New York, 3 June 2013 – The UN Secretary General’s Envoy on youth today joined the Secretary-General in thanking the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development Agenda for their ambitious work which, he said provides significant inputs and guidance for the further elaboration of the United Nations development agenda.

Mr Ahmad Alhendawi welcomed the consultative and people-centered approach to the report and the efforts made to include young people in the process.  Mr Alhendawi noted that over 300,000 young people, representing 70% of all respondents, participated in the My World 2015 Global Citizens campaign and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity that was provided for his office to send recommendations on how to incorporate the priorities of adolescents and young people, which were developed  in close collaboration with the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth.

Welcoming the proposed five ‘transformative shifts’ identified by the High Level Panel, all of which have the potential to improve the life chances of young women and men. Mr Alhendawi said  “We especially welcome the priority given to young people on the issue of access to education, decent work, and income. With 73.4 million young people currently looking for work and many others giving up their job search, addressing this issue is not only universally relevant, it is also crucial to eradicate extreme poverty, fight against inequalities, achieve social and human gains, and create sustainable inclusive economic development.”

He continued “I am pleased to see adolescents and young people and their issues mentioned throughout the document and welcome the recognition of youth as a cross-cutting development priority. With 43% of the world’s population under the age of 25, it is imperative that the new, global development agenda places the diverse voices, needs, and rights of young people and adolescents at the heart of development. It is equally essential that youth are recognized not only as a target for development, but as agents, equal partners, and leaders of change. With this in mind, I would welcome seeing youth specifically identified as key participants in the global partnership proposed in the report.”

The Envoy also emphasized that the focus of all development should be the fulfilment of human rights globally. “Upholding the equality and dignity of all persons, ensuring that the voices of young people in their full diversity are heard, and that their needs are met is essential as we work to build the foundations for the Post-2015 development agenda.

I stand ready to work with all partners in development and am committed to ensuring that the future is shaped through the creativity, meaningful participation, and leadership of young people. It is this recognized engagement that will ensure that young people, particularly young women and marginalized youth, are empowered to contribute to the transformations in education, health, and governance in their communities that will be required to deliver this ambitious agenda.”