Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Closing Remarks at ECOSOC Partnerships Forum

Distinguished Delegates,
Distinguished Guests,

We have come to the end of a full day of discussion and debate on a very important issue  – how to make partnerships work for sustainable development. 

Thank you for your valuable contributions to making this 6th Annual Event one of the most memorable yet.

A few parting thoughts:

Last year, we spoke of the challenges of youth unemployment.  We concluded that the formal sector offers too few job openings. Where such opportunities do exist, those young people living in poverty lack the education and skills to take advantage of them.

We said that instead of being the symbol of hope, young people have become the human faces of poverty.

We decried the collective failure on multiple fronts.

Today, we discussed innovative solutions to sustainable development challenges.  However, we also heard that technology has created enormous possibilities, including to create a new generation of ICT entrepreneurs.  We know that young people are early users and adapters of these new technologies.  They are the ones driving most of the technology and social innovations that we have heard so much about today.

I encourage those of you representing the private sector to partner with Governments, research institutions and other civil society organizations. Seek new ways, together, to foster these emerging new businesses that have the potential to ease youth unemployment. 

Indeed, many of you are already doing this, as we heard this morning.  We join you in your support of entrepreneurship and job creation in ICTs for young people. 

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

As the Secretary General mentioned in his address this morning, harnessing the full power of transformative partnerships is a key priority for the entire UN family in the coming years.

Join us in launching new partnerships – or scaling up ones that are already in progress in mobile health, neglected tropical diseases, education and industrial design for the poor. 

The better world that we seek demands more and better partnerships. Efforts like yours today ensure that we advance in the right direction. 

Thank you very much.