Dear youth delegates and friends, distinguished participants and ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to first congratulate Mr. Collen Vixen Kelapile, President of the Economic and Social Council, for convening such a dynamic and thought-provoking ECOSOC Youth Forum.
Also, I wish to thank each and every youth who took part in this ECOSOC Youth Forum. I had the pleasure of listening in on several sessions and was delighted to learn how youth are actively contributing to the COVID-19 recovery and to sustainable development at local, regional, and global levels.
Your innovative actions, - concrete recommendations, - and push for solidarity and inclusion, are exemplary of the Leaving No One Behind principle, underpinning the 2030 Agenda. Your dedication to leverage your own development and self-agency to positively impact your community, country and region is truly inspiring!
The UN family acknowledges how youth have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We fully espouse the principle of partnering with a wide array of youth to support global recovery efforts from the pandemic, aspiring for sustainable and inclusive results. We encourage Member States in their pandemic recovery efforts to include partnerships with youth. Meaningful engagement with youth in UN intergovernmental processes is at the core of DESA’s work.
DESA, along with several partners, is working on fostering an intergenerational dialogue in the search for solutions to global challenges such as climate change, social inclusion and social protection, as well as financing for sustainable development. I believe this is a way forward to strengthen our shared resilience. Working alongside youth is crucial and should become the norm.
As DESA supports numerous intergovernmental processes, we are always looking for ways to improve meaningful youth engagement in policy-making processes. One example is the UN Youth Delegates Programme we manage, as an important tool to advance the meaningful participation of youth in decision-making processes. Member States are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this programme. A broader and more diverse representation of youth in decision-making is key to realizing the SDGs by 2030.
Your ideas, solutions, and commitments throughout these two days will inspire the work of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development when it meets in July, to discuss ways to achieve the SDGs as part of efforts to recover from COVID-19.
This ECOSOC Youth Forum has once again served as a hub to generate new thinking, catalyze efforts and mobilize youth and their countries to advance the SDGs and improve the lives of people.
I conclude my remarks with warm congratulations!