to specific educational, employment and leisure
programmes, particularly during long school holidays.  Young people who drop
out of school or come from broken families should benefit from specific social
programmes that help them build self-esteem and confidence conducive to
responsible adulthood.
 
 
                          2.  Prevention of violence
 
88.  Governments and other relevant organizations, particularly youth
organizations, should consider organizing information campaigns and
educational and training programmes in order to sensitize youth to the
personally and socially detrimental effects of violence in the family,
community and society, to teach them how to communicate without violence and
to promote training so that they can protect themselves and others against
violence.  Governments should also develop programmes to promote tolerance and
better understanding among youth, with a view to eradicating contemporary
forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and
thereby prevent violence.
 
89.  To prevent violence and crime, the development of social organization,
particularly through youth organizations and community involvement, should be
fostered by a supportive social policy and within a legal framework.
Government assistance should focus on facilitating the ability of community
and youth organizations to express and evaluate their needs concerning the
prevention of violence and crime, to formulate and implement actions for
themselves and to cooperate with each other.
 
                  3.  Rehabilitation services and programmes
 
90.  Destitution, poor living conditions, inadequate education, malnutrition,
illiteracy, unemployment and lack of leisure-time activities are factors that
marginalize young people, which makes some of them vulnerable to exploitation
as well as to involvement in criminal and other deviant behaviour.  If
preventive measures address the very causes of criminality, rehabilitation
programmes and services should be made available to those who already have a
criminal history.  In general, youth delinquency begins with petty offences
such as robbery or violent behaviour, which can be easily traced by and
corrected through institutions and community and family environments.  Indeed
law enforcement should be a part of rehabilitation measures.  Finally, the
human rights of young people who are imprisoned should be protected and
principles of penal majority according to penal laws should be given great
attention.
 
 
                          H.  Leisure-time activities
 
91.  The importance of leisure-time activities in the psychological, cognitive
and physical development of young people is recognized in all societies.
Leisure-time activities include games, sports, cultural events, entertainment
and community service.  Appropriate leisure programmes for youth are elements
of any measure aimed at fighting social ills such as drug abuse, juvenile
delinquency and other deviant behaviour.  While leisure programmes can
contribute greatly to the development of the physical, intellectual and
emotional potential of young people, they should be designed with due care and
concern so that they are not used as a means for excluding youth from
participating in other aspects of social life or for indoctrinating them.
Leisure-time activity programmes should be made freely available to young
people.
 
 
Proposals for action
 
              1.  Leisure-time activities as an integral part of youth
                  policies and programmes
 
92.  Governments, in planning, designing and implementing youth policies and
programmes, with the active involvement of youth organizations, should
recognize the importance of leisure-time activities. The importance given to
such activities should be reflected in appropriate funding.
 
93.  Governments are invited to establish public libraries, cultural centres
and other cultural facilities in rural and urban areas, with the aid of
international organizations, and to provide assistance to young people active
in the fields of drama, the fine arts, music and other forms of cultural
expression.
 
94.  Governments are invited to encourage the participation of young people in
tourism, international cultural events, sports and all other activities of
special interest to youth.
 
 
            2.  Leisure-time activities as elements of educational programmes
 
95.  Governments, by providing adequate funding to educational institutions
for the establishment of leisure-time activities, may accord priority to such
activities.  In addition, leisure-time activities could be integrated into the
regular school curriculum.
 
                 3.  Leisure-time activities in urban planning and rural
                     development
 
96.  National Governments as well as local authorities and community
development agencies should incorporate leisure-time activity programmes and
facilities in urban planning, giving particular attention to areas with a high
population density.  Equally, rural development programmes should pay due
attention to the leisure needs of rural youth.
 
                   4.  Leisure-time activities and the media
 
97.  The media should be encouraged to promote youth understanding and
awareness of all aspects of social integration, including tolerance and
non-violent behaviour.
 
 
                           I.  Girls and young women
 
98.  One of the most important tasks of youth policy is to improve the
situation of girls and young women.  Governments therefore should implement
their obligations under international human rights instruments as well as
implementing the Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women,
the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and
Development, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of the World
Conference on Human Rights and other programmes of relevant United Nations
conferences.  Girls are often treated as inferior and are socialized to put
themselves last, thus undermining their self-esteem.  Discrimination and
neglect in childhood can initiate a lifelong downward spiral of deprivation
and exclusion from the social mainstream.  Negative cultural attitudes and
practices as well as gender-biased educational processes including curricula,
educational materials and practices, teachers' attitudes and classroom
interaction, reinforce existing gender inequalities.
 
