Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Closing Remarks
ECOSOC Youth Forum 2018
‘The role of youth in building sustainable and resilient
urban and rural communities”

Madam President,
Ladies and gentlemen;

I wish to start by congratulating the President of ECOSOC, Her Excellency Amb. Marie Chatardová, for convening this important Forum.

This has been the largest Youth Forum ever, which is a testament to young people’s extraordinary engagement in delivering the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Young people, Member States and the United Nations have come together to provide concrete ideas and solutions to strengthen urban and rural communities for future generations.

I call on all of you to continue your efforts outside these walls — in both policy and practice. We advocate mainstreaming youth in policies across all countries, to ensure their inclusion in issues relating to all the SDGs. We support young people’s active engagement and concrete contributions to ensure communities to thrive.
Ladies and gentlemen;
At the UN, DESA(Department of Economic and Social Affairs) holds a key mandate on youth – as the substantive focal point on youth of the UN system, including in the implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth.

For example, DESA’s current work analysing youth data at all levels is bringing attention to the youth aspects of the 2030 Agenda and the importance of reliable disaggregated data.

This year, DESA will publish the UN World Youth Report on the theme of “Youth and the New Development Agenda”, which examines the mutually supportive roles of the 2030 Agenda and youth development efforts.

Ladies and gentlemen,
The six Goals addressed at this Forum impact the lives of youth. The discussions highlighted many examples of national progress on youth development and engagement in the context of the 2030 Agenda, with a focus on building resilience.

We heard experiences of youth affected by, and working in the area of the right to water and sanitation. We heard how more awareness, advocacy and renewed commitments from partners to implement the SDG on water and sanitation is needed.
We also heard about the vast potential of youth-led actions to contribute to energy access, renewable energy solutions and energy efficiency, to improve resilience in both rural and urban communities.

You shared your innovative ideas on ways to participate in the creation of sustainable cities, including implementation of the New Urban Agenda and other frameworks that promote more prepared and inclusive cities.

When you told us about how young people can drive the adoption of responsible and sustainable consumption and production patterns for more resilient communities, you stressed the crucial work youth are doing, including in youth-led social entrepreneurship, research and innovation.

Ladies and gentlemen;

Specific and regional contexts require solutions that reflect those realities. And the lively discussions we witnessed at the regional breakout sessions raised important issues and innovative ideas.

To the young people here today, your engagement is essential to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Whether in:

  • advocacy, awareness raising and capacity building,
  • policy development,
  • advancing youth mainstreaming into financial planning and budgets, and
  • data generation and indicator development.

I urge you to continue working with policy-makers and your governments to ensure that your voice is heard in their plans to implement the 2030 Agenda.

I hope to see your continued and active engagement, over the next few days at the Commission for Social Development, deliberating the situation of various social groups, including youth, and exploring strategies to eradicate poverty and leave no one behind.

Thank you.

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