Adolescents and youth central to development issues

The forty-fifth session of the Commission on Population and Development will discuss the theme of “Adolescents and youth” from 23-27 April in New York.

There are over 1.8 billion young people aged 10 to 24 years worldwide. While the number of adolescents and youth worldwide is likely to remain relatively stable over the rest of the century, this stability masks important regional differences that have implications for development. Investments in the education, health, including sexual and reproductive health, and livelihoods of adolescents and youth are essential for them to achieve their full potential and contribute to sustainable and equitable development.

This year’s session of the Commission on Population and Development will discuss demographic trends in the adolescent and youth population and selected aspects of the transition to adulthood, including the implications of early marriage and childbearing and the policy and programmatic efforts being made to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people, especially those who are most vulnerable. Discussions are also expected to highlight the health of young people generally given that the major causes of ill health and death among this age group, including HIV/AIDS, maternal causes, and injuries, are often preventable, and the health behaviours learned during adolescence and youth are key to a lifetime of good health. The Commission may also take up discussion of the situation of young migrants and the broader programmes and policies that can foster decent work opportunities for all young people.

Items on the agenda for the session include actions to follow-up on the recommendations of the ICPD, a general debate on national experience in population matters, programme implementation and future programme of work of the Secretariat in the field of population, contribution of population and development issues to the theme of the annual ministerial review in 2012 (“Promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the Millennium Development Goals”) and the adoption of the report of the Commission on its forty-fifth session.

The Population Commission was established by the Economic and Social Council in 1946 and renamed the Commission on Population and Development by the General Assembly in 1994. In addition to advising the Council, the Commission, as a functional commission assisting the Council, has the task of monitoring, reviewing and assessing the implementation at the national, regional and international levels of the Programme of Action of the ICPD. The Commission is composed of 47 members, who are elected on the basis of equitable geographic distribution and serve a term of four years.

For more information:
The Commission on Population and Development