Proposals for action
 
                              1.  Discrimination
 
99.  Discrimination and neglect in childhood can initiate a lifelong exclusion
from society.  Action should be taken to eliminate discrimination against
girls and young women and to ensure their full enjoyment of human rights and
fundamental freedoms through comprehensive policies, plans of action and
programmes on the basis of equality.  Initiatives should be taken to prepare
girls to participate actively, effectively and equally with boys at all levels
of social, economic, political and cultural leadership.
 
 
                                 2.  Education
 
100.     Universal and equal access to and completion of primary education for
girls and young women as well as equal access to secondary and higher
education should be ensured.  A framework should be provided for the
development of educational materials and practices that are gender balanced
and promote an educational setting that eliminates all barriers impeding the
schooling of girls and young women, including married and/or pregnant girls
and young women.
 
 
                                  3.  Health
 
101.     Discrimination against girls and young women should be eliminated in
health and nutrition.  The removal of discriminatory laws and practices
against girls and young women in food allocation and nutrition should be
promoted, and their access to health services should be ensured in accordance
with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and
Development and the Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on
Women.
 
 
                                4.  Employment
 
102.     Girls and young women should be protected from economic and related
forms of exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be
hazardous, to interfere with their education or to be harmful to their health
or their physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development, in
conformity with the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Equal access
for young women to all employment opportunities should be promoted and their
participation in the traditionally male-dominated sectors should be
encouraged.
 
 
                                 5.  Violence
 
103.     Governments should cooperate at the international level and enact and
enforce legislation protecting girls and young women from all forms of
violence, including female infanticide and prenatal sex selection, genital
mutilation, incest, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, child prostitution and
child pornography.  Age appropriate, safe and confidential programmes and
support services to assist girls and young women who are subjected to violence
should be developed in cooperation with relevant non-governmental
organizations, particularly youth organizations, as appropriate.
 
 
          J.  Full and effective participation of youth in the life of society
              and in decision-making
 
104.     The capacity for progress of our societies is based, among other
elements, on their capacity to incorporate the contribution and responsibility
of youth in the building and designing of the future.  In addition to their
intellectual contribution and their ability to mobilize support, they bring
unique perspectives that need to be taken into account.
 
105.     Any efforts and proposed actions in the other priority areas
considered in this programme are, in a certain way, conditioned by enabling
the economic, social and political participation of youth, as a matter of
critical importance.
 
106. Youth organizations are important forums for developing skills necessary
for effective participation in society, promoting tolerance and increased
cooperation and exchanges between youth organizations.
 
 
Proposals for action
 
107. The following actions are proposed:
 
     (a)  Improving access to information in order to enable young people to
make better use of their opportunities to participate in decision-making;
 
     (b) Developing and/or strengthening opportunities for young people to
learn their rights and responsibilities, promoting their social, political,
developmental and environmental participation, removing obstacles that affect
their full contribution to society and respecting, inter alia, freedom of
association;
 
     (c) Encouraging and promoting youth associations through financial,
educational and technical support and promotion of their activities;
 
     (d) Taking into account the contribution of youth in designing,
implementing and evaluating national policies and plans affecting their
concerns;
 
     (e) Encouraging increased national, regional and international
cooperation and exchange between youth organizations;
 
     (f) Inviting Governments to strengthen the involvement of young people in
international forums, inter alia, by considering the inclusion of youth
representatives in their national delegations to the General Assembly.
 
 
                          V.  MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION
 
108.     Effective implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth
to the Year 2000 and Beyond will require a significant expression of
commitment by organizations and institutions responsible for its adoption and
implementation and the involvement of such organizations and especially of
youth from all sectors of society.  Without such commitment by governmental,
intergovernmental and non-governmental entities at the national, regional and
international levels, the Programme of Action will remain little more than a
global statement of intent and general standard for action.
 
109.     Therefore the development of an overall system of enabling mechanisms
is necessary in order for the Programme of Action to be implemented.  Such
mechanisms should engage, on a continuing basis, the human, political,
economic, financial and socio-cultural resources necessary to ensure that the
Programme is implemented efficiently and effectively.
 
110.     Implementation of the Programme of Action is ultimately the
responsibility of Governments with the support of the international community
and in cooperation, as appropriate, with the non-governmental and private
sectors.  Translation of the Programme's proposals for action into specific
plans, targets and law will be influenced by national priorities, resources
and historical experience.  In this process, Governments can be assisted, at
their request, by regional and international organizations.
 
