Participating in his first side event during the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, spoke at a seminar organised by UN-Habitat and the Global Land Tool Network in New York on Securing Land and Property Rights for All.
Today the world counts 1.8 billion youth in the world. Many of these youth live in cities in towns, especially in the developing world. It is also estimated that as many as 60 percent of all urban dwellers will be under the age of 18 by the year 2030. The recurrent economic crises of our time have had a tremendous effect on the types of economic activities that young people choose for career or economic development. As the overwhelming majority of youth does not own any piece of land, and without adequate policies to cater to young people’s specific needs in relation to land governance, the coming generation will not be able to harness its potential.
Available research highlights a number of areas of concern for land governance as it relates to youth, such as tenure security and inheritance. It is important that the findings of the available research are used to formulate and test policies that respond to youth’s specific needs in land governance. It is also crucial that this research is built upon to further understand the social, economic and political challenges that affect youth’s access to land at the same level as adults.
In addition to the land ownership challenge for young people, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth stressed the issue of youth unemployment. Today, 73 million people between the ages of 15 and 24 are without work, and by 2030 it is estimated that an additional 470 million new jobs are needed to keep up with population growth. Part of the solution might be entrepreneurs as job creators — but for this to happen the necessary tools must be available, cautioned Mr. Alhendawi: “There are numerous workshops on how to write a CV or resume — but where are the courses on how to write a business plan?”