Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Closing remarks
ECOSOC Youth Forum 2016

‘Youth Taking Action to Implement the 2030 Development Agenda’

Ambassador,
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen;

I would like to begin by thanking Ambassador Oh Joon Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea for inviting me here today and for convening this important Forum.

It has been my honour to attend numerous ECOSOC Youth Forums over the years, and each time I am impressed by the motivation and commitment of the young people who attend.

This year, has been no different.

The energy you have put into the past two days of discussion has been intense. Member States, young people and the UN have come together, to collaborate and to partner. You have put forward ideas and initiatives that can help to make the 2030 Agenda a reality.

We must harness this energy and build on the momentum, as we move forward together in our 15 year journey.

At the end of our journey, our success will be measured by the depth and breadth of positive change brought to the lives of the worlds’ most vulnerable and marginalized. It will be measured by the levels of equity, equality and inclusion across our societies, by the strength of social, political and cultural institutions, and it will be framed by shared prosperity.

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen;

This Forum has highlighted the importance of engaging young people in the management and development of our shared world.

From employment to peacebuilding, from volunteerism to electoral participation, from digital activism to sport, youth engagement in every aspect of life is critical to sustainable development.

Over the past two days, you have discussed issues and ideas which cut right to the core of sustainable development – gender equality, health, inclusion, participation, education, employment. These are issues which affect us all. And without these things, sustainable development is impossible.

Beginning tomorrow, and over the course of eight days, the Commission for Social Development will be considering many of these themes, as it deliberates on, “Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World.” I am hopeful that those of you who participate will carry forward the energy of this Forum, bridging this Forum’s discussion with the work for the Commission, and ensuring that the perspective of youth is represented.

One of the core issues discussed here, and a persistent challenge faced by youth across the world is a crisis of unemployment.

I am delighted that the UN has come together to launch the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth. Ensuring that young people have access to decent jobs and the means to stable livelihoods is a fundamental building block of sustainable development.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The task at hand is great.

As you have reiterated during this Forum, whether or not we succeed will be a testament to how well we have worked together in developing and implementing our development agendas from the local to the global levels.

Ministers, policy-makers, young people; together we can bring life to the 2030 Agenda.

Thank you.

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