111.     In implementing the Programme of Action, Governments, youth
organizations and other actors should promote an active and visible policy of
mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and programmes in
accordance with the results of the International Conference on Population and
Development, the World Summit on Social Development and the Fourth World
Conference on Women.
 
 
                              A.  National level
 
112.     Governments which have not already done so are urged to formulate and
adopt an integrated national youth policy as a means of addressing
youth-related concerns.  This should be done as part of a continuing process
of review and assessment of the situation of youth, formulation of a
cross-sectoral national youth programme of action in terms of specific,
time-bound objectives and a systematic evaluation of progress achieved and
obstacles encountered.
 
113.     Reinforcing youth-related concerns in development activities can be
facilitated through the existence of multilevel mechanisms for consultation,
dissemination of information, coordination, monitoring and evaluation.  These
should be cross-sectoral in nature and multidisciplinary in approach and
should include the participation of youth-related departments and ministries,
national non-governmental youth organizations and the private sector.
 
114.     Special and additional efforts may be required to develop and
disseminate model frameworks for integrated policies and to identify and
organize an appropriate division of responsibilities among both governmental
and non-governmental entities concerned with youth-related issues.  Special
and additional efforts could also be directed towards strengthening national
capacities for data collection and dissemination of information, research and
policy studies, planning, implementation and coordination, and training and
advisory services.
 
115.     National coordinating mechanisms should be appropriately strengthened
for integrated youth policies and programmes.  Where such mechanisms do not
exist, Governments are urged to promote their establishment on a multilevel
and cross-sectoral basis.
 
 
                           B.  Regional cooperation
 
116.     The activities of the United Nations regional commissions, in
cooperation with concerned regional intergovernmental and non-governmental
youth and youth-related organizations, are essential complements to national
and global action aimed at building national capacities.
 
117.     Regional commissions, within their existing mandates, are urged to
promote the implementation of the Programme of Action through incorporation of
its goals in their plans, to undertake comprehensive reviews of the progress
achieved and obstacles encountered and to identify options to further
regional-level action.
 
118.     Regional intergovernmental meetings of ministers responsible for
youth, in cooperation with the concerned United Nations regional commissions,
regional intergovernmental organizations and regional non-governmental youth
organizations, can make particular contributions to the formulation,
implementation, coordination and evaluation of action at the regional level,
including periodic monitoring of regional youth programmes.
 
119.     Data collection, dissemination of information, research and policy
studies, inter-organizational coordination and technical cooperation, training
seminars and advisory services are among the measures which can be provided on
request at the regional level to promote, implement and evaluate youth
programmes.
 
120.     Regional non-governmental youth organizations, regional offices of
bodies and organizations of the United Nations system and regional
intergovernmental organizations concerned with youth are invited to consider
meeting on a biennial basis to review and discuss issues and trends and to
identify proposals for regional and subregional cooperation.  United Nations
regional commissions are also invited to play an essential role through the
provision of a suitable venue and appropriate input regarding regional action.
 
 
                         C.  International cooperation
 
121.     An essential role for international cooperation is to promote
conditions conducive to the implementation of the Programme of Action at all
levels.  Means available include debates at the policy level and decisions at
the intergovernmental level, global monitoring of issues and trends, data
collection and dissemination of information, research and studies, planning
and coordination, technical cooperation and outreach and partnership among
interested constituencies from both the non-governmental and private sectors.
 
122.     In its capacity as the subsidiary body of the Economic and Social
Council responsible for global social development issues, the Commission for
Social Development has an important role to play as the focal point for the
implementation of the Programme of Action.  The Commission is called upon to
continue the policy-level dialogue on youth for policy coordination and for
periodic monitoring of issues and trends.
 
123.     Current regional and interregional conferences of ministers
responsible for youth affairs in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the
Caribbean and Western Asia are invited to intensify cooperation among each
other and to consider meeting regularly at the international level under the
aegis of the United Nations.  Such meetings could provide an effective forum
for a focused global dialogue on youth-related issues.
 
124.     Youth-related bodies and organizations of the United Nations system
are invited to cooperate with the above-mentioned conferences.  In this
connection, the existing ad hoc inter-agency working group on youth should
meet annually and invite all concerned bodies and agencies of the United
Nations system and related intergovernmental organizations to discuss ways and
means by which they can promote the implementation of the Programme of Action
on a coordinated basis.
 
