Volume 18, No.07 - July 2014

Trends and analysis

Placing youth and mental health in the spotlight

mentalhealthyouthThere are over 1.2 billion youth aged 15-24 in the world today and over 280 million of them experience a mental health condition. To raise awareness on the importance of reducing stigma surrounding youth with mental health conditions, UN DESA has just kicked off a campaign in the lead-up to the International Youth Day celebrated on 12 August.

Mental-health conditions have a significant impact on the development of youth and their social and economic integration, including employability. Youth with mental health conditions can often also experience stigma and discrimination, which in turn can lead to exclusion and/or discourage people from seeking help for fear of being negatively ‘labelled’.

Efforts are needed to overcome this stigma to ensure that young people with mental health conditions can lead full and healthy lives free of isolation and unnecessary shame, and that they can openly seek the services and support they need.

IYD_MentalHealthBannerUnder the slogan “Mental Health Matters”, International Youth Day (IYD) on 12 August will be celebrated this year with a focus on youth and mental health. In the lead-up to the day, people from across the globe are encouraged to help raise awareness on this topic by joining efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest using #MentalHealthMatters and #UN4Youth.

The online audience is invited to submit artwork, illustrations, videos, photos and/or stories about the positive impact that speaking out about mental health issues has had on their life or the life of a young person they may know. People are also encouraged to spread the word about the campaign and International Youth Day, and to also organize events of their own to celebrate. For this purpose, a toolkit has been developed to serve as a source of inspiration for possible actions and events (see the link provided under “related information”).

By joining the campaign, people will actively be helping in spreading the word about the importance of reducing stigma surrounding youth and mental health conditions. Selected written, photo, video and artwork entries will also be chosen to be included in UN DESA’s publication ‘Social Inclusion of Youth with Mental Health Conditions,’ which will be launched on the International Youth Day, in the poster design, as well as showcased as part of the IYD event on 12 August at UN Headquarters.

This event will bring together young people, experts, the UN and Members States to discuss and raise awareness on the issue of youth and mental health conditions. A panel discussion, along with performances by young artists, will explore this issue in a variety of interactive and informative ways.

For more information:

International Youth Day 2014

Join the campaign on Facebook

Join the campaign on Twitter

Join the campaign on Instagram

Join the campaign on Pinterest

International Youth Day #MentalHealthMatters toolkit


A China Story II: A New Model of Urbanization

Ageing in China“A China Story II: A New Model of Urbanization” will take place on July 7, at United Nations Headquarters in New York City, organized by the China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), a Chinese think-tank in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Entitled “A China Story II: New Pathways to Urbanization”, this forum will tell how the world’s largest developing country prepares itself for the new tide of urbanization, the considerations it has to weigh, and the good practices that it seeks to learn.

The story of modern China will comprise a series of presentations to drive home the reality that sustainable growth involves a delicate balancing act that takes into account multiple competing forces and needs. It will serve as a platform to depict the overall approach to sustainable development of China in the  past thirty years as well as the new administration’s dedication on building an eco-civilization which is centered around economically viable, socially responsible, environmentally friendly, culturally inclusive and politically harmonious cities.

Above all, this forum represents the dedication and effort of this Chinese think-tank, the China Energy Fund Committee, to provide a novel foundation and a renewed perspective for all stakeholders to move forward with the preparations for a post-2015 UN development agenda that is responsive to both today’s and tomorrow’s global challenges, and therefore worthy of the aspirations of all countries and peoples for a better future.

For more information:

A China Story II: A New Model of Urbanization


Role of cooperatives in achieving sustainable development

Agriculture QIP in TimbuktuTo celebrate the International Day of Cooperatives this year, UN DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) in partnership with the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) will organize a panel discussion on “Cooperative enterprises achieve sustainable development for all” on 10 July.

Cooperative enterprises put social justice and equity at the heart of economic progress.  As member-owned, member-run and member-serving businesses, cooperatives empower people to collectively realize their economic aspirations, while strengthening their social and human capital and developing their communities.

The 2014 commemoration of the International Day of Cooperatives will highlight the principles, values and operational realities of cooperatives that make them unique instruments for achieving sustainable development and showcase the importance of the business model to realizing people-centred, inclusive development, post-2015.

For more information:

International Day of Cooperatives 

Economists respond to wide range of questions on world economy

FBchatEconomists from the Global Economic Monitoring Unit of the Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD) held a Facebook chat on the world economy on 12 June following the release of its mid-year update of the World Economic Situation and Prospects.

The online community raised questions ranging from macroeconomic issues, such as quantitative easing and interest rate policy, to more specific regional and national economic issues.

Ingo Pitterle, Economic Affairs Officer monitoring East and South Asia, said, “We really enjoyed engaging with people from all over the world in the facebook chat. The questions covered a broad range of issues and showed us what kind of information people are looking for.”

Over 180 Facebook followers participated in the one-hour chat. The unit is currently preparing its 2015 report which is due to be released in December. In the meantime, economic updates are available through the Monthly Briefing series.

For more information:

Facebook chat on the world economy on 12 June 2014 

World Economic Situation and Prospects Monthly Briefing


ICTs as driver of development change

WSISUN DESA’s Division for Public Administration Development Management (DPADM) attended the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) +10 High Level Event in Geneva, Switzerland from 10 to 13 June, where a review of the progress made in implementing the WSIS outcomes was conducted.

Ms. Elia Armstrong, Chief of Development Management Branch (DMB), made a policy statement on the importance of ICTs as a driver of development change, citing its interlinkage into government processes and development programmes.

Achievements made over the last ten years were reviewed based on the WSIS reports submitted by countries, action line facilitators and other stakeholders. Participants exchanged information and experiences with the aim of identifying propriety areas for implementation within the action lines and creating synergies among stakeholders for more effective knowledge sharing and collaboration towards implementation of WSIS at the international, regional and national levels. The outcomes of the meeting are expected to contribute to harness international expertise and experience to support deliberations on post-2015 development agenda priorities and development challenges in the 21st century.

In addition, DPADM organized and facilitated meetings on the implementation of WSIS action lines C1 – The role of public governance authorities and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development, C7 – ICT Applications: E-government and C11 – International and regional cooperation, for which UN DESA acts as lead facilitator and participated in a number of high-level events, substantive workshops and bilateral meetings, including in a UNESCO organized panel on the importance of Internet access and ICTs in the post-2015 development agenda.

For more information:

WSIS+10 High-level event