15 March 2011

General Assembly Decides to Convene High-Level Meeting on Youth 25-26 July, as Delegations Encourage Young People’s Transparent, Adequate Participation

15 March 2011
General Assembly
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fifth General Assembly


78th Meeting (PM)

General Assembly Decides to Convene High-Level Meeting on Youth 25-26 July,


as Delegations Encourage Young People’s Transparent, Adequate Participation


Acting on Fifth Committee’s Recommendation, Fills Two Seats on Contributions

Committee; Asks Working Group on Marine Environment for Report on Recent Meeting

The General Assembly this afternoon, reopening consideration of its agenda item relating to the world social situation and to youth, ageing and disabled persons and the family, decided to hold a two-day high-level meeting on youth at Headquarters in New York on 25 and 26 July based on the overarching theme of dialogue and mutual understanding. 

Adopting the text by consensus, in one of three actions taken today, the Assembly — recognizing that the International Year of Youth, which began in August, created an important opportunity to bolster Government investment in youth and the international community’s commitment to address youth-related challenges — called on Member States to pay due attention to the Millennium Development Goals, the World Programme of Action for Youth and other relevant programmes, as well as to consider including young people in their delegations for the event.

Further to the text submitted by the Assembly’s President, the world body decided that meeting would result in a concise action-oriented outcome document and asked the Assembly President to produce a draft text in consultation with Member States.  It also decided that the July meeting would comprise plenary meetings and two round tables, including one on strengthening international cooperation for youth and enhancing dialogue, mutual understanding and active youth participation to achieve social integration, full employment and poverty eradication, and another on challenges to youth development and opportunities for poverty eradication, employment and sustainable development.

Prior to taking action on that text, Krisztina Anita Kovacs (Hungary), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said youth, including from non-governmental organizations and youth-led organizations, should be adequately represented during the meeting, and Governments should transparently select and include youth representatives in their delegations.  She regretted that agreed language from the Commission for Sustainable Development’s resolution entitled “Policies and programmes involving youth”, adopted three weeks ago, could not be incorporated into today’s text.

During the high-level meeting, she urged that youth be given adequate time to speak in order to draw attention to their concerns, problems, and challenges.  The high-level event should also attempt to create new opportunities for young people, including new technologies, to help ensure employment and fight poverty and underdevelopment.  She was surprised that the Union’s proposal to reflect that in the theme for the second round table had met opposition, saying that the Union’s position on that matter had been reinforced by recent developments in North Africa and the Middle East.

She said that the World Programme of Action for Youth, the most relevant United Nations document dealing with youth issues, should guide the Assembly’s discussion during negotiations of the outcome and also during the high-level meeting itself.  The European Union did not wish to break consensus on the resolution, but regretted that the above-mentioned issues could not have been more clearly reflected in the draft text.

After the action, Jean-Daniel Vigny (Switzerland) said the high-level meeting would be of special importance given the role of young people in recent events worldwide.  The process for selecting youth representatives to participate in the meeting must be done transparently and without political considerations.  The free participation of youth organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector was vital if the meeting was to have added value.  Switzerland had supported the resolution on the condition that the meeting’s outcome document would be in accordance with the World Action Programme on Youth, the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development targets.

By a consensus draft on oceans and the law of the sea, submitted by Canada and Saint Lucia, the Assembly requested the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole on the regular process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including socio-economic aspects, to submit a report on its first meeting, held from 14 to 18 February 2011 pursuant to paragraph 203 of resolution 65/37, to the Assembly’s present session.

The Assembly, in a further consensus action, pursuant to the recommendation of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) concerning the appointment of members of the Committee on Contributions, as contained in document A/65/563/Add.1, decided to appoint Patrick Haughey (United Kingdom) and Sun Xudong (China) to serve as members effective immediately until 31 December 2011.

At the outset of the meeting, delegates observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims of Japan’s devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami last Friday.  Assembly President Joseph Deiss ( Switzerland) expressed sympathy and condolences to Japan’s Government and people.  He noted that one month ago the Assembly had held a thematic debate on risk prevention.  The recent disaster in New Zealand and the earthquake in Japan were a reminder of the importance of prevention as well as the difficulty in predicting every danger.  He said the international community must show solidarity with and give assistance to Japan and surrounding countries affected by the catastrophe to help them overcome that major challenge as quickly as possible. 

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.