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Youth Commence 2018 with a Good Cause: “Building Sustainable and Resilient Urban and Rural Communities”

Youth Commence 2018 with a Good Cause: “Building Sustainable and Resilient Urban and Rural Communities”

The 7th United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) youth forum is scheduled for the 30th and the 31st of January 2018. The annual event is one of the global platforms at the United Nations Headquarters that brings together scores of young people to participate at the global level and contribute to the youth development agenda. Through policy dialogue and discussions that enable young people to impart creative, innovative and fresh ideas, the ECOSOC Youth Forum is unique in that it directly empowers youth to proactively contribute to policy decisions and discussions that affect them. The discussions will center around the topical theme “The Role of Youth in Building Sustainable and Resilient Urban and Rural Communities” which resonates with many young people who share common ideas towards building sustainable and resilient communities.

As of 2018, young people (aged 15- 24) contribute to around 1.2 billion of the global population. Many of these young people especially in developing countries, continually face unique challenges including high rates of unemployment, underemployment, lack of access to quality education, gender inequality, marginalization and ultimate economic and social disenfranchisement. Despite these challenges, young people are willing to meaningfully contribute ideas, thoughts and decisions towards their progress and development. Recognizing the positive role of young people as key agents in development is a crucial first step towards youth inclusion and sustainable development.

Through its various intergovernmental platforms, the United Nations aims to strengthen mechanisms and avenues that can facilitate further engagement and partnerships of youth in development. Through the ECOSOC Youth Forum, youth can engage in policy discussions and dialogue with Member States who recognize them as key agents in peacebuilding efforts and poverty reduction, and integral to economic and social prosperity including the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The adoption of the Security Council Resolution 2250 in 2015 as well as other international, regional and frameworks continue to shape the trajectory of a youth-centered development and many communities continue to harness the energy and aspirations of young people especially towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this regard, the ECOSOC youth forum enables youth to amplify their voices and seize the opportunity to solidify their common purposes together with other youth representatives, advocates, youth-led and youth-focused organizations and networks including civil society, NGOs and policymakers.

The event will bring participants from diverse backgrounds including rural and urban youth, indigenous youth and youth with disability, who will contribute their ideas toward its review through a segment of the High Political Forum (HLPF) which will be held in July 2018 on related themes “From global to local: supporting sustainable and resilient societies in urban and rural communities” and “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”.

The outcome of the forum will culminate in an informal summary of the proceedings by the President of the ECOSOC and contribute to a summary document that will capture key messages of the discussions to be further deliberated at the High Level Political Forum in July. A youth representative will also provide a summary of the proceedings and outcomes to the Commission for Social Development (CSoCD).

The 2018 ECOSOC Youth Forum two day event is co-organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, in collaboration with the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development, in particular its Working Group on Youth and SDGs, and co-convened by the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN-MGCY), the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organizations (ICMYO) and the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus. More.