125.     Effective channels of communication between non-governmental youth
organizations and the United Nations system are essential for dialogue and
consultation on the situation of youth and implications for the implementation
of the Programme of Action. The General Assembly has repeatedly stressed the
importance of channels of communication in the field of youth.  The Youth
Forum of the United Nations system could contribute to the implementation of
the Programme of Action through the identification and promotion of joint
initiatives to further its objectives so that they better reflect the
interests of youth.
 
 
             1.  Data collection and dissemination of information
 
126.     Capacities to collect, analyse and present data in a timely and
accurate fashion are essential for effective planning and target-setting, for
monitoring issues and trends and for evaluating progress achieved in
implementing the Programme of Action.  Special attention should be directed
towards building national capacities and institutions regularly to collect and
compile socio-economic data series that are both cross-sectional and
disaggregated by cohort.  To this end, interested centres and institutions may
wish to consider the possibility of jointly strengthening or establishing, in
cooperation with the United Nations, networks concerned with collection of
data and publication of statistics and to realize thereby greater economies of
scale in the development and dissemination of statistics in the field of
youth.
 
127.     Major contributions related to data and statistics in the field of
youth are currently being made by the United Nations.  Such contributions
include the socio-economic data collection and statistical development
activities of the Statistics Division of the Department for Economic and
Social Information and Policy Analysis of the Secretariat; the youth policies
and programmes information activities of the Division for Social Policy and
Development of the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable
Development of the Secretariat; the educational and literacy data collection
activities of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization; and the youth advisory networks of the United Nations
Environment Programme.  Concerned bodies and agencies of the United Nations
system are urged to explore ways and means of achieving greater coherence in
data collection and the publication of statistics.  This could include
programme planning and coordination on an inter-agency basis.  For example,
the data bank programme on adolescent health of the World Health Organization
is coordinated with the work of the Statistics Division of the Secretariat.
Other bodies and agencies of the United Nations system are invited to
contribute data in their respective areas of expertise to an integrated
socio-economic data bank on youth.  For instance, the international drug abuse
assessment system of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme
is urged to consider including a component on youth and drugs.  An inventory
of innovative youth policies, programmes and projects could be coordinated and
made available to interested users by the Department for Policy Coordination
and Sustainable Development.  Other topics that could be considered for joint
action include juvenile delinquency, runaways and homeless youth.
 
128.     Public information and communications are equally important in
building awareness of youth issues, as well as a consensus on appropriate
planning and action.  The bodies and organizations of the United Nations
system concerned are urged, as a matter of priority, to review publications
currently produced and to identify ways in which these publications can better
promote the Programme of Action and areas in which they may need to be
complemented through the production of leaflets and posters in connection with
special events.
 
129.     To encourage widespread awareness of and support for the Programme of
Action, Governments, non-governmental organizations and, as appropriate, the
private sector, are urged to consider the possibility of preparing both
printed and audiovisual materials related to areas of concern in the Programme
of Action.  This could be carried out with the assistance of and in
cooperation with the United Nations and materials could be disseminated
through United Nations public information channels.  In addition young people
and youth organizations are urged to identify and plan information activities
that focus on priority issues, which they would undertake within the context
of the Programme of Action.
 
                        2.  Research and policy studies
 
130.     Comparative studies on issues and trends concerning youth are
essential to the continuous expansion and development of the global body of
knowledge on relevant theories, concepts and methods.  International, regional
and national research centres and institutions concerned with youth-related
issues are urged to consider the possibility of establishing cooperative
relationships with the United Nations to ensure effective links between the
implementation of the Programme of Action and relevant research and studies.
 
131.     Cooperation in strengthening and improving national capacities for
the research, design, conduct and dissemination of relevant studies on the
situation of young people is a closely related concern.
 
132.     A third concern is the improved planning and coordination of the
scarce human and financial resources available so that appropriate attention
is accorded to initiatives undertaken by young people at all levels, related
to priority areas identified in the Programme of Action, to the identification
and assessment of issues and trends and to the review and evaluation of policy
initiatives.
 
