Message by H.E. Mr. Jan Kavan,
President of the Fifty-seventh Session of the United Nations General
12 August 2003
17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the General Assembly
endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers
Responsible for Youth that 12 August be declared International
world‘s youth population is defined by the United Nations
as the age group between 15 and 24 years and is estimated at over
one billion. The majority of these young men and women live in
developing countries, and their numbers are expected to increase
during the twenty-first century. Young people are usually full
of hope, energy, and great expectations. They have their pristine
ideals and do not hesitate to openly express their attitudes and
opinions. Their fertile and imaginative minds have been the engine
for inovations that have often times led to enormous economic
and political changes. They need our nurturing and protection.
though young people are the future of mankind, they are one of
the most vulnerable and insecure social groups in our society.
The ILO estimates that 74 million young men and women are unemployed
throughout the world. Unemployment in such large numbers inevitably
breeds many social problems. If youth are occupied in constructive
endeavors there will be less despair and despondency with consequent
year’s celebration is dedicated to the theme of youth employment.
This issue was stressed in United Nations General Assembly resolution
57/165 on promoting youth employment, which was adopted under
my presidency in January 2003. On this special occasion, I would
like to urge governments to comply with the resolution and prepare
National Reviews and Action Plans on youth employment by March
United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, has established
the Youth Employment Network that was created under the impetus
of the Millennium Declaration. Under this Network, the UN, together
with the World Bank and ILO in cooperation with other agencies,
leaders in industry, youth, policymakers and civil society representatives
cooperate to find new approaches to the challenge of youth unemployment
at global, national and local levels and to assist governments.
The Network includes a High Level Panel of experts who have made
recommendations and guidelines for countries to prepare their
National Reviews and Action Plans as well as take concrete action
to increase youth employment.
this special day, I would like to pay tribute to all those taking
part in the struggle to combat youth unemployment. Employment
for youth around the world should be perceived and promoted in
the context of intergenerational support. The hopes and aspirations
of young people to create and partake of a better and more secure
world is of great importance to all of us.