Ambassador Martin Sajdik, President of ECOSOC,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to join you to provide closing remarks.

Indeed, this has been a most interesting and productive two day event.

I am inspired and awed by the motivation, innovation and commitment of the many young people here.  Your work in helping drive forward progress towards the post-2015 development agenda, is laudable. Your voice, your input, is critical to the shape of the Agenda, as well its ultimate success.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I know that your work over the past two days has not taken place in a vacuum. Rather, it has been the culmination of processes and consultations that have been gaining momentum over a number of years.

From the MyWorld and World We Want surveys, to consultations at the national and regional levels, to the work of the Major Group on Children and Youth, to the many youth-led events and activities taking place globally. Young people have been loud and clear in their desire and demands to be actively involved in shaping the Post-2015 development agenda.

The United Nations wants to partner with you. With 1.2 billion young people in the world today your views and perspectives, your expertise and input, are all crucial to sustainable development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In recent years, young people have felt most acutely the impact of the economic crisis through stifling levels of youth unemployment globally. As youth, you make up 25 per cent of the global working age population, but account for 44 per cent of those unemployed. These numbers are alarming.

Through your working session on “Promoting Youth Employment – Creating Decent Jobs for a More Sustainable Future” you have been able to articulate from your unique perspective, the crux of the problems you face, as well as suggest innovative solutions.

This is critical. We cannot have successful sustainable development without tackling poverty and unemployment, head-on. For this to happen, we need to take an honest look at how effective our education systems are at preparing youth for the world of work. We need to provide more opportunities for young people to develop the skills necessary to meet the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s labour market.

We must also work to ensure that young people live in a world free from the shackles of violence, in all its forms. Violence stifles creativity and freedom of expression – it stifles innovation and development. We know that – for development to be sustainable – stability is a must. Your role as peace-builders and peacekeepers is therefore crucial.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In all these efforts, equality is a pre-requisite. From employment to education, reducing poverty to ending violence and conflict – development cannot happen without everybody on board, on an equal footing. The Global Call you have presented here today, is also clear on this. Equality is the backbone of development.

Through the Global Call and this Forum, you have made your voices heard here at the UN. Throughout the online Crowdsourcing initiative you have demonstrated the crucial role that ICTs can play. By transcending borders, ICTs enable young people from every corner of the world to share their views and have their voices amplified. These voices are critical.

I thank you for your time and energy – for your commitment to ensuring sustainable development.

This concludes the statement of Under Secretary-General Wu Hongbo.

File date: 
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Mr. Wu