                         3.  Planning and coordination
 
133.     Using the mechanisms currently available within the United Nations
system for planning, programming and coordinating activities concerning youth,
interested bodies and organizations of the United Nations system are urged to
review their medium-term planning process to give appropriate consideration to
reinforcing a youth perspective in their activities.  They are also urged to
identify current and projected programme activities that correspond to the
priorities of the Programme of Action so that these activities can be
reinforced throughout the system.  Appropriate attention should be directed
towards identifying opportunities for joint planning among interested members
of the system so that joint action may be undertaken which reflects their
respective areas of competence, that is of direct interest to young people or
that responds to priority needs of young people in special circumstances.
 
134.     A complementary mechanism for coordination is provided by the
channels that have been developed between the United Nations and
intergovernmental and non-governmental youth organizations.  Such mechanisms
require appropriate strengthening to enable them to respond better to
priorities for action, as identified in the Programme of Action.
 
 
           4.  Technical cooperation, training and advisory services
 
135.     Technical cooperation is an essential means for building national
capacities and institutional capabilities.  Bodies and organizations of the
United Nations system that have not already done so are urged to review and
assess their range of programmatic and operational activities in the light of
the priorities for action identified in the Programme of Action and to
reinforce a youth dimension in technical cooperation activities.  In this
regard, special attention should be directed towards measures that will serve
to promote expanded opportunities for international technical assistance and
advisory services in the field of youth as a means of building expanded and
strengthened networks of institutions and organizations.
 
136.     There is a need to continue to improve the impact of technical
cooperation activities carried out by the United Nations system, including
those that relate to youth activities.  The United Nations system must
continue to assist Governments, at their request, to ensure implementation of
national plans and strategies within the national priorities and programmes to
support youth activities.  As administrative overheads can reduce the
resources available for technical cooperation, these should be reduced.
National execution should be the preferred modality for the implementation of
projects and programmes and, where required, developing countries should be
assisted in improving their national capacities for project and programme
formulation and execution.
 
137.     Countries with economies in transition, when required, should also be
assisted in improving their national capacities for project and programme
formulation and execution.
 
138.     The organization, on an inter-agency basis, of missions to review,
assess and plan technical cooperation concerning youth, available on request
to Governments, represents a specific contribution by the United Nations
system to the implementation of the Programme of Action.
 
139.     The United Nations Youth Fund represents a unique resource to support
catalytic and innovative action concerning youth.  Programme implementation
can be furthered through the Fund's support, in both a technical and a
financial sense, of pilot action, studies and technical exchanges on issues
concerning youth that encourage the participation of youth in devising and
carrying out projects and whose short time-frames often make it difficult to
obtain needed support from conventional budgeting processes.  The capacities
of the Fund for innovative action are, however, limited in the light of
Programme priorities, and interested Governments, non-governmental
organizations and the private sector are invited to consider the possibility
of supporting the activities of the Fund on a predictable and sustained basis.
To this end, the parties concerned may wish to consider the possibility of
constituting an advisory body at an appropriate level to review the
application of the terms of reference of the Fund and priorities and means of
strengthening its capacities.
 
 
         5.  Outreach and partnership among specialized constituencies
 
140.     A crucial element in implementing the Programme of Action is the
recognition that governmental action alone is not sufficient to ensure its
success, that rather it should be further complemented by the support of the
international community.  This process will also require both systematic
outreach and partnership among the Programme's many constituencies in both the
non-governmental and private sectors.
 
141.     A critical first step is phased expansion and regularization of
channels of communication between the United Nations and non-governmental
youth organizations to include representatives of interested private sector
organizations.  This would build upon the provisions set forth in General
Assembly resolution 45/103 of 14 December 1990 concerning the involvement of
youth and non-governmental youth organizations in the formulation of the
Programme of Action.  Youth, youth-related organizations and interested
private sector organizations are urged to identify, in partnership with
Governments, ways in which they could contribute to action at the local level
to implement the Programme, and to the periodic review, appraisal and
formulation of options to achieve its goals and objectives.
 
142.     Implementation of the Programme of Action offers important
opportunities to expand technical and cultural exchanges among young people
through new partnerships in both the public and private sectors; to identify
and test improved ways to leverage public resources, in partnership with the
non-governmental and private sectors, to further Programme priorities; and to
encourage and jointly plan innovative approaches to critical issues concerning
youth.
 
143.     Relevant voluntary organizations, particularly those concerned with
education, employment, juvenile justice, youth development, health, hunger,
ecology and the environment, and drug abuse, can further the implementation of
the Programme of Action by encouraging the involvement of young people in
programme planning and field activities.  The Programme of Action can
contribute to the work of such organizations because it provides a global
policy framework for consultation and